Sustainability is a hot topic in today’s meetings world. Hotels, convention centers and tour operators throughout Mexico have comprehensive sustainability programs that help reduce carbon footprints.
Which means now your clients can be green no matter where they’re staying. From Green Globe and LEED certified to eco meeting tools, Mexico is helping protect and preserve the environment in myriad ways.
Compared to 10 years ago, many of the newest centers are in boutique destinations where they enhance development by attracting new hotels, shops and restaurants. New resorts now grace the beaches near the new Mazatlan International Center, and downtown Puerto Vallarta’s first new hotel in 10 years opened on the heels of the new Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center.
“Some firms won’t even consider a facility unless it has green programs,” says Brad Williams, Carlson Wagonlit senior director of operations, meetings and events.
Properties with the esteemed Green Globe International certification include all eight Iberostar resorts in Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Cozumel; Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Viva Wyndham Maya and Viva Wyndham Azteca, and Karisma properties’ El Dorado Maroma, El Dorado Royale and Azul Sensatori resorts. Dreams resorts are Rainforest Alliance Verified and Barcelo resorts are Earth Check certified.
Carbon offsets are included in the pricing at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, which also implements solar water heating, a co-electricity plant, two desalination plants, water recycling, composting and 19,000 mature trees, planted during its 2008 construction.
The Grand Velas was Mexico’s second hotel to receive the Clean Beach certification from the Mexico Institute of Standardization & Certification. And like most of Mexico’s coastal resorts, it manages a sea turtle rescue and release program.
In Acapulco, the Eco-Meet initiatives are available at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and Fairmont Pierre Marques. Along the Riviera Nayarit, the Maya Palace Nuevo Vallarta takes sustainability seriously. Its eco-friendly programs include an in-house water treatment plant, recycled water on the golf courses, artificial lakes and greens that nurture wildlife, biodegradable products and energy conservation.
The Grand Velas Resort Riviera Nayarit is another eco option, with locally sourced cuisine, minimal waste, green cleaning and guest involvement with the indigenous Huichol Indians. Green Globe certification is expected shortly for the luxurious new Iberostar Playa Mita.
In Puerto Vallarta, the Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is Rainforest Alliance Verified, while the Barceló Puerto Vallarta is Earth Check certified, as is the Barceló Karmina Palace Deluxe in Manzanillo.
At the tip of sunny Baja, the Secrets Marquis Los Cabos, a Rainforest Alliance Verified resort, has an extensive green program that includes in-house water desalination plants, waste water management, composting, eco-friendly guest room soap and sea turtle protection. Twice weekly guest beach clean-up sessions are among the earth friendly practices at the luxurious Zoetry Casa del Mar in Los Cabos. The RIU Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas is pro-actively committed to sustainability, using only paper made from recycled materials, environmentally friendly fabrics such as cotton and linen in the guest rooms, an in-house water treatment system and air conditioning conservation. In addition, Green Globe-certified Ecoturismo Kuyima tours offer whale-watching, cave art and other earth-centric excursions throughout the Baja Peninsula.
Be sure to check out page 45 of the 2014 Mexico Meeting & Incentive Planner for the complete “Going Green” article.