RCI Pacific recently announced the launch of the RCI Going Green Awards for 2012, the programs third consecutive year. RCI Pacific successfully pioneered the industry’s first ever independently judged eco-friendly ‘Go Green’ program, to encourage resorts within the RCI exchange network to actively engage in sustainable practices and demonstrate a commitment to incorporating green measures into all facets of daily resort operations.
Once again, RCI has collaborated with Dr Dave Weaver, Professor of Tourism Research at Griffith University to deliver a “best practice” self-assessment product, similar to the top green awards and certifications currently in circulation within the tourism industry. Finalists selected are completely independent of RCI and after both assessment phases are completed, the overall winner and two runner-up award winners will be announced at the 2012 ATHOC Awards in Cairns this September.
This year, RCI is urging more resorts in the Pacific to embrace the program for two important reasons. Firstly, resorts gain from maximising the social and economic benefits to business and their respective communities, and secondly, as RCI members and the greater community of travellers become increasingly green conscious, resorts within the RCI network will be able to meet the demand for eco-experience holidays, which steadily continues to grow in popularity.
As the coveted RCI Going Green Award Program continues to grow and gain support regionally, the program has also expanded on an RCI global level. North America and Europe have modelled their Green Award programs of the successful Pacific initiative with both regions recently announcing their Green Award winners.
In the US, North American recipients were honoured at the American Resort Development (ARDA) Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas with Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando, Florida taking out top honours for entirely renovating this Gold Crown resort in 2011, using eco-friendly material, appliances and practices where possible. Grand Pacific Palisades Resort of Carlsbad, California, took home the Gold RCI Green Award for adding a new recycling centre; and the Silver RCI Green Award went to Wisconsin-based Bluegreen Odyssey Dells, which uses only supplies made from recycled materials.
Europe’s Green Awards, also recently recognised the following: The Langdale Estate in the UK’s Lake District, which has established a dynamic green agenda; Trenython Manor, A Club La Costa World Resort in Cornwall, England, which sponsors and assists local efforts for sustainability; and Sahara Sunset Club in Málaga, Spain, which makes an effort to work with suppliers and operational partners who have sustainable business practices in place.