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From Challenges to Solutions: An Analysis of Water-Related Risks and Action Steps for Asia-Pacific Lodging Industry

March 22, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

A new white paper provides an in-depth look at the impacts of water stress and scarcity on tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

The paper, From Challenges to Solutions: Providing the Business Case, details the business imperative for addressing water stress and scarcity and outlines a comprehensive set of recommendations to drive significant change in hotel operations. The paper was developed by experts from Ecolab, EC3 Global, EarthCheck and Griffith University.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to welcome 500 million tourists in 2014. This influx of visitors puts pressure on a region that already is experiencing serious water stress in 75 percent of its countries, presenting significant challenges to the rapidly growing tourism industry.

“As water stress and scarcity increases, so too will the cost of water, and the expectation and impetus for more sustainable water use by the hospitality industry,” said Dr. Raj Rajan, vice president, RD&E, and global sustainability technical leader for Ecolab, and a major contributor to the white paper. “This white paper will promote water stewardship within the Asia-Pacific hospitality industry by providing hotel operators with practical solutions to reduce water consumption and costs within their operations.”

The white paper outlines a comprehensive set of recommendations to drive significant change in hospitality operations, from auditing water use and risk, to planning and implementing technical solutions in bathrooms, guest rooms, pools and gardens, to changing behavior of staff and visitors.

“With this data we can help facilities understand how much water they are using, understand their footprint, and provide benchmarks, monitoring tools and practical insights to guide them toward improved operational performance,” said Stewart Moore, contributor to the white paper and EarthCheck CEO. “Major changes are required that involve leaps in the way we use water and how we deploy technology.”

The paper utilizes case studies to demonstrate tangible examples of water-savings strategies implemented by hotel operators, and the positive environmental impact of these stewardship practices.

The paper also outlines the connection between energy and water in hotel properties, and the challenges this interdependency will likely create for the tourism industry. To address these impacts, the authors of the white paper call for a holistic look at both water and energy footprints, as well as for additional research to identify solutions to minimize impacts in both areas.

“Ecolab co-sponsored this white paper to help the Asia-Pacific hospitality industry reduce the operational risks associated with increased water scarcity,” said Michael Hickey, Ecolab executive vice president and president, Global Institutional. “The hospitality industry in this region and throughout the world can be at the forefront of water stewardship to help preserve this limited resource.”

From Challenges to Solutions is the second white paper on tourism and water released by these authors, and was developed with information from hotel operators in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as benchmarking data from the international EarthCheck Certification database. Download the white paper on tourism and water here.

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