A growing stable of accommodation providers in Australia is on a mission to change the carbon impact of holidays by switching en masse to renewable energy in a bid to attract eco-conscious holiday makers as reported by The Guardian
Hospitality operators are cottoning on to the fact that the natural features that draw tourists in also have the potential to power their hotels and hostels from solar and tidal capacity of beach getaways to the wind and geothermal power potential of mountainside hot spring resorts. Dozens of destination have taken up solar PV in the past years, such as Lady Elliot Island Eco resort in Queensland, which promotes its solar as part of an effort to save the Great barrier Reef that guests are coming to visit. This also includes the 1.8 megawatts of solar panels installed at Ayers Rock resort with the financial help from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Hidden away in the Bass Strait separating the mainland Australia from Tasmania, the eco-tourism destination Flinders Island is installing a tidal energy system to make the most of the waves that batter its coastline. Representing the wind energy sector is Wolgan valley resort up in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, where a turbine pump water for guests from the nearby dam.
According to the managing director of THEnergy Sustainable Consulting Thomas Hillig, he said that more far-flung holiday destinations of Australia are leading the way for a very practical reason that guests don’t want their downtime to be disrupted by any noisy, small-scale fossil fuel power sources.
More accessible and financially high-end urban accommodations with the budget to do so are also going green like the solar thermal-powered Accor Group hotels located at the Sydney Olympic park.
Outside the high-end and luxury market, hostel chain YHA Australia has found a way to invest in renewables on a budget by following the carbon footsteps of airlines that allow their customers the option of paying extra to offset the emissions of flights. Tom Smith of YHA, says that guest can opt to chip in towards the chain’s sustainability efforts. Donations from the fund have gone to installing solar hot water systems at YHA locations in Adelaide central, Cairns central, Byron Bay, Glebe Point, Alice Springs, Melbourne Metro and Grampians Eco Lodge.
Featured Image Credit: The Guardian
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