Friday, February 26, 2010

Hotel Karma Ratings

Is the travel industry at risk at drowning in a flurry of politically correct enviro-slogans?

Are the traveling public becoming jaded by the constant chest-beating and self-congratulatory back-slapping of accommodation providers that are desperately trying to hide the shame that they are a business by grandstanding their environmental, social and cultural virtues? 

Do guests really care about constant overinflated, ego-enhancing boasts by accommodation providers that are outbidding one another in a race on who can generate the most greenwash?

Well, apparently so! 

We were interested to read about a boutique travel company, Journeys Within, that believes enviro-cringe should be ramped up to a whole new level. They wish to exploit the travel market of politically correct, hand-wringing do-gooders that are inflicted with the guilt of living in a first world country by designing a new rating system for Southeast Asia hotels.

The new "Hotel Karma Ratings" measures and rates hotels based on the effectiveness of their policies to improve the world. The new rankings will help travelers who are more interested in the philanthropic work of a hotel rather than the usual: amenities, service and location.

The four-tier rating system is as follows:
Nirvana: These hotels have taken on a project or projects to support and then do so in a sustainable manner. They also take the initiative to involve their guests in the projects.

Enlightened: Enlightened hotels, similar to Nirvana ones, find and support projects that change lives or save the planet, but have not yet gotten their guests involved.

Novice: These are newbies to the game. They hire locally and give guests the option to not change their sheets and towels, but the buck stops there. While they have the right idea at heart, they have not taken the big step to become a community leader.

Non-believer: These properties have not made the effort to benefit their communities and did not even respond when asked about their practices.

At least in New Zealand, we can be confident that our official tourism quality agency would never impose such a silly, irrelevant enviro system upon accommodation providers;-)

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