Monaco epitomizes luxury, which is becoming “less and less about the acquisition of things,” according to the Monaco Government Tourist Office’s director of meeting/incentive sales, Cindy Hoddeson, and more about “the experience and the story of the experience.” Monaco is at the forefront of ecotourism, with cycling, electric shuttle boats and low-emission transportation options complementing a culturally diverse and highly walkable city. Sustainable efforts don’t stop there, however. Groups will find the key to the city to be very green—a “Green Key” ecotourism seal of approval has been awarded to over 800 environmentally friendly accommodations.
Much of Monaco’s success as a sustainable destination is spurred on by the legacy of Prince Albert I, a pioneer in oceanography and environmental conservation. Prince Albert II has maintained momentum for this legacy through the Prince Albert II Foundation, which is also actively involved in environmental conservation, having donated millions to various environmental projects over the years. Traces of this sustainable mindset can be found throughout the country whether through exhibits at the Oceanographic Museum or the annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival, harnessing the power of film, photography, entertainment and science to educate and inspire ocean stewardship worldwide. It’s luxury at its best, Hoddeson says.
“Having the time to stroll through the Princess Grace Rose Garden; have a glass of champagne in the Casino Square where Bugattis and Aston Martins are parked, or enjoy an artisanal beer at the Brasserie de Monaco in the port area where docked mega yachts abound gives one a feeling of being part of a dream.”