Green Globe awarded the Barceló Occidental Cozumel & Barceló Allegro Cozumel their inaugural certifications in April this year. Both all-inclusive resorts are located on the beautiful island of Cozumel overlooking the Mexican Caribbean Sea. The nearby Palancar Reef is considered one of the top 5 dive destinations in the world.
Ricardo Bravo, Quality Manager at Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel, details the importance of attaining Green Globe Certification at the two Mexican resorts.
Through this certification process we have realized and become aware of the privilege and fragility of the unique ecosystems at our properties. It has helped us understand that a proper environmental program was needed and enabled us to identify what appeared as seemingly harmless actions by visitors, had the potential to have massive negative impacts on Cozumel Island’s reefs and its National Marine Park.
Our initial sustainable actions at Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel included banning single use plastics like straws, looking for ecofriendly alternatives where possible and organising beach cleanups. However, we wanted to push ourselves further and make it clear that our commitment to the environment is a serious one.
Developing our internal policies and regulations regarding the care of the marine park is one of our key concerns. Working together with advice provided by local authorities, staff members have received training and talks on different sustainability topics such as waste management, sargassum seaweed, and wildlife management and protection.
One of the major achievements arising from this program is the launch of a campaign developed by the resorts where guests are encouraged not to take any marine life or plants from the sea as it disturbs the rhythms and cycles of the underwater ecosystems. Efforts are made via various communication mediums to deter the removal of flora and fauna from occurring in the first place. If, however, native starfish, coral pieces or seashells are found inside a room, in public areas or any other areas of the hotels, staff members are authorized to remove the objects and return it to its original environment.
Caretta Sea Turtles
Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel also sponsored a scientific investigation to place a GPS tracker on two Caretta sea turtles, which arrive every summer at Cozumel Island for the nesting season. Members of our staff were invited to witness, learn and assist a group of biologists. Talks were also presented on the function of this type of research, highlighting the delicate processes of nesting for turtles, and the proper handling of nesting turtles on our adjoining beaches.
In preparation for the arrival of turtles during the nesting season on Cozumel Island, every summer the two resorts invite staff to take part in a massive beach cleanup and provide any necessary tools and equipment. The joint beach cleanup is organized by local authorities working in collaboration with other hotels, businesses, schools and members from the local community.
Sharing Mayan Culture
Since we started building a path towards sustainable development, we have discovered ways to build closer relationships with guests and the local community. Our newly gained knowledge and increasing environmental awareness also assists us with creating experiences based on education, respect and memories that embrace the Mayan culture and its traditions. Guests can learn about Mayan culture through enjoying entertainment and shows showcasing local and traditional dance and song in the Mayan language. Many other opportunities to experience Mayan and Mexican culture are on offer at the properties including sampling delicious local dishes.
Occidental Cozumel | Allegro Cozumel
Carretera Costera Sur km. 16.6
El Cedral, Cozumel, Q. Roo
T +52 987 872 9730