On July 17, 2012, Hilton Colon Quito was honored with the Sustainable Tourism Certification awarded by Smart Voyager. “This prize is a result of the efforts of our entire work team and their dedication to our policy of social responsibility,” commented Patricio Jimenez, general manager. “The challenge now is to maintain our certification and unify forces to continue excellence.”
This award recognizes the hotel’s responsible practices, such as an ambitious recycling program, energy saving operations, and an aquifer water tank that integrates rain water. Colon also encourages to participate in responsible practices by not changing towels.
With the objective of promoting responsible vacation destinations, the certification agency Smart Voyager helped create the Sustainable Tourism Certification in 2000. According to its website, the program “endeavors to convert the concept of sustainability into something real, practical and necessary in the context of competitive market, with an aim to improve the relationships of tourism with its surroundings.” Consequently, the importance of this recognition in the travel sector has grown such that UNESCO commended it on a world scale in 2002 as a means to guarantee tourist operations as models of sustainability.
In order to achieve Smart Voyager verification the hotel fulfilled a series of requirements that included rigorous interviews, field visits and documentation that promises a safe environment. This certification guarantees that the hotel has accomplished an engaged relationship with society and the environment in addition to meeting the arduous quality standards established by Hilton Hotels & Resorts. While the certification has generally been awarded to Amazon eco-lodges and Galapagos cruise ships, this marks the first time that a five-star hotel has received the honor. Such an accomplishment speaks to the dedication of Hilton Colon Quito for maintaining a sustainability model in more than 250 rooms, six restaurants and 23 meeting halls.
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