VICTORIA Falls’ Ilala Lodge Hotel observed the World Environment Day in style last week by embracing the green tourism initiative, which encourages eco-friendly activities. Also called responsible tourism or sustainable or eco-tourism, green tourism refers to environmentally-friendly tourism activities that have low negative impact on the surroundings.
Modern tourism trends encourage eco-friendly activities as a way of keeping resorts not only in their natural state, but to reduce chances of pollution and violation of any facility that has to do with tourism.
The country adopted the green tourism concept a few years ago amid calls for tourism players to play a part in light of climate change that is threatening economies.
Victoria Falls was two years ago declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) whose focus is tourism hence the need for the industry to be eco-friendly.
As part of the celebrations, Ilala Lodge management took a leading stand and established a new environmentally-focused committee christened “The Green Team” to advance sustainable tourism practices in the country’s prime resort town.
The day is observed on June 5 every year.
Team leader, Ms Amy Clements said each department is represented in the committee to inculcate an eco-friendly environment to all workers.
“The Green Team committee aims to deliver practical solutions towards more environmentally-friendly practises.
“We have kick-started the initiative by presenting a sustainable Waste Management Plan to Greenline Africa and Victoria Falls Municipality.
“We’re committed to being as ‘eco-friendly’ as possible in an effort to preserve and protect our surroundings. By establishing a team of employees passionate about their environment, we hope this takes us a step closer to reaching our ultimate goal of the Green Tourism Gold membership,” said Ms Clements in a statement.
Ilala Lodge holds a silver membership for keeping environment clean and commitment of tourism businesses that actively work to become more sustainable.
The hotel works closely with the municipality and other partners in waste management activities and recycling project, with a view to ensuring correct disposal of waste and recycled goods.
Another team member Mr Tapiwa Masawi concurred: “We look forward to inspiring recycling practices not only within the hotel but also as an organisational culture. It is our hope that employees will be conscious of our sustainable procedures while at work and also carry these over into their personal lives”.
As the country forges ahead with clean-up activities launched by President Mnangagwa last year, the committee will be active participants in the National Clean-up starting today.
One of its goals is to weed out the poisonous lantana camara, which has invaded the Rainforest and is dangerous to wildlife.
Ilala Lodge Hotel is a family-run hotel with 73 stylish and well-appointed rooms offering the ultimate in comfort and luxury.
It is located closer to the Rainforest giving a clear view and spray of the waterfall and is well known for its Palm Restaurant which is famous for its gourmet cuisine and is rated “Excellent” on Trip Advisor.–BBC