PATA | Contact

All posts in East

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, known as the Ramsar Convention.

World Wetlands Day Besides providing essential services such as water, food and energy, wetlands offer significant opportunities for tourism, which can in turn deliver economic benefits for local communities and the sustainable management of wetlands.

Revival of wetlands, as in the case of Ein Afek Nature Reserve in Israel, is important for not only nature conservation but also eco-tourism, wetland education, and ecological research. Wetlands offer a range of recreational activities include sunbathing, swimming, boating, diving, snorkeling, photography, bird-watching, and simply enjoying the landscape. If not properly managed, however, tourism can also harm wetland, as in the unfortunate case of China’s Qinghai Province where Qinghai Lake became a huge rubbish dump.

The strong connection between wetlands and tourism brought the World Wetlands Day theme for 2012 to be “Wetlands and Tourism.” Ensuring well-managed tourism practices in and around wetlands and educating tourists on the value of wetlands contributes to the health of the world’s wetlands, and the long-term benefits that wetlands provide to people, wildlife, economics, and biodiversity.

Learn more how about how to successfully use wetlands for tourism through the UNWTO’s Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism; Wetlands International’s publication Factsheet Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project or the Use of Wetlands for Sustainable Tourism Management in the Boondall Wetlands Reserve, Australia.

As the tourist industry is looking for new attractions, and with tourists’ growing awareness of environmental issues of tourists, new kind of attractions are popping up: landfills and cleantech facilities.

Hiriya -Turning Landfills and Cleantech Facilities into a Tourist AttractionA few places around the world have transformed former landfills into nature parks. The Hiriya Center for Environmental Education in Israel, for example, attracts domestic and international tourists as well as professional visitors. Another example is the former landfill in Hangzhou, China, where tourists can visit its trash-to-gas power plant, play environmental video games, and hike in an eco-park the size of 10 football fields.

Cleantech facilities also serve as a tourist attraction that educate and offer experiential activities. The Solar Garden in Binyamina, Israel, is one such an educational initiative designed to promote awareness and use of green energy sources and environmental technologies (CleanTech) amongst the Israeli public. It was intentionally built in a place easily accessible with public transportation.

Another example is the Singapore National Water Agency’s NEWater Visitor Centre that promises a fun-filled and enriching time for all its guests with its free daily tours and educational workshops. There, one can learn of the water treatment and water planning of technological Singapore.

One particularly innovative attraction is the Pool+ project in Manhattan, which will be a floating pool in the Hudson River that would filter the river’s water through the pool walls, making it possible for New Yorkers and visitors to swim in clean river water, with pool fees helping to clean the river. This unique pool is thus a water filtration plant and a visitor attraction.

So what can you do? In addition to visiting and spreading the word about such attractions, if you have cleantech facilities in your hotel/lodge, share this information with the guests and make it an educational experience for them.

Remember to share it with us, too!

Seeking Experiential Travel in China: Interview with Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China

Categories: Asia, East, Management, Operations, Private Sector, Recommended Reading, Southeast, Tour Operator
Comments Off on Seeking Experiential Travel in China: Interview with Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China

Mei ZhangAre Travelers Ready for the ‘Real’ China? Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China, explains why she’s counting on a sense of discovery to take travelers beyond the Great Wall and create tourism opportunities in China, Tibet and Myanmar.


Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

by Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

How can hotels offer guests a luxury experience but also make rooms sustainable?

The drive to increase sustainability in hotels is growing year on year. The responsibility case for properties to demonstrate good environmental practice has been proved beyond argument and now they have the bottom line figures to prove the business case as well. But focus is invariably on good energy, water and waste stewardship whilst preserving the guest’s in-room experience. Going forward, if hotels want to continue to reap the rewards of sustainable practice, they may have to build it into the fabric of their rooms. Read more


Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Japan

Categories: Asia, Cultural Heritage, East, People and Places
Comments Off on Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Japan

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau (TCKTB) works to develop and promote Japan’s spiritual heartland – the ancient region of Kumano. Registered by UNESCO as part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range”, Kumano has been welcoming Japanese pilgrims for centuries to this natural and cultural heritage destination.










Northeast and Yilan Coast

Categories: Asia, East, Infrastructure, Management, Operations, Planet, Return, Visitors
Comments Off on Northeast and Yilan Coast

The 2km long Coaling Tunnel was built between 1921-24, when Taiwan was still under Japanese occupation. Designed to connect north-south traffic on the island, it was a major thoroughfare until it closed in 1968, when a new road meant it became little used. It reopened in 2008 as a bicycle route that promotes the growth of sustainable tourism. As you exit the tunnel you can join a bicycle path that tours through fishing villages and coastal scenery on a 20km round trip. Since 2008, 1.85 million people have visited the tunnel, bringing almost NT$300 million in benefits to the local economy each year.

