Monday, October 20, 2014

Aruba puts the spotlight on green: By Simon Hudson

I was invited to Aruba this week to speak at two conferences focused on the environment. The first conference, running from 21-22 October, is called Leading Sustainable Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the second, Green Aruba/Europe Meets the Americas Conference (GA-EMA) runs from October 23-25. Essentially I am covering three key topics in my presentations. The first topic will look at whether the ‘greening’ of tourism is consumer or industry-driven, the second relates to the challenges associated with going green, and the third will examine ways that the greening of tourism can influence other sectors of the economy. Aruba as an island is attempting to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by moving alternative sources of energy, such as wind, solar and wave energy. The tourism industry on the island is also taking steps towards sustainability. One hotel owner in particular is making great strides to this end, having won numerous awards for green practices. Ewald Biemans is owner of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts and is well know on the island for being an environmental preservation pioneer. His Eagle Beach property is the first resort in the Americas to be certified ISO 14001 – a classification that requires superior environmental management. I was fortunate enough to tour the property this week, and below I am pictured with Ewald, who is himself speaking at the Leading Sustainable Tourism conference. For more information on the resort’s environmental initiatives visit:

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