In 2019, Gloria Fluxa, the vice chairwoman and chief sustainability officer at Iberostar Group, asked visitors to her Dominican Republic hotels not to eat 34 kinds of seafood.
The request was merely the beginning of a sweeping new effort for the global hospitality company, which has embarked on a massive campaign to educate both staff and guests about the critical importance of making more sustainable food choices.
Iberostar’s efforts come in response to startling and deeply concerning changes taking place around the planet that are borne out by research.
For instance, according to the United Nations, one-third of the world’s oceans are now overfished.
What’s more, hotel chains are among the largest buyers of seafood on the planet, says Eachmile Technologies, a company focused on transforming the global seafood and agriculture supply chains. In fact, some major hotels and integrated resorts consume more than one ton of seafood and feed as many as ten thousand staff meals every single day.
In other words, the type of seafood that hotel companies purchase can have a profound impact on the state of world fisheries. And when hotels purchase that seafood from poorly managed fisheries, fish and shellfish can decline and the habitat they live in can be damaged, says Eachmile.
None of these facts are lost on Iberostar, a company that hosts eight million guests each year at its 120 hotels and restaurants in 19 countries
With such realities in mind, Iberostar has already converted 15 percent of its total seafood procurement to suppliers that are certified by partner organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The company’s goal is to push that conversion rate to 25 percent.
Throughout its locations around the world, Iberostar currently serves about 19,000 pounds or 86,000 servings of MSC-ASC-certified seafood a month. The company is also working with the World Wildlife Fund-US and FishWise to improve the sourcing of 100 percent of its seafood and to train many of its 32,000 staff members about responsible seafood consumption.
Iberostar is also embracing local seasonal regulations—including the recent banning of 34 species of seafood from its menus in the Dominican Republic.
“As a family business that has become a part of the communities we’ve served for decades, we believe the hotels play a critical role in ensuring the sustainability of the environmental resources of this country for generations to come,” said Fluxa, fourth-generation leader of the 63-year-old family-owned tourism business.
By operating MSC-ASC certified restaurants, Iberostar assures guests they’re supporting fishermen and businesses who share their environmental consciousness, a point that has never been more relevant, as sustainability is an increasingly important factor in the choices made by countless travelers.
Iberostar’s own study found that when choosing a hotel, 68 percent of guests considered the property’s sustainability policy in their decision.
“We see this as one step in a larger commitment,” said Dr. Megan Morikawa, director of sustainability for Iberostar. “Getting MSC and ASC Certifications where we operate to allow for the traceability of key seafood products is one step in a larger commitment, where dozens of suppliers, thousands of staff, and millions of clients are guided by best seafood practices and join in this movement with us.”
Ultimately, the question Iberostar is seeking to answer is whether the food consumption of eight million tourists can make a difference in the worldwide seafood industry.
Iberostar believes the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
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Three Sandos Resorts Ideal for Family Vacations
While most Sandos Hotels & Resorts properties are already family-friendly, the brand is particularly proud of three of its resorts that are truly exceptional when it comes to creating incredible getaways for the entire family. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that each of its all-inclusive resorts sits upon some of the most breathtaking beaches to be found throughout Spain and Mexico.
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
At Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, resort designers wisely asked themselves the question “Why should kids have all the fun?” when it comes to exciting, fun, refreshing water park adventures. Tucked away amid the magical Mayan jungle, a water park awaits guests of all ages, so kids and adults can enjoy the aquatic experience together!
And, of course, entry is included in your rate of stay. A total of 29 exhilarating water slides promise to get the adrenaline going as you zoom downward at full speed before splashing into the cool waters of the pool.
While popular, the water park isn’t Sandos Caracol’s only kid-friendly attraction. Amid the lush jungle, there’s also an animal farm filled with various exotic species that are native to the surrounding Riviera Maya region, where kids can learn about and interact with fascinating creatures.
The plentiful landscape also affords almost endless eco-activities just outside the resort, such as cool, crystal-clear freshwater cenotes where you can float as turtles swim beneath you and monkeys swing through the treetops overhead.
At Sandos Playacar, also located on the stunning white sands of Mexico’s Riviera Maya region (this time in Playa del Carmen), an absolute wealth of family-focused amenities awaits guests as soon as they arrive on property.
The resort’s newly-designed family pool area, mere steps from the beach, incorporates a delightful children’s water park, infinity pool and oceanfront snack bar. The whole family can relax together thanks to different age-appropriate elements combined in one location. There’s also a full program of fun and activities designed for pool and beach play.
When the adults do want some time to themselves, the Kids Club stands ready to entertain and care for guests from four to twelve years old with a full day’s worth of supervised, fun activities. There’s even the Lite Teen Club for the older youngsters (thirteen through seventeen), offering video and arcade games, air hockey, pool tables, a dance floor, non-alcoholic bar and nightly themed parties, where guests can mingle and meet new friends their age.
Near the center of the resort, a nine-hole miniature golf course holds the potential to pit adults against kids in a friendly competition, as guests attempt to putt their way through the quirky paths and tricky inclines, declines and ball-mazes that make the game so much fun!
All the while, tropical birds, butterflies and swaying branches dance about overhead. After dinner, an evening filled with live entertainment for the whole family awaits, as the Gran Plaza outdoor stage comes alive with captivating performances.
Sandos San Blas Eco Resort
Finally, Sandos San Blas Eco Resort offers a singular experience on breathtaking Tenerife island, one of the Spanish-owned Canary Islands off the coast of Northern Africa. The five-star resort is immediately adjacent to the San Blas Environmental Reserve and is the perfect choice for a family vacation that blends relaxation and recreation with nature. Here, families can come together while embarking on activities and adventures that can be found nowhere else.
The onsite lake is ideal for kayaking or canoeing, while the beach also offers adventurous guests kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkeling options, as well as scuba-diving organized through the in-house dive center.
The incredible, subtropical San Blas Environmental Reserve provides excellent mountain biking, jogging or trekking routes, opportunities for outdoor walk-and-yoga sessions or observing the landscape under star-filled skies. Or, simply set out upon an exploration as a family of the island’s untouched natural wilderness and discover its unique flora and fauna.
The resort itself boasts eight swimming pools—five freshwater and three saltwater pools, two of which are great for kids. There are also activities designed especially for kids, with daily schedules featuring treasure hunts, face painting, pool games, video games and arts and crafts, among others.
Teens, meanwhile, can take part in activities best suited to older minors, such as climbing, kayaking, football, sand-soccer, badminton, pool games and more.
For the adults, two distinct golf courses, Amarilla Golf and Golf del Sur, both Atlantic Ocean-adjacent, offer challenging courses set amid spectacular scenery. Golf del Sur boasts three competition courses, featuring volcanic black-sand bunkers, massive greens and two trying water hazards. Amarilla Golf’s eighteen holes are set amid a gorgeous landscape situated beside the ocean, boasting beautiful native flora that’s being preserved thanks to its Biosphere Golf certification.
For more information on these properties, contact a travel advisor or visit sandos.com.
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