A total of 22 hotels in Killarney have signed a novel sustainability charter as a core principle of their business with an initial aim of cutting their carbon emissions by 25 per cent.
The pact, the first of its kind in the hotel industry in Ireland, is aimed at the implementation and operation of a single use plastic free environment in their respective businesses which account for 2,500 of the 3,500 hotel bedrooms in the town.
The collaboration was officially launched by Minister of State for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, prior to the annual National Tourism Forum Let’s Talk Tourism conference in Killarney at the weekend.
The aim of the group is not only to reduce carbon emissions but to share best
practice when it comes to sustainability. The hotels involved have individually and collectively set about reducing and eliminating single use plastic from their businesses and they anticipate that, going forward, several other hotels will sign up to the pact.
“We live in the most beautiful part of Ireland, visited and much admired by people from all over the world. As business leaders, we need to step up and work towards protecting our environment for future generations,” said Marcus Treacy, Operations Manager of the Killarney Park and Ross Hotels who is spearheading the sustainability charter group.
“This is just the start. We want like-minded people and businesses to join us in this common goal,” he added.
Addressing the National Tourism Forum, Mr Treacy acknowledged that hotel leisure centres can consume up to 30 per cent of the energy used in a property but taking steps like favouring green electricity and ensuring better ventilation can help get the balance right.
Meanwhile, in addition to jumping from 37th position to enter the top 20, Kerry has been confirmed as the most improved destination in the GDS-Index which is a collaborative international organisation ranking business tourism destinations in terms of how sustainable they are for hosting meetings, incentives, conferences and events.
Becky Hargrove, Manager of Kerry Convention Bureau said: “As a small regional destination in the south west of Ireland, we are absolutely thrilled. This was achieved by demonstrating significant sustainability improvements, essentially doubling our score on last year”.