Download PDF


Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd Make Sustainable Progress

Categories: Accommodations, Asia, Case Study, East, Management, Operations, Planning, Private Sector, Report
Comments Off on Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd Make Sustainable Progress
Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels ltd make sustainable progress

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

ITP member Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) has published its 2013 annual report including their progress on environmental and sustainability targets.

The report has been prepared according to the new G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, and details the company’s environmental, social and financial performance for 2013.

HSH is one of the first companies in the world to publish its report in accordance with GRI’s G4 Guidelines and be accredited by GRI in the Materiality Matters check.

The report’s sustainability section highlights HSH’s newly launched Sustainable Luxury Vision 2020, which puts sustainability at the heart of the company’s business model and brand. With seven areas of focus covering all divisions of the business, Vision 2020 sets out more than 50 economic, social and environmental goals that HSH is committed to achieve by 2020. Vision 2020 provides a blueprint on how HSH plans to achieve its ambition of taking luxury to the next level, which is sustainable luxury. Mr Clement K.M. Kwok, Chief Executive Officer of HSH, said “To deliver on both luxury and sustainability is not without challenge, but we see a genuine opportunity to achieve this in a way that complements our heritage of quality, thoughtfulness and meticulous attention to detail. 2013 already saw some of our operations making great strides in crafting the path towards sustainable luxury.”

Read more at Green Hotelier!


A New Eco Member for Peninsula Tokyo’s Fleet

Categories: Asia, Case Study, Climate, East, Energy, Planet
Comments Off on A New Eco Member for Peninsula Tokyo’s Fleet
A new eco member for Peninsula Tokyo’s fleet

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

The Peninsula Tokyo has become the first hotel in Japan to add a customised all-electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions in Japan

From November 1, 2014, The Peninsula Tokyo will welcome the ninth addition to its customized car fleet, a Tesla Model S. Available to registered guests for hired chauffeured service, the full-size, all-electric luxury lift back has been finished to match the rest of the hotel’s fleet. The Peninsula Tokyo is the first hotel in Japan to include a plug-in sedan in its fleet.

Engineered in Fremont, California, and introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S is the world’s first premium all-electric sedan and the most aerodynamic vehicle in its class. It therefore fits perfectly with The Peninsula’s CSR agenda, which hopes to achieve sustainability without forgoing luxury. With a low center of gravity, nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a body structure crafted of lightweight aluminium reinforced with high-strength boron steel elements, the Telsa offers the responsiveness and agility expected of the world’s best sports cars while saving on carbon.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Marriott Supports Education Initiatives in China

Categories: Accommodations, Asia, Case Study, East, Human Capital Development, People and Places, Private Sector
Comments Off on Marriott Supports Education Initiatives in China
Marriott supports education initiatives in China

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Marriott supports Yao Foundation with $800,000 to build three ‘Hope’ schools in rural China

Marriott International has signed a three-year agreement with the Yao Foundation to support educational programmes for children in rural areas of China. The Yao Foundation is a charity organisation established in 2008 by former professional basketball star Yao Ming under the auspices of The China Youth Development Foundation. The charity aims to promote the all-round development of Chinese youth by providing them the opportunities to improve their education, sports skills, health and self-esteem.

When asked why youth is a priority for Marriott’s charitable contributions in China, the company stated:

Marriott International has a heritage of putting people first and opening doors to a world of opportunity for its guests, partners and associates. The key to making this happen is education, especially for the younger generations. The youth is the future of China which is playing a more important role in the global arena and Marriott feels it is important to support the youth and therefore the future of the country.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


ECO-PAGES and Eco Champions

Categories: Asia, Certification/Accreditation, East, Innovation, Management, Manual, Operations, Return
Comments Off on ECO-PAGES and Eco Champions
ECO-PAGES and Eco Champions

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Honk Kong benefits from ECO-PAGES

ECO-PAGES is an environmental database including contacts for equipment and services in pollution prevention and control eco-products, green funds, green groups, environmental-related government departments, certification bodies, ISO 14001-certified companies, environmental event’s organisers and companies committed to protect the environment all over the world.

The recently launched ECO-PAGEs 2004 is the first bilingual edition, listing environmental contacts all over the world in English and Chinese.

Read more at Green Hotelier!