FEA­TURE: SUS­TAIN­ABLE TOURISM IN AFRICA

The les­sons learned in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­men­top­ment and mar­ket­ing of ‘ ‘Africa's Africa's Green­est Ho­tel' in Cape Town and ‘Zanz­ibar's Green­est Re­sort' in Tan­za­nia is now be­ing of­fered as a turnkey so­lu­tion for hos­pi­tal­ity in­vestors world­wide through Ver

Tourism Tattler - - FRONT PAGE - By Des Langk­ilde.

Hote­lier am­bi­tious Mar­ioaim – De­li­cioto es­tab­lis­hand his green in­dus­tri­ousho­tels through­out­team at Verde Africa, Ho­tels and have abroad. an “I had never imag­ined that my fam­i­lies' hum­ble pur­suit to own a green ho­tel would be­come the ex­cep­tion­ally car­ing and in­ven­tive es­tab­lish­ment that Ho­tel Verde Cape Town has be­come. I hope that peo­ple will see all of our cu­mu­la­tive ef­forts and that they will be in­spired to im­ple­ment small changes in their lives and busi­nesses too,” says Mario. And the “small changes” that Mario eludes to are coined in the phrase ‘Thriv­abil­ity' – mean­ing the act of thriv­ing and pros­per­ing with­out dam­ag­ing or caus­ing harm and en­com­pass­ing three core con­cepts: Peo­ple, Profit, and Planet.

“Our ap­proach to sus­tain­able tourism de­vel­op­ment is about neu­tral­is­ing a ho­tel's im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and about suc­ceed­ing as a busi­ness ven­ture. Thriv­abil­ity speaks to the busi­ness im­per­a­tive of mak­ing a profit

in or­der to per­pet­u­ate an or­ga­ni­za­tion (and its mem­bers/em­ploy­ees) as well as func­tion in pro­duc­tive sym­bio­sis with its en­vi­ron­ment,” says Sa­man­tha An­nan­dale, CEO of Verde Ho­tels.

Verde Ho­tel's thriv­abil­ity model pro­vides sus­tain­able hos­pi­tal­ity so­lu­tions that meet strin­gent in­ter­na­tional green build­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem cri­te­ria. The model in­cor­po­rates re­spon­si­ble de­sign, con­struc­tion, project, and oper­a­tions man­age­ment and train­ing. As pi­o­neers in green

hos­pi­tal­ity glob­ally, Verde Ho­tels pro­vides so­cially con­scious in­vestors, de­vel­op­ers, and hote­liers with sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced op­er­at­ing costs and in­creased prof­its by pro­vid­ing turnkey ser­vice of­fer­ings fo­cused on new com­mer­cial con­struc­tion and retrofitting of ex­ist­ing build­ings. “When we built Ho­tel Verde in 2012 we paid a pre­mium of nearly 11% to build green. At that time we were ex­pect­ing an ROI of around 7 years. How­ever, the power cri­sis two years ago, and the wa­ter cri­sis now, have seen en­ergy costs rise tremen­dously and due to this, our ROI has re­duced down to 5 years. To­day, so many prod­ucts are avail­able at no ex­tra cost and other prod­ucts such as so­lar PV pan­els have come down in cost to the point that the pre­mium of go­ing green to­day is only 7-8%. I'm not ex­ag­ger­at­ing when I say that green build­ing is the only vi­able way con­sid­er­ing that the sav­ings over time are so great,” says De­li­cio. Iso­lat­ing quan­tifi­able ROI's, the green build project gained just over R30 mil­lion in free press ex­po­sure since the project com­menced, re­duced util­ity con­sump­tion costs by 70% (cost per room night based on util­i­ties at Ho­tel Verde was R29.52 vs an av­er­age Cape Town ho­tel of R97.28 cost), and low­ered en­ergy con­sump­tion by 63,1% (94 kWh/sqm/an­num vs Cape Town ho­tel av­er­age of 255 kWh/sqm/an­num), which even beat the LEED model av­er­age of 159.5 kWh/sqm/an­num by 41,4%. Over­all, the Ho­tel Verde green-build project re­sulted in an av­er­age of 35% lower op­er­at­ing costs, a 70% re­duc­tion in en­ergy con­sump­tion, 92% waste to land­fill re­duc­tion, and 64.9% lower wa­ter con­sump­tion. “At Verde Ho­tels we be­lieve that the ho­tel in­dus­try has changed, and hote­liers sim­ply can­not build or op­er­ate ho­tels in the same way as they have done in the past. Verde Ho­tels is the future of hos­pi­tal­ity. Com­pa­nies with proac­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal strate­gies have a 4% higher re­turn on in­vest­ment, 9% higher sales growth and 17% higher op­er­at­ing growth than com­pa­nies with poor en­vi­ron­men­tal track records,” says Sa­man­tha. As a ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany, Verde Ho­tels aims to spear­head sus­tain­able ho­tel man­age­ment through­out Africa by of­fer­ing ho­tel in­vestors and de­vel­op­ers prop­erty man­age­ment pack­ages for both new con­struc­tion projects and retrofitting of ex­ist­ing build­ings.

En­ergy. In ad­di­tion to en­ergy pro­duced by the in­door gym, Ho­tel Verde also has photo-voltaic so­lar pan­els and three wind tur­bines, pro­duc­ing 11,9% of their en­ergy re­quire­ment per an­num.

Out­door Gym. Verde Ho­tels` flag­ship ho­tel at Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Ho­tel Verde, uses a ded­i­cated out­door gym area to as­sist guests to en­gage with the en­vi­ron­ment.

Wa­ter. A 40 000 Litre wa­ter tank col­lects rain wa­ter for land­scape ir­ri­ga­tion, while a Pon­tos grey wa­ter plant ster­ilises and fil­ters guest shower and basin wa­ter, which is pumped back into the Ho­tel to flush the toi­let sys­tem.

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