The tourism industry accounts for 10.2% of the world GDP, it employs 292 million people (10% of the workers around the world) and grows by 4% every year. It is one of the sectors with more indirect beneficiaries and the one with more potential for the socioeconomic and cultural modernization of the communities that host its facilities and activity. For this reason it is a source of opportunities for developing areas, with a great potential as a social cohesion factor.
In a society that is increasingly concerned about and mobilized for global sustainability, the tourism sector is often the focus of public opinion. Water expenditure, the impact on the scenery and the environmental alteration are factors that have led to criticism of an industry almost all of us relate to in our lifetimes.
However, over the last few decades the tourism industry has experienced a profound transformation, developing ambitious R+D+I programs in key disciplines to progress towards global sustainability, such as architecture, engineering, construction, ecology, hydrology, geology and recycling; and in many cases it has become a reference point for models and solutions that can be adopted in inclusive and regenerative urban development strategies, one of the great challenges faced by humanity. The investment in social responsibility has increased, such as aid for the empowerment of women, inclusive training of young people and aid for refugees.
Let’s make a deal: a move towards awareness
In this context, the initiative Let’s Make a Deal, agreed by Diamond Resorts™, world leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries and the We Are Water Foundation, is natural and necessary in tourism: the awareness of all actors, professionals and guests, of the importance of the good use of water in global sustainability and their involvement in good practices that can be transferred to everyday life.
Diamond Resorts has made strides to reduce the travel industry’s impact on the planet. All of Diamond’s European properties have Sustainability Ambassadors, who help carry out various initiatives such as educating guests on recycling at the resort. Many of Diamond’s properties have sustainable gardens, where team members grow herbs or vegetables for members, owners and guests to use while staying at the resort.
Let’s Make a Deal proposes a dialogue between hotel staff and clients, suggesting specific actions to take a step further in the raising of awareness of the impact all our activities have on the environment. With the collaboration of We Are Water, Diamond Resorts will hold programs aimed at informing people of their water usage, encouraging them to make simple changes, such as reusing bath towels and limiting water usage, doing this not in an intrusive but in an exciting way for guests. These, being well informed and involved in specific and tangible actions, will become the best communication agents and promoters of good practices once they return home.
As part of this initiative, Diamond Resorts will be educating members, owners and team members to make a reasonable and sustainable use of water within all of the company’s European properties. “It is an honor for us to be part of this strategic Alliance with such an important partner as committed to the environment as Diamond Resorts”, explained Xavier Torras, director of the We Are Water Foundation, when agreeing on Let’s Make a Deal, adding that “we are confident that, together, we will achieve a more sustainable use of water and expand the resources to ensure they reach the people who have least and who need them most.”
On the other hand, Suzana Gomercic, Senior Vice President of European Resorts Operations for Diamond Resorts, pointed out: “Sustainability is a priority for Diamond Resorts and this collaboration further reaffirms our focus on changing the way travelers use water. We are committed to reducing our footprint for a better future.”