Sunday, October 15, 2017

GCC travellers increasingly demand eco-friendly luxury

The demand for eco-friendly tourism in the Middle East is on the rise, with a total of 327,551 GCC tourists recorded visiting Switzerland between January and November 2016, generating 920,398 room nights with an average spend of $430 per day.

Visitors from Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 50 per cent of GCC overnight stays, followed by the UAE.

GCC visitors spend more per day in Switzerland than in any other region in the world.

Robert P. Herr, general manager of Switzerland’s famous Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort Lake Lucerne, said: “Environmentally-friendly tourism is already resonating, particularly with Middle East travellers, given that sustainability is at the forefront of many developments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi."

Powered by renewables, many of the resort’s most sustainable features were first implemented by its founders Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer, back in 1888.

Now, following a nine-year, $569 million restoration, Franz and Josef’s progressive ideas have been restored and enhanced with a number of modern day innovations.

Tackling climate change and reducing the demand on natural, local resources, Bürgenstock Resort uses water from Lake Lucerne to heat and cool its buildings, covering 100 per cent of the cooling and 80 per cent of heating requirements, year-round, with the additional 20 per cent generated through Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), during Switzerland’s coldest months.  

All energy, including that used to pump the water, is generated at the regional station in the Canton of Nidwald and is certified 100 per cent CO2-neutral.

Herr said: “From the first time Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne was imagined, its founders realised their responsibility to the local environment and the principles they instilled were paramount during the recent nine-year restoration process.

“For example, 25,000-cubic-meter of excavation material has been used to recreate the historic 1928 golf course and the driving range has been rebuilt with an additional 40,000-cubic-meter of the same substance. While the façades of the Waldhotel have been made out of stone baskets with stones from the excavation instead of concrete walls. Reusing reclaimed materials in the project reduced the number of truck journeys in the surrounding valley by 18,000 – equivalent to nine circumnavigations of the planet!”

Perched 500 meters above Lake Lucerne, the kilometre-long resort is accessible by shuttle boat from Lucerne and comprises four hotels: the five-star superior Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, the five-star Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, the four-star Palace Hotel & Conferences and the three-star Taverne 1879.
The complex features 383 rooms and suites as well as a Healthy & Medical Excellence Centre, 12 bars and restaurants, 67 residence suites and a 10,000m2 Alpine Spa. Well-positioned for luxury Mice travellers, the resort has a conference centre with a total of 31 rooms, which can accommodate up to 800 guests in addition to a wide range of leisure activities including golf, a cinema, mountain biking, ice skating and tennis.

The resort also promotes guest health, with the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence staffed by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, scientists and therapists, devoted to catering to the healthcare needs of guests and patients. The portfolio of treatments offered to guests is designed for medical and wellbeing tourists requiring medical check-ups, beauty, lifestyle and treatments to support healthy ageing.

At the Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, opening this month, guests will be able to enjoy the healing properties of the local water in their choice of three pools, or by relaxing in any of the saunas, whirlpool baths, Hammam steam room, 15 treatment rooms or three private spas.

“Sustainability is certainly something Arab travellers are becoming more and more conscious of. But they do not have to give up on a trip’s luxury in order to remain environmentally aware. We combine luxury, health and leisure while being kind to the environment at the same time," Herr said. - TradeArabia News Service

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