Original article ( “Alila Hotels and Resorts sets new Eco-Luxe Standards in the Maldives” was written by Vicky Karantzavelou and published on in September 2008. The article can be found under the following link:

The article informs the readers about Alila Hotels and Resorts developing their first sustainable tourism resort in the Maldives, called Alila Villas Hadahaa. Supposed to open in 2009, this will be the first resort in the Maldives to commit to the standards of Green Globe due to its design and construction stages.

Essay by Eva-Maria Störmer
Master in Tourism Destination Management student 2008/2009

The Alila Hotels and Resorts currently manages seven hotels and resorts in Bali, Jakarta, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines. Many of the properties are well-known in the hospitality sector for their contributions to environmentally sustainable tourism.
Now, selecting some of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Alila Hotels and Resorts is developing Alila Villas in Bali, India, Vietnam, Indochina, Oman and the Gulf regions. For their first project in the Maldives, the company already earned the Green Globe ‘Building Planning and Design Standard’ Certified Status in August 2008. This award was issued by Green Globe, which is an international benchmarking and certification programme for the travel and tourism industry.
Alila did so by sticking to Green Globe’s ‘Building Planning and Design Standard’ benchmarks as well as their own philosophy of luxury living in natural environments.  When looking on the company’s webpage their concept becomes obvious:
“Alila Villas represents a new generation of exclusive timeless properties that blend the ultimate in luxury with innovative lifestyle. Designed to fully respect the natural environment, the villa resorts are selectively developed to grace some of the most spectacular destinations in exciting resort locations.”
In the case of the Maldives this means the following: the design goals for the hotel were to protect the environment and be as energy efficient as possible. To achieve these objectives, the building will be set up to best deal with the tropical climate and natural environment of the island. Other aspects were
•    rainwater harvesting
•    waste treatment plants
•    high roofed areas and open ceilings
•    cross ventilation in all indoor spaces
•    deep roof overhangs and windows shading
•    making use of many natural materials, including coconut, timber and coral stones found in the region
Moreover, as only about 20% of the property will be built-up large areas of the site are designated for biodiversity protection, where native species will be selected and reintroduced. All in all the whole idea is to “blend the ultimate in luxury with innovative lifestyle” and thereby reduce the environmental footprint.
I chose this article although it might not deal with climate change directly. However, I believe that this approach by the hotel group is a reaction to the climate and environmental change in the world and the awareness of the customers. Moreover, it relates to the destination development aspect of the topic, in which the accommodation sector plays an essential role.
Tourists want to feel ‘environmentally friendly’ when going on holiday and after having paid 20€ extra for a flight in order to plant a tree somewhere – what else can you do? Pay another 670€ per night! Because this is what e.g. the Pool Villa costs in their hotel in Thailand during the peak season. Being environmentally friendly has its price and only building the new resort in the Maldives costs the company $40 Million.
One might put forward possible negative side effects of eco-friendly hotels. Ecolodges are most often built in remote areas and this presents a number of challenges to conservation as well as community development. If lodges do not follow their own principles so strictly they can have very negative impacts on biodiversity in the surrounding areas (e. by keeping wild animals in captivity, dump¬ing untreated sewage, neglecting to recycle or properly dispose of waste materials, wasting energy and water resources, and generating air and noise pollution) .
Furthermore, the community benefits may be limited if the lodges do not promote stakeholder participation, including the employment and training of local people, local ownership, purchase of food, crafts and other sup¬plies from local vendors. Additionally, in some cases, the failure to include local people may lead to conflict or confrontation within communities.
Still, I believe that the concept of the eco-hotels is fascinating and admirable and obviously there are loads of potential positive impacts as well, ranging from contributing to conservation and community develop¬ment to generating financing for public parks and conserva¬tion efforts.
Moreover, those people who can effort the rooms can enjoy them with a ‘green conscience’ and looking at the pictures of the resorts, they are to be envied.
As for the future of eco-lodges it can be said that the demand is expected to increase by an average of ten percent per annum over the next several decades, thus the future looks green for Alila Hotels and Resorts.