Travelife — the international sustainability certification scheme — assesses a property’s performance in managing their social, environmental and economic impacts. The labelling scheme helps hotels cut costs and increase sales, by improved sustainability.
In order to receive the Travelife Gold certification, a property must meet (or exceed) their 150 sustainability criteria. This includes environmental issues, such as minimizing waste and use of energy, water and chemicals; and working with the local community. Hotels must also demonstrate how they are helping support local businesses and protect local traditions and wildlife.
Some of the key actions completed by Alex Beach Hotel & Bungalows in order to achieve this prestigious award include supporting the local community from an economic perspective by combining tourism with agriculture and sustainability.
The Passalis family (owners of the hotel) is currently growing a considerable amount of local varieties of fruit and vegetables on the hotel grounds with respect to the traditional cultivation methods. In the area of the hotel there are at least 300 olive trees of the local variety Olea Europaea Koroneiki. Koroneiki is a trademark for Greek gastronomy since its oil’s variety have ranked it among the extra virgins category with unique features such as exceptionally low acidity, fruity bittersweet taste and deep bright green color. The extra virgin oil produced by the hotel’s trees is bottled, stored and mainly used for the needs of the Alex Beach kitchen.
Through the utilisation of land for agricultural purposes the local community benefits economically by the employment of locals to cultivate the land and by advertising and promoting local quality products to foreign markets.
In addition, the hotel’s activity is a successful means of promoting the area’s culture through Greek gastronomy with respect to the environment.
The Alex Beach Hotel & Bungalows also tries to involve guests in its sustainability activities through organized talks and educational tours in the cultivation areas. There, guests are informed about the uses and special characteristics of each variety.
Apart from the direct beneficial environmental impact of growing trees and cultivating the land the whole activity serves a sustainable cause as well since it promotes preservation of local varieties of fruit and vegetables.
Other benefits include the reduction in environmental pollution caused by the transport and packaging of goods and the organic waste compost for cultivation usage.