Travel & Living

Say Hello to Regenerative Tourism

In a climate where nations are working hard towards a more sustainable future, hotels are not far behind. Select hotels now aren't just focusing on sustaining the environment but helping to improve it. This is the very premise of regenerative travel, an important trend that focuses on carbon-negative initiatives, wildlife conservation and collaborating with local communities for the greater good. Regenerative travel is a vision that started to come alive in the post-pandemic tourism industry. And though we have a long way to go, this is a great start.

The Farm at San Benito, Philippines:

Multi-awarded eco-luxury holistic medical wellness resort The Farm at San Benito has been playing a significant role inleading the way for guests from around the world with life-transformative healing holidays.

As an eco-socially responsible business and a genuine green destination located in Batangas, just a 90-minute drive from Manila, The Farm minimizes its carbon footprint by serving farm-to-table, plant-based, whole-food vegan cuisine. This not only supports physical health but also contributes to environmental well-being. 

The resort focuses on local and organic produce as part of its sustainable practices and has designated plots for growing local medicinal herbs used in treatments.

Following a strict farm-to-skin concept, The Farm utilizes all-natural ingredients freshly picked from its own garden.  The resort's commitment to environmental sustainability also extends to supporting the local ecosystem and promoting eco-tourism in the region. Above all, The Farm at San Benito is dedicated to supporting, educating, and uplifting the lives of nearby communities by providing livelihood opportunities and maintaining a clean and green environment. Holding the essence of inclusivity close to its heart, the Farm has shown deep commitment to promoting Halal Tourism, following the country’s win of the Emerging Muslim-Friendly Destination Award earlier this year.

With healing at its core of the resort’s value system, the belief is that true healing comes from addressing the root causes of condition, rather than simply treating symptoms. The team of integrative medical doctors, supported by licensed health professionals, work together to create personalized programs to assist guests in attaining optimal health, vitality, and longevity. Through a combination of holistic healing therapies, nourishing cuisine, mindful movement, functional fitness activities, as well as immersive wellness workshops, every opportunity is seized to foster a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, with a rhythmic balance of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. All of this takes place in a lush green environment, complemented by the genuine and heartfelt service provided by the Filipino hospitality professionals.

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Costa Navarino, Greece

W Costa Navarino is the first W Escape in Greece that opened last year at Costa Navarino, the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean. Set along a 450-meter-long sandy beach overlooking the uninhabited island of Sfaktiria in the protected Bay of Navarino – one of the largest natural harbours in Greece, the beachfront property features 246 stylish rooms, suites, and villas.

At the heart of Costa Navarino’s philosophy lies a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility, aiming at a sustainable tourism development in harmony with the natural environment and local communities of Messinia.Costa Navarino adheres to strict environmental management guidelines, having environmental protection as a top priority from construction through to operation.

Below are some of the key areas of activity and projects:

A. Preserving the landscape and biodiversity of Messinia (a region with one of the highest biodiversity levels in Europe).

The preservation of this biodiversity and the protection of the important habitats in the vicinity of Costa Navarino is a key element of the development.

1) Biggest Olive tree-transplanting programme in Europe

Costa Navarino has embarked on a challenging program to uproot olive and other trees and temporarily plant them in a specially prepared reception area. As construction progresses throughout the various sites, these trees are replanted in their final location on-site, in an effort to preserve what has been part of the landscape for hundreds of years.The program has a success rate approaching 100% with more than 6,900 olive trees replanted so far. Additionally, more than 9,900 new indigenous trees and more than 1,089,000 endemic shrubs of different species have been planted so far.

2) The Gialova lagoon is home to a unique and diverse bird population that includes 271 different species. Costa Navarino is supporting research projects on the lagoon's avifauna and the impact of climate change on the ecosystem of the lagoon through the Navarino Environmental Observatory.

3) NEO has also partnered with the Department of Sciences and Mathematics, Environmental Studies/ Biomedical Science Areas of the American College of Greece (Deree), on an ongoing project to characterize the population of the endemic and critically endangered species of the African chameleon in Gialova lagoon, in additional to an extensive monitoring and protection program for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in cooperation with Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.

B. Waste Management

1). The integrated solid and liquid waste management system of Costa Navarino is based on waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Part of the waste management system involves the operation of a large-scale wastewater-treatment facility within the premises.  In 2022, Costa Navarino managed to reduce the use of single-use plastics by 38%, compared to its usage in 2019, aiming to limit single-use plastics across its resorts and operations in partnership with WWF Greece.

2). Sustainable water management. Three reservoirs were specifically designed and constructed, fully integrated into the surrounding landscape, which are filled by a very small percentage of the excess runoff from local rivers, just before flowing into the sea. This water, together with highly treated recycled water from the wastewater plant, is more than enough to cover the irrigation needs of Costa Navarino for the whole season.

3) Reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. Costa Navarino has reduced emissions by 80% for 2022 (compared to 2019), in line with the destination’s continuous commitment to sustainable tourism development. The reduction comes from initiatives such as electricity supply from renewable sources, the reduction of LPG use, as well as the reduction of energy consumption / per stay. The practices fall within the framework of an overall decarbonization strategy at Costa Navarino, aiming to achieve net-zero operations for the destination’s facilities by 2050.

Costa Navarino comprises a number of distinct sites featuring 5-star luxury hotels, private residences, signature golf courses, sports & leisure facilities, as well as a wide range of year-round activities for adults and children which are unique in the Mediterranean.

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