Holbox Island, located in the northern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico, is a very unique place, with white sandy beaches, friendly population and where the ocean water ranges from the turquoise to emerald and navy blue. Each year, this place receives many tourists due to the whale sharks swimming and observation activity that occurs from May to September. However, in the last five years, the level of tourism has increased considerably affecting the capacity of the island, generating more pollution and greater consumption of its natural resources.
Faced with this situation and with the purpose of contributing to the conservation of the natural resources of Holbox, 12 hotels got together to work on a plan that would enable them to implement good hotel practices. First they made a diagnosis of their practices in terms of water, energy and waste management. Based on this diagnosis, each hotel identified areas that needed strengthening and designed plans for water and energy saving and waste management; they created green teams to implement and monitor the plans.
Among the most outstanding changes that the hotels achieved in eight months of training and implementation are: water saving (changing showerheads, towels reuse program, saving in gardening); energy saving (change of lighting, guest awareness); and waste management (waste separation in situ, adequate storage, better management of hazardous waste, straws and disposable plate elimination in bars and restaurants, as well as plastic containers for soap and shampoo). Hoteliers have partnered with a recycling company that provides them with containers, collects the waste in each of the hotels and transports them off the island. With these changes, hoteliers have reported a saving in operation costs and can also add value to the service they offer, which is recognized by their guests.
Seeing the success and benefits of implementing best hotel practices, more hotels are interested in implementing them and are planning to integrate 4 more hotels into the project. It is important to mention that the implementation of these practices have permeated from the green teams to the rest of the staff within each hotel, but also to the families of the staff, who begin to perform best practices in their homes.
We invite you to stay at hotels that implement good management practices like this ones, any time you visit Holbox or some other areas within the Mesoamerican Reef!.