P H I L I P S B U R G – – S t . Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), the largest business representative on the island, recently donated US $473 to Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) – St. Maarten for brochures describing the Green Key eco-label, which EPIC operates locally.
SHTA Executive Director Anenda Zaandam also met EPIC Board Member Alexandra Halley at Seaside Nature Park to discuss sustainable tourism partnerships.
The international Green Key award is designated for hotels and other types of accommodation which meet strict environmental and safety criteria. This year, the first Green Key for St. Maarten was awarded to Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel. This has inspired interest from other hoteliers. The specific criteria which must be met can be found at EPIC’s website: www. epicislands.org.
EPIC President Natalia Collier said: “The SHTA has been a key partner in establishing Green Key on St. Maarten and we are grateful for the organisation’s ongoing support for sustainable tourism.”
Green Key is the fastest growing eco-label for tourism facilities. It is owned and internationally operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an independent non-profit organisation. From left: SHTA Executive Director Anenda Zaandam and EPIC Board Member Alexandra Halley meeting at Seaside Nature Park. EPIC has been a member of FEE since 2008 and is the National Operator of the Green Key and Blue Flag for Beach and Marina programmes on St. Maarten.+
Internationally, Green Key establishments report many benefits such as savings on water and energy usage, waste reduction, a noticeably better environment for guests and staff, an improved environmental image, marketing advantages and increased activity and sales.