Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bella Vista Goes Green

I see that Bella Vista have become the first accommodation group to achieve Qualmark NZ's Enviro Award across its entire network.

In the motel-world, the Bella Vista Motel Group offers a unique proposition as the only New Zealand chain of motel properties to conform to a cookie-cutter model. Motels throughout the country continue to be built and added to the nationwide Bella Vista network with no apparent deviation from their original 90's inspired architecture.

The landscape of accommodation in New Zealand varies dramatically and can offer unwanted "surprises". With Bella Vista there are no surprises. When someone "just wants a bed for the night" for a little over $100 a Bella Vista Motel will fill the gap and provide a no-thrills franchise experience.

Besides the McDonalds-style uniformity, another reason for the success of Bella Vista Group is the consistency and relative professionalism of their operators. Many seem to be untainted first time moteliers that have been indoctrinated into the Bella Vista way and are happy to receive paternal direction. They are very positive, loyal to the brand and down-to-earth enthusiastic folk.

While other moteliers seem to be turning their back on Qualmark NZ's Enviro Award in droves, Bella Vista are embracing it as a group marketing initiative in the hope of attracting the mystical swarms of budget-conscious road warriors with an environmental conscious.

The Qualmark Enviro Award was a compulsive feel-good initiative that was originally embedded into Qualmark's accommodation quality star rating criteria under the Nanny-knows-best culture of the Clark government.

Controversially at the time, the overall quality star rating of accommodation businesses were partly assessed on an accommodation provider's allegiance to environmental and social mantra as part of the overall quality assessment process.

After much angst and hand-wringing, the embedded criteria was unceremoniously extracted from the quality assessment and is now offered as a stand alone accreditation scheme that attracts a separate fee.

While we respected those motel properties that quietly made enviro-choices without being boring, inflicting their views on others and insisting upon the compulsion of others, we were amused with hypocritical accommodation providers at the time that cynically paraded their environmental and social commitment in an attempt to maintain/boost star ratings.

The hard-core pockets of these blow-hards have since deserted Qualmark's Enviro-Award accreditation soon after the compulsion was removed, separate fees were levied and it became apparent that the travelling public simply didn't care.

It will be interesting to see how Bella Vista will market their new environmental credentials as a group proposition. And will this point of difference actually put more-bums-on-beds?
Bella Vista first to achieve across network Enviro Award

Tuesday, 20 November 2012, 10:44 am
Press Release: Tourism New Zealand

Bella Vista first to achieve Qualmark Enviro Award across entire network

Qualmark has this week named Bella Vista as the first accommodation network to achieve an Enviro Award across its entire group.

Bella Vista has 28 locations nationwide, consisting of 27 motels and a hotel, and has been a member of Qualmark since 1998.

Qualmark’s General Manager Tim Keeling says achieving Qualmark Enviro Awards across all members is a significant achievement.

“While all Qualmark accredited businesses meet environmental and social responsibility criteria – achieving an Enviro Award recognises their additional commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

“Bella Vista’s ability to meet the criteria across their network shows their commitment to achieving and maintaining its environmental performance across all areas of its operations.”

Commenting on the achievement, Bella Vista Chairman Tim Henderson says; “We are extremely proud that Bella Vista has been able to achieve an Enviro Award across our entire accommodation network throughout New Zealand.

“Ensuring we use our resources well, manage waste and minimise our impact on the environment not only helps us manage our business costs, but also benefits the communities we work in. We have a sustainability action plan in place which all of our motels and hotel follow to ensure we maintain this rating.”

Launched in 2008, the Qualmark Enviro Award assesses businesses in the areas of waste management, energy and water efficiency, environmental conservation and community support.

Operators that perform highly are able to apply to display Qualmark Enviro Award logos, with this achievement recognised through levels of Gold, Silver and Bronze.

“Sitting alongside the Qualmark quality assurance logo, these ratings help international visitors identify tourism businesses that have made a substantial commitment to responsible tourism practices – making it easier for travellers to select high quality and sustainable places to stay, things to do, and ways to get around,” says Mr Keeling.
Source: Click HERE

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