Green Hoteliers of Sustainable Tourism Destinations in Taiwan
The Future of Traveling – Sustainable Travel
Travel is essential, and most people see the need to gain organic experiences from foreign places; According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors globally.
As per Our World in Data, from 1950 to 2019, the world population increased from 2.5 billion to 7.7 billion, or by 208%. On the other hand, annual tourists rose from 25 million in 1950 to 1.4 billion in 2018, which is 5500% of the astounding growth rate in the tourism industry.
My multicultural family has always been a frequent flyer on both business and personal reasons. My daughters and I had our first trip when she was six months old. However, engaging much research in environmental studies after moving to Spain. I have realized being a meaningful traveler is not just about speaking the local language, trying the local food, and being polite to people.
Meaningful travel is also about protecting the local community and nature, lessening your impact on the environment, promoting sustainable tourism and responsible travel.
Sustainability in Hospitality
In the report of The Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report, the hotel sector generates a significant carbon footprint, waste, pollutions, and consumption. The industry must reduce its carbon footprint by 90% in 2050 to keep global warming below the standard of the Paris Agreement.
Booking.com also reveals that the conscious travelers had grown from 62% in 2016 to 72% in 2019; In the same survey, 70% of global travelers intend to book an eco-accommodation. Statistics show that the growing trend of travelers around the world shares the view to act immediately and make sustainable travel a priority choice to save the planet for future generations.
However, nearly 72% of global travelers are not aware of how to select a sustainable hotel to stay!
In fact, there is no one size fit all strategy to be a sustainable hotel. It depends on several factors, such as locations, policies, and regulations. However, the main goal is to create a triangular eco-balance relationship between the environment, the local community, and society.
In general, sustainable hotels seek to implement strategies to reduce environmental impact, strengthen the local economy and community, and provide fair employment opportunities for the local communities.
Three Advantages of Choosing a Green Hotelier
1. Encourage eco-mind
Encourage hotels to be more eco-mindset, which in the collective effort can gain momentum to grow the eco-conscious crowd and businesses.
2. Re-define wellbeing
Help the industry to develop a new definition of wellbeing. Many guests expected to be pampered at a hotel. Hotels and travelers have a common misconception that this experience must include excessive materials and sources.
3. Create a healthy ecotourism system
Industry and customers can build a share value and create a healthy ecotourism system; Suppose travelers are willing to spend more on a meaningful brand to help the industry invest in sustainable programs to reduce energy and waste. On the other hand, when the hotel adapts green ideas into the business, it decreases the operating expenses, increases the brand image and customer loyalty, which all can be translated to profit in the long run.
Top Sustainable Tourism Destinations in Taiwan
According to the Sustainable Top 100 Destinations, two destinations in Taiwan were selected as the top sustainable tourism destinations – Sun Moon Lake and Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area. Both destinations showcase green practices to keep the region eco-friendly and sustainably conscious.
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Taiwan, located in the heart of the nation – Nantou. The stunning and ever-changing views of Sun Moon Lake receives almost 3 million tourists annually and is rated the top 10 most beautiful cycling routes in the world by CNN.
Sun Moon Lake hosts the most important hydroelectric power system in Taiwan. It allows the location to produce renewable energy based on the appropriate use of environmental conditions.
Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration promotes a low carbon footprint in sustainable tourism. It invests in public transportation by creating more bus routes and a well-thought schedule. The area also integrates indigenous cultures, nature, and local businesses with cable car systems, electric boats, and cycling paths to make public transit more attractive than driving.
Certified Green Hoteliers in Sun Moon Lake
My family has been to Sun Moon Lake for three different occasions. The first time we went to Sun Moon Lake from Nantou Jiji without kids, the second time we chose to stay a night with kids and the last time we participated in the annual Sun Moon Lake Marathon, we had a blast for each experience.
Fleur de Chine Hotel Sun Moon Lake
Fleur de Chine Hotel is the first five-stars luxury hotel that receives CU-GSTC Hotel Certification, a global control unit to certify hotels and tour operators committed to sustainable tourism products and services at a high level of quality.
Fleur de Chine Hotel is the first hotel in Sun Moon Lake that offers hot spring tubs, also ranked as one of the top 10 kid-friendly hotels in Taiwan. The hotel has a shuttle bus service from Taichung HSR station, and there is a bus stop at the hotel that goes around the Lake.
We were greeted with amiable and helpful staff upon our arrival, great views from our room. Delicious buffet with a variety of food options. I highly recommend it for family travel.
According to Fleur de Chine Hotel, it implements a sustainable program by
- Reducing energy consumption, energy-saving, carbon reduction, water-saving, smoke exhausts, and deodorization.
- Partnering with local farmers and businesses that also promotes sustainability.
- Purchasing local and organic food ingredients, Eco-friendly farm-to-table dining service.
- Replace single-use water bottles to eco-friendly water containers.
- Removed all disposable accessories and will only provide to customers upon request.
- Partnering with the local authorities to clean the Lake after the Sun Moon Lake swimming carnival.
The Footprint Inn
The Footprint Inn is located in Jiji Township, 8 minutes walk from Jiji Stations and 30 minutes driving distance to Sun Moon Lake. The hotel features free WIFI, flat-screen TV, and also serves healthy fresh ingredients daily.
In terms of implementing sustainability programs, The Footprint Inn provides sustainable toiletries in all of its guest rooms, uses energy-saving lights, invests in solar energy and heat-pump systems. Free bicycles are also available for customers to explore the locals.
Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area
Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area is located in the northeastern region of Taiwan. It offers stunning geographical and historical distinctions such as green mountains, capes and bays, a rich diversity of marine life, and well-protected cultural heritage sites.
Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area was established in 1984, charging it with the environment and nature preservation program. The local authorities work actively be a sustainable tourism destination. The efforts have been devoted to improving wastewater treatment, solid waste management, reducing the use of water and carbon emissions.
This Scenic Area covers Ruifang District in New Taipei City to Neibi Beach in Yilan County. The area stretches 102.5 kilometers and encompasses a total of 17,130 hectares of land and sea.
The Northeast Coast National Scenic Area offers recreational opportunities including camping, rock climbing, and hiking along a 200-year-old footpath. While water sports available are swimming, surfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Certified Green Hoteliers at Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area
Toucheng Leisure Farm
Toucheng Leisure Farm has been certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The Farm is run by Madame Cho, who is passionate about agricultural sustainability lifestyle.
Toucheng Leisure Farm promotes “Farm of Life”, and provides various activities for local and foreign guests to explore in nature and rural agriculture. The Farm offered eco-friendly farm-to-table service, replaced plastic bottled water, implemented waste recycling, energy-saving equipment, solar system, and sewage treatment systems on the Farm in response to environmental protection.
Fulong BEING Homestay
Fulong BEING Homestay is a minute walk from Fulong Train station, 7 minutes walk from Fulong Beach, and 12 kilometers from The Caoling Historic Trail.
Fulong Being Homestay is a small complex with four simple rooms. The hotel offers breakfast, a rooftop terrace, surfboard rentals, bike rental, and surfing lessons.
Note: light sleepers should note that Fulong’s main street often has trucks passing, which may create noises at night.