Speaking at the recent 7th Delphi Economic Forum during a session focused on the future of tourism, Brittin referred to Google’s role in supporting tourism enterprises in their aim to accelerate their sustainable development.
While in discussion with Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, Brittin said that the Kallichoron is an example of a hotel that has been focusing on sustainable practices.
“The Kallichoron on Astypalea – an art hotel – has had sustainable practices for years (solar panels, eco-friendly detergents, etc.) and they work with us to tell the world about it. They use Google analytics and advertising so they can reach people who are looking for their products and in that way they grew their bookings by 14 percent year-on-year,” Google’s president of EMEA Business & Operations said.
Situated in the Chora of Astypalea, the Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel was recently included in the Success Stories of the Grow with Google program, which offers training and tools to help business growth.
Through digital marketing and Google Analytics, Kallichoron managed to communicate the hotel’s sustainable concept exactly towards the desired market: travelers interested in sustainability.
“Many businesses continue to consider sustainability as something that is costly. In our experience, sustainability is not only a remarkable move in favour of the environment. Adopting sustainable practices saves costs as it promotes responsible consumption, but also it is a signifier of a high quality standard,” Kallichoron’s co-owner, Maria Mavroudi, told GTP Headlines.
Kallichoron follows the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and focuses on promoting well-being for all ages; careful management; responsible consumption; efficient use of raw materials and energy; protecting the environment and natural resources; recycling; protecting the island’s cultural identity and cultural heritage; and embarking on collaborations and synergies.
“Respect for the environment is an attitude of life for us and an integral part of our philosophy here at Kallichoron,” the hotel’s co-owner and sustainability officer, Carolina Alkalai told GTP Headlines.
“At the same time, we adopt ‘green’ practices to save natural resources in perfect harmony with the natural environment of Astypalea,” she added.
Kallichoron’s benefits from going ‘green’
Carrying out an extensive environmental management program, Kallichoron managed to succeed a number of significant benefits, such as diversifying its business and attracting responsible travelers with social and environmental concerns; establishing a relationship of trust with its guests by offering a higher quality tourist product; strengthening the brand name “Kallichoron” by increasing its reputation as a responsible company.
Moreover, the hotel gained access to financial instruments available for companies that focus on sustainable development.
Kallichoron’s philosophy is also reflected through the Green Key international eco-label it has acquired for the environmental policy it has been following since 2015.
“Until today, Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel is the only hotel with an eco-label on the island,” Alkalai underlined.
Kallichoron is also the sole hotel in Greece that introduced a Carbon Footprint Calculator (CFC) in cooperation with Wayaj for guests to reduce their carbon footprint when travelling. Wayaj is a travel app designed to explore and book sustainable and socially responsible vacations around the world.
Kallichoron’s targets for 2022
Kallichoron’s priority is to continuously save energy, water and conduct proper waste management with a view to reduce its carbon footprint for years to come.
According to Alkalai, the hotel’s targets for 2022 include: a 2 percent water consumption reduction in the area of Water Conservation; selling re-usable cups for drinks in the area of Materials & Resources; cooking oil recycling in the area of Waste Management; and achieving a 5 percent energy reduction in the area of Energy Management.
“The benefits of adopting green practices are many and include promoting environmental awareness to guests and saving natural resources on the island by enhancing sustainable development,” she said.
It should be mentioned that a highlight of Kallichoron is its “Grandma’s Breakfast” menu, which offers guests a customized breakfast tray with selections of their choice. All products are local.
Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel has received numerous awards and accolades for being an innovative leader in sustainability practices, running a responsible business, and its safety and security program in Astypalea Island.