Palawan resorts cited for being eco-friendly


The province of Palawan earns another feather – particularly a green one – to its cap as the two El Nido Resorts have claimed a spot in Travel + Leisure magazine’s 20 top eco-sensitive hotels. This list appears in the January 2008 issue of the publication’s South Asia edition.

The magazine included El Nido’s hotels in Miniloc and Lagen Islands among the roster of “conservation-minded places on a mission to protect the local environment.”

According to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, “Palawan has always been touted ‘the final frontier’ because of the wealth of natural  attractions found in and around this island group. It is encouraging to know that our establishments are taking responsibility to help uphold the integrity of the area.” 

Travel + Leisure is owned by the American Express Co. and read by over 4.6 million high-end travelers. Other than reaching the US tourist, the magazine has editions for the travel markets in Mexico , Turkey, China, Australia, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The publication teamed with Washington-based nonprofit organization Conservation International in finding out what hotels, resorts and spas are doing to conserve water and energy, reduce waste materials and support their environment and local communities.

Travel + Leisure’s 20 Favourite Green Hotels highlighted El Nido Resort’s active participation in protecting Palawan’s giant-clam gardens and supporting the reintroduction of endangered Philippine cockatoos.

“Surrounded by 123,000 acres of protected forests, jagged limestone cliffs, and hidden lagoons, travelers to sister resorts El Nido Lagen Island and El Nido Miniloc Island can take their pick  of daily activities: bird-watching, kayaking, rock climbing, or simply watching fish swim below one of the guest cottages-on-stilts, which are set above the crystalline ocean,” the article further described.

El Nido’s five-star accommodations join other exceptional lodging with a heart for the ecosystem, culture and residents in their location. Also mentioned are a Colorado ranch that protects American wildlife, a game reserve in South  Africa, a Tanzanian coral and marine sanctuary, an electricity-free skiing and hiking resort in Switzerland, a lodge owned by the indigenous Masai tribe of Kenya, and an Italian inn with a pastoral and agricultural bent.

Durano called on other tourism establishments in the Philippines to take their cue from El Nido and “Adopt an eco-friendly mindset. A huge part of sustainable development is providing opportunities  for travelers to experience the natural wonders the country is blessed with, and seeing that the daily run of business creates minimal impact on the environment.”

The tourism chief called for greater collaboration between the private and government sectors to encourage the industry’s long-term growth, especially in light of the current rise in visitor arrivals.

Palawan was earlier categorized as “doing well” in the fourth Destination Scorecard survey conducted by the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations. The review observed that while pollution poses a threat to the diverse and unique marine life surrounding the islands, conservation efforts have been improving in the recent months.

The province has also received praises from Conde Nast Traveler magazine, which voted its sugary beaches, coves and islets as the tourist destination with the Best Beaches Overall in Asia .

Likewise, the aquatic views offered by the sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island are listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s top 10 best scuba sites in the world.

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