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Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba and Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria, Freiburg, Germany Win the IH&RA 2004 “Innovation
in Environmental Best Practice” Award
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Paris, 30 November 2004…IH&RA, the International Hotel & Restaurant Association announced the winners of the 2004 IH&RA Environmental Award - “Innovation in Environmental Best Practice” - at the Closing Gala Dinner of the IH&RA 41st Annual Congress held 19-21 November 2004 in Istanbul Turkey. Now in its 13th year, this Award was sponsored by founding partner UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and by founding sponsor American Express, as well as sponsors Green Globe 21, Onity and Shell LPG. Applications were received from hospitality establishments from countries as diverse as Turkey, China, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, Norway and Aruba! And the winners are…

The Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba (www.bucuti.com) won in the “independent” category which recognized innovation in environmental best practice of an independently owned or operated hotel or restaurant. Mr. Ewald Biemans, Bucuti Beach Resort owner and manager, was awarded his Certificate in Environmental Best Practice by IH&RA President John Bell and by Kathryn Pretzel- Shiels, Head of Hotel and Restaurant Industries Europe, Establishment Services - American Express Europe Limited. Mr. Biemans graciously accepted his award and gave a multi-media presentation on the Environmental initiatives lauded by the IH&RA Environmental Award jury.

“This award is the crowning touch to our environmental efforts and makes us all proud,” said Mr. Biemans upon receiving his Award, “The whole Congress was really interesting and a great learning experience with the award dinner as the grand finale!”

The Bucuti Beach Resort was recognized for a very comprehensive Environmental programme which involves the staff; information and educational materials for guests; and a very clear purchasing policy.
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From left to right : Kathryn Pretzel- Shiels, Head of Hotel and Restaurant Industries Europe, Establishment Services - American Express Europe Limited , IH&RA President John Bell; Ewald Biemans, Owner, Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba.

The IH&RA Environmental Award Runner-Up in the Independent category also hailed from the Carribean: Tiamo Resorts (www.tiamoresorts.com) on South Andros Island, The Bahamas. An honourable mention in the independent category went to the 3 Rivers Eco Lodge, Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies (www.3riversdominica.com).

If anyone thinks only pristine beach resorts can engage in environmental best practices, think again! One only need to see the example of the winner in the chain-affliliated category, the Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria in Freiburg Germany (www.victoria.bestwestern.de). To accept this award were the owners and managers of the Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria, Freiburg, the husband and wife team Bertram and Astrid Späth. They were awarded their Certificate in Environmental Best Practice by IH&RA President John Bell and Jérôme Ecalle, Vice President - Marketing & Distribution, Shell Gas (LPG).

"It's a great honour for us to have been selected for this award from all the other excellent international applications," said Bertram Späth, "and we want to share our experience with all hotel colleagues from Best Western International." And, indeed, they will! There is a system in place to inform and share the expertise with the over 4000 Best Western Hotels worldwide.

The Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria, Freiburg is located in an old 1875 building in an urban location and reasonably large city centre. Other properties can replicate the measures taken at the Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria which surmounted the obstacles of its location to employ creative and innovative Environmental Best Practice.

On receiving this award, Mr. and Mrs. Späth gave a delightful presentation about the innovative concepts in their urban hotel in Freiburg, Germany announcing, “We are highly honoured to have been chosen as the winner of this prestigious award. You told us, that you were very impressed about the innovations in environmental best practice in our Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria. But we have to reveal, it’s just so simple and makes us happy. The atmosphere in the four star hotel is pleasant…Welcome to Germany's first emission-free hotel!”
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From left to right Jérôme Ecalle, Vice President - Marketing & Distribution, Shell Gas (LPG); IH&RA President, John Bell ; Astrid and Bertram Späth, Managers and Owners Best Western Premier Hotel Victoria, Freiburg, Germany
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The Runner-Up in the Chain Category was also recognized that evening: Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica (www.beaches.com). Honourable mentions went to: Hilton UK and Ireland (www.hiltongroup.com) and Wild Coast Sun in South Africa (www.suninternational.com).

IH&RA thanks all those applied for the IH&RA Environmental Award in 2004 and congratulates the winners! Also special thanks to the Award sponsors, UNEP, American Express, Green Globe 21, Onity and Shell LPG, with special thanks to representatives of UNEP and Green Globe 21 who served on the Judging Panel. Also special thanks to www.catererglobal.com, sponsor of the IH&RA Congress Final Gala Dinner where these Awards were presented. 

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Contact:
IH&RA
Ms. Summer Jauneaud
Director of Communications
Tel: + 33 (0) 1 44 88 92 24
jauneaud@ih-ra.com
www.ih-ra.com
Also See: With 811 Suites, La Cabana the Largest Resort in the Caribbean to be Green Globe Certified / April 2004
Environmental Management Practices in US Hotels / Ishmael Mensah / May 2004


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