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 IH&RA Environmental Award Lauds Efforts 
to Promote Sustainable Tourism
 
Paris, 12 May 1999 - This year's International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) annual Green Hotelier & Restaurateur Environmental Award will recognise hospitality industry efforts to go beyond in-house environmental programmes and promote sustainable tourism. 

The theme has been chosen to coincide with the focus of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), meeting later this month and debating for the first time the efforts of the travel and tourism sector to implement Agenda 21, the blueprint for environmental action adopted by 182 governments at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Entries for the award are invited from hotel and restaurant operators who can demonstrate how they are promoting sustainable development of the industry, while conserving the natural and cultural resources on which tourism depends. 

“Hospitality operators across the globe are increasingly aware of the bottom line benefits to be gained by conserving and recycling resources,” said Dr. Osmane Aïdi, IH&RA president.  “But we need now to go beyond the hotel or restaurant premises, and consider our impact on the wider community.” 

The IH&RA Environmental Award, launched in 1991 with sponsorship from American Express, will reward outstanding examples of best environmental practice from both corporate and independent establishments.  A prize of $2,500, an engraved plaque, a trophy and a diploma will be presented to the winners during the IH&RA annual congress, expected to attract over 500 delegates when it convenes from 17-21 October in Durban, South Africa.  The award ceremony will be the highlight of gala evening celebrations on 20 October. 

Applications will be judged by representatives of the International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI), who will assess entries for evidence of: 

  • an active interest in environmental issues
  • a leadership role in planning and implementing environmental actions, particularly in the area of sustainable development
  • personal initiatives for environmental improvement in the hotel
  • promotion of environmental awareness among staff
  • communication of their environmental performance to guests, staff and the wider hospitality industry.
“No industry has a greater stake in safeguarding environmental and cultural resources than travel and tourism,” said Michael Edwards, vice-president, head of client management for American Express Europe Ltd.  “American Express is committed to initiatives that help the industry develop in a sustainable way, ensuring the continuation of these resources for future generations.” 

The IH&RA is using materials submitted for previous awards as case studies for an Environmental Teaching Resource Pack for hospitality education centres, developed jointly with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and in association with the International Association of Hotel School Directors (EUHOFA).  Devised as a practical teaching tool, the resource pack is designed to help educators build an environmental component into hotelschool curricula, and ensure that tomorrow's hospitality professionals already have the skills and knowledge to “think green”. 

Entries for the IH&RA Environmental Award 1999 are invited from members and non-members of the association.  Application forms can be obtained from Ratna Lefort at the IH&RA, phone: (33 1) 44 89 94 00, fax: (33 1) 40 36 73 30, e-mail: lefort@ih-ra.com.  The closing date is 23 August 1999.

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Contact:
 
Caroline Harvey
 tel: (331) 44 89 94 00
 fax: (33 1) 40 36 73 30
e-mail: harvey@ih-ra.com
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Also See: IH&RA Congress Assesses Impact for Hotels of New Marketing Revolution / Nov 1998 
Dr. Osmane Aidi Takes Helm of IH&RA, Outlines Goals / Jan 1999 

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