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Millennials Demand Green Luxury


Luxury hotels go green as millennials demand sustainable travel options.

The recent opening of three five-star eco-luxury resorts – Soneva Jani, Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat, and Alila Anji – is fueling a growing trend in sustainable luxury travel.

Sustainable luxury was long considered an oxymoron, until recent shifts in the hospitality industry responding to trends in luxury took green travel from niche to necessary.

What began with small efforts to reduce waste, such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers, evolved to include efforts that mirror the three pillars of sustainable development.

For sustainable luxury hotels, the rewards are imminent. Eco-conscious millennials are gaining spending power, and their values are driving trends in luxury travel.
“Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues, and expect brands to not only manage their impact but communicate it,” says Diana Verde Nieto. She is co-founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, an organisation that recognises “luxury lifestyle brands that not only take pride in their craftsmanship, service and design; but also care for their employees and suppliers and work hard to protect our planet”.

Serving water that is bottled on site, Soneva Maldives recycles about 80 per cent of its waste, with glass sent to its studio on Soneva Fushiok where a resident artist creates glass sculptures.

Alila Resorts in China puts responsibility at the core of sustainability and aims to “be a good neighbour. Being responsible means that, while we are preserving the lifestyle and the uniqueness of the destination, we must always remember that we have to minimise our impact on the environment and respect the local community.”

Alila Anji is a luxury resort in Anji, China. Anji is known as the first National Ecological County in China, and the Alila resorts are fueling a growing trend in sustainable luxury travel. The county was recognised by the UN in 2012 “for turning Anji city and its environs into one of the world’s greenest cities”, the UN Habitat website states.
Alila Anji is built using wood, stone and bamboo indigenous to the area, and is designed in the likeness of a traditional Chinese village.

Alila Bali’s newest waste policy mandates each of its Bali resorts to reach a “zero-to-landfill status” by implement a composting system and starting a permaculture organic garden.