SINGLE-USE PLASTICS BANNED BY GRUPO XCARET
Grupo Xcaret, committed to sustainable and socially responsible tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, invites visitors, collaborators and employees alike to join them on their new initiative.
The group has announced that all of its parks have been free from single-use plastics as of Jan. 1.
“For several years, we have been taking measures to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, while simultaneously strengthening our nature conservation programs. Banning single-use plastic was the next step and is a testament to our commitment to better the environment,” said Elizabeth Lugo, executive director of Parks and Tours Operations for Grupo Xcaret. “We have gained recognition for being the paradigm in sustainable tourism in Mexico, and this new policy reflects our values as a brand and as individuals.”
Effective immediately, no single-use plastic cups or bags will be available at the parks. As an alternative, the parks have installed water fountains and are encouraging visitors to bring their own containers to refill them at certain stations. The souvenir shop offers reusable bottles for sale, and visitors will no longer be given single-use plastic bags for their purchases. Instead, guests can choose to buy a reusable branded bag. The journey towards being completely free from single-use plastic began a few years ago. The parks first replaced plastic straws with biodegradable straws made from avocado seeds, as well as all food containers, that are made from biodegradable sugarcane bagasse. Both straws and food containers are only given upon visitors’ request, to encourage minimal waste.
Grupo Xcaret’s commitment to protecting the environment is evident in several initiatives the organization prioritizes. The company has a solid waste management program that properly disposes of any garbage, making sure it doesn’t make its way into the ocean, cenotes and any other body of water. All organic and inorganic waste gathered by Grupo Xcaret is separated into several collection centres, so that the largest amounts are recycled, and the smallest are sent to sanitary landfills.
TOURISM ARRIVALS HIT MILESTONE IN BELIZE
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is reporting that 2019 was a year of milestone achievement for overnight tourism arrivals.
For the first time in the history of its tourism development, Belize surpassed the half-million mark in overnight arrivals. In 2019, a total of 503,177 overnight visitors were welcomed, an increase of 2.8% from 489,261 in 2018.
The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) endorsed in 2012 has a goal of achieving overnight arrivals of 556,000 by 2030. However, with 10 years remaining, the 2019 figure is representative of already attaining more than 90% of this 2030 vision.
This milestone achievement and ongoing positive growth trend is attributed to many factors, including strategic marketing initiatives promoting Belize globally, enhanced collaboration with local and international partners, significant increase in international direct flights to Belize and the development of tourism resources and destinations across the country.
AC INTRODUCING YEAR-ROUND MONTREAL-BOGOTÁ SERVICE
Air Canada will introduce new year-round service between Montreal and Bogotá, Colombia, beginning June 2.
Flights will operate three times weekly on board Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy service.
“We are very pleased to offer the only non-stop, year-round flights connecting Montreal and Bogotá, two vibrant cities steeped in history and culture.
This new route complements our existing Toronto-Bogotá service, and positions Air Canada as a significant player linking the growing markets between Montreal and Colombia’s capital and largest city. Bogotá is strategically situated to allow for seamless travel across South America through Star Alliance partner Avianca,” said Mark Galardo, vice-president of Network Planning at Air Canada.
SERENADE RENAMES DOMINICAN FLAGSHIP
Serenade Caribbean Hotels has renamed its flagship hotel to Serenade Punta Cana Beach, Spa & Casino Resort, incorporating “casino” into the title.
According to officials, casino, along with the “beach” and “spa,” reflect the value-added amenities that will be available at the new five-star, 603-room, all-inclusive resort scheduled to open in June on Playa Cabeza de Toro in Punta Cana.
“In order to convey a complete vacation experience for guests, we have decided to update the name of our first resort to Serenade Punta Cana Beach, Spa & Casino Resort,” said Aimee Tejeda, director of sales and marketing, adding, “Our guests can have a vacation that encompasses the beauty of the beach and Caribbean Sea, the rejuvenating elements of a spa treatment, and the thrill of nighttime entertainment which includes our luxurious casino. We are designing Serenade Punta Cana to offer five-star amenities at a price that doesn’t break the bank and provides value to our customers.”
Gaming fans can enjoy the glowing lights and modern atmosphere of the 6,800-sq.-ft. casino, which will offer both table games and slot machines. Serenade Punta Cana Beach, Spa & Casino Resort will offer the 9,000-sq.-ft. Etra Spa, which focuses on an avant-garde concept based on health, beauty and well-being combined with extensive and innovative facial and body therapies.
The resort is located 10 minutes from the Punta Cana Airport.
SWOOP LAUNCHES WINNIPEG PUERTO VALLARTA SERVICE
Low-fare carrier Swoop, a subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., has launched its inaugural flight from Winnipeg to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
It is Swoop’s second route from Winnipeg to Mexico, offering travellers the choice to vacation on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos from Manitoba’s capital. Having just launched a series of new routes from YWG, including Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas, Winnipeggers have a total of nine destinations through Swoop’s year-round and seasonal operations.
Winnipeg flights to Puerto Vallarta are now available for booking through until April 21.