Travelife Member won the first Kuoni Water Champions

The Baobab Beach Resort has received an award which recognizes the transformation of their approach towards water management, as they have put in place exemplary practices.

In many holiday destinations tourists tend to consume much more water than the local population. This can lead to conflict over this precious resource.

A survey by the World Travel Market showed that 53 per cent of hotel managers felt their business was already impacted by water shortages. Therefore Kuoni decided to start to address this problem.

Kenya is a country with limited water and the tourism industry here often has access to better quality and a greater quantity of water than local residents. Despite new public pipelines, water supplies are over-stretched throughout the region, the supply is still intermittent and often relies on groundwater reserves, many of which are salty.

Acknowledging these issues, Kuoni kick-started their new Water Champions Award in Kenya. The Baobab Beach Resort – a Travelife Gold-awarded member – was one of the first hotels to take part in the programme. The project requires hotels to put in place a Water Management Plan, a step-by- step procedure guided by materials produced by Kuoni.

Water Champion Award Ceremony -
Sibylle Baumgartner (Kuoni),
Bernard Nduati (Baobab Beach Resort)

Within this plan the Baobab Beach Resort had to ensure that there is a ‘water team’ to help shape the vision for the future and change the thinking and actions of the hotel team relating to water use. The staff now receive specific water-related training. Also, measures are put in place to monitor, assess and reduce water consumption in the resort. Guests are also encouraged to take part in water saving activities.

A state-of-the-art water management system filters and cleans waste water for use in irrigating the hotel’s extensive gardens. The resort also features an advanced eco-friendly sewage disposal system to ensure the property meets environmentally acceptable standards.

In addition, a water project has been developed with the local community. Baobab Beach Resort has chosen to work with the Kwale School of Disability to support them in collecting rain water. The hotel’s team helped by installing gutters and water storage devices, but also by repairing their roof and improving the building.

Staff with award on site

Kuoni’s assessment of the Baobab Beach Resort was that they have made substantial progress with the implementation of their Water Management Plan since signing up in May 2013. The water team is well supported from all levels within the company, and therefore they were able to achieve a great deal and emphasise the benefits of the project to the other staff and managers.

In addition to showing their Travelife award, Baobab Beach Resort is now able to promote their efforts in water management – an important marketing tool due to visitors becoming ever-more conscious of the impact of their holiday. They also have the advantage of considerable financial savings by reducing water bills and maintenance costs.

Other hotels or resorts interested in following in the footsteps of the Baobab Beach Resort’s great achievements can follow this great example. The successful Kuoni Water Champion Award scheme is now being introduced in Thailand.

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