Tourism is an important income source in Portugal, with some destinations such as Madeira, Azores and the Algarve where we can claim that tourism is one of the main economic sectors.
The adoption of responsible and sustainable practices has been increasing over the last couple of years, often still done by obligation – tour operators making certification a must for many hotels and businesses. This has led to a sort of ‘commoditization’ of becoming green – hotels fill in standard spreadsheets and ready made, supplied policies and proclaim their green status.
Our goal is to counter this tendency and work with our members on different levels in regards to sustainable development. Certainly one of the most important aspects is to lead culture-change and bring about top-down implementation of sustainable practices throughout a business.
Helping associates to understand and embrace the “WHY” of sustainability and then understanding and advocating its benefits is also crucial. A greater a range of positive guest experiences can then be delivered, giving a hotel or supplier greater value and better differentiation in market.
Our work in Portugal has certainly confirmed the above and our members are award winning businesses and recognized front runners in the country. Helping to find and define each members’ way, and extent to which sustainable development creates value and engages their stakeholders, is one of our main drivers.
Our members benefit from the support Green Globe offers them, and they can also display concrete cost savings in energy consumption and a real reduction in operational expenses. Most importantly our Green Globe members in Portugal report that guest and customer feedback is strongly favourable and they have become a preferred hotel or supplier in their destination.