There will always be a battle between those on one extreme who want ever more and more tourists and foreigners coming to Barbados (with their billions in foreign currency), and those on the other extreme who wish to have zero tourism (and live in little shacks while they wonder where the jobs and money went). Most Bajans fall somewhere in the middle – but we all should realize that the environment of our small island is currently being abused by citizens, foreigners and government.
Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government have shown over and over that they are inept and untrustworthy as guardians of our limited natural resources.
Last night yet again, Mr. Arthur and his cronies couldn’t even keep sufficient clean water flowing to homes in St. Peter – how they intend to provide water for the Cricket World Cup next year is anyone’s guess.
But leaving politics aside for the rest of today, we are going to look at some Bajan hotels that claim to be creating a sustainable tourist industry while doing their part to protect our resources….
Green Globe 21
Out of all the hotels in Barbados, only seven are “Green Globe 21” Certified as being, well, “Green Globe 21”. But what does that really mean? Are these hotels really easier on the environment? Does the certification accomplish anything… or is it just another marketing co-operative only claiming to be “green”? And… always the first question: who are the people and organizations behind “Green Globe 21”?
Let’s have a look…
From the Green Globe 21 website…
GREEN GLOBE 21 is the global Benchmarking, Certification and improvement system for sustainable Travel & Tourism. It is based on Agenda 21 and principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. It provides companies, communities and consumers with a path to sustainable travel and tourism.
OK, sounds good. So who set up the Green Globe 21 organization? According to their website “the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) developed GREEN GLOBE in 1993.” A visit to the WTTC web site shows that this is a huge worldwide travel industry association “…working with governments to raise awareness of the full economic impact of the world’s largest generator of wealth and jobs – Travel & Tourism.”
Hmmm… Travel and Tourism is the “world’s largest generator of wealth and jobs”…? I suppose if you counted every taxi ride in every city and the mechanics who repair the taxis as well as the shops where the cabbies buy lunch….
But yes, we know that here on Barbados we rely heavily on tourism – so much so that 75% of our labour force is classified as “services” and 78% of our GDP originates from this sector. (According to the CIA, anyway!)
Have a look at the Green Globe 21 web site and you will find the program has three performance levels which require a hotel to implement a system of environmental benchmarking, audit and improvement. Our view: if the participating seven Bajan hotels are truly following the program – with genuine annual audits – at least they are taking positive action. Can’t be bad… but why only seven?
We’d love to hear from hotel staff members as to how the programs are being conducted in the long term. Here are the seven Bajan “Green Globe 21” hotels…
Allamanda Beach Hotel
Garrison Historic Area
+ 246 438 1000
Almond Beach Club & Spa
+ 1 246 432 7840
Almond Beach Village
+ 1 246 422 4900
Amaryllis Beach Resort
Garrison Historic Area
+ 1 246 438 8000
Bougainvillea Beach Resort
Maxwell Coast Road
+ 246 418 0990
Casuarina Beach Club
St Lawrence Gap
+ 1 246 428 3600
+ 246 228 0900