How will island hotels evolve their thinking with a greater focus on sustainability?

One of the often asked questions is how will service offers alter and change alongside a growing sustainability agenda? Maybe even more so, how can travel experiences be focused on improving human impact on our most vulnerable natural environments?

There is a growing number of examples of operations, across all sectors, developing new narratives and messaging to appeal to a very sustainability conscious consumer. One such example is the hotel brand Sunlife.

As most will know, Mauritius is facing some real concerns and challenges in relation to its long term future so the pressure to illustrate good practice is even greater. It possesses a natural conflict between the economic importance of tourism and its impact.

Situated in an active tropical cyclone basin, Mauritius is exposed to climate risks and with the temperatures in Mauritius also rising at a faster rate than global averages, the country is facing accelerated coastal erosion and coral bleaching.

The question than arises to whether individuals take responsibility for the effect their holidays are having on environmentally vulnerable areas and try to diminish any damages they are causing?

Sunlife is focusing on many positive initiatives to try and aid Mauritius tourism to be as sustainable and positive as possible with minimal effect on nature:

  • The La Pirogue Marine centre, innovative coral farming program at its land-based nursery which uses a micro-fragmenting technique to encourage rapid growth of new coral, with healing happening 25-40 times faster than naturally on the reef.
  • Bubble Lodge, a luxury eco- lodge designed to have minimal impact on the environment and introduce ideas that travel can be truly sustainable as well as enjoyable.
  • The endemic Nature Trail- A 45-minute walk led by in-house biologist, to explore the local flora and fauna. Allowing guests to both discover the top ten endemic trees as well as an opportunity to plant their own tree.
  • Adopt a mangrove- an initiative allowing guests to sponsor and plant an endemic tree with the hopes to re-establish ecologically precious mangroves which are crucial in protecting coastlines from storms, prevent erosion and capture emissions.
  • Chef’s garden- a commitment to support the local economy and increase food security on the island. Chefs garden is teaching the local community how to harvest seasonal ingredients and focusing of sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Bee alive kids- teaching younger guests a crucial understanding and connection with nature. It is designed to inside the next generation to have an interest with the cycle of life of bees and their important role in ecosystems.

Sunlife is striving to build and develop a stronger agenda in sustainable tourism. With many great initiatives emerging, is it just a matter of time before sustainable tourism becomes the new normal? Will we see an increase in demand for sustainable tourism options as consumers become more mindful of their harmful impact on the natural environment