Kelowna, British Columbia (PRWEB) December 30, 2013
A Kelowna hotel that’s spent nearly twenty years trying to be green is now embracing another colour—gold.
The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites has just earned the highest certification from Green Tourism Canada, the most reputable and recognized eco-rating label in the world.
Greg Salloum, Kelowna Best Western CEO and partner says he and his team are excited about achieving gold certification with Green Tourism. “There are a lot of environmental tourism labels out there these days, but Green Tourism has a very thorough third-party assessment process. Travelers trust it and so does the tourism industry.”
Since 1997, the UK-based Green Tourism has helped thousands of hotels and attractions become more sustainable and receive recognition for their efforts. The Kelowna Best Western joins almost 40 British Columbian members of Green Tourism Canada, but the hotel is one of few to receive gold.
“We’re really proud to be a leader in sustainability,” says Brenda Rayburn, Director of Sales and Marketing. “While we know that we are authentic, it is so important to have that transparency to create confidence with travellers and with our staff.”
Unlike many BC or Kelowna hotels, the Best Western started going ‘green’ more than 20 years ago, long before it became a marketing tool to attract eco-conscious guests. The hotel achieved gold from Green Tourism for both the breadth and depth of its green initiatives.
At the everyday level, recycling, energy, water and green housekeeping programs are the norm. At the extreme level, guests can plug in at one of 3 electric vehicle charging stations. Then add some whimsical in between—guests can shower and wrap themselves in a warm towel, heated through geothermal energy. It is easy to see firsthand how this Kelowna hotel reduces its carbon footprint by almost 300 per cent annually. Working with Green Step Solutions, the hotel’s Green Team identified short, medium and long term goals, creating realistic timelines for their 5 year Sustainability Plan.
The hotel’s future green initiatives and the existing ones that garnered the gold award have generated a buzz among staff, says Rayburn. “There’s a real sense of excitement and pride in our accomplishments with staff at every level. Our commitment to sustainability has been a significant factor in achieving our goal of being an “Employer of Choice” for many on our team.
The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites has won numerous environmental awards, including Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Leader of the Year, City of Kelowna Champion for the Environment , Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Environmental Responsibility Award, the BC Minister’s Award of Excellence for Climate Action, and LEED Silver certification for their Environmental Wing.
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Director of Sales & Marketing
The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites