Integrating Biodiversity in Hotels & Resorts

Integrating biodiversity considerations in planning and operational decisions for hotel and resort is important not only for the continued viability and conservation of the ecosystems, but also for the long-term financial success of the hotels and resorts. The tourism industry, including the hospitality sector, depends strongly on healthy ecosystems, because those ecosystems – and the wildlife, habitats, landscapes and natural attractions that comprise them – are often the very thing that draws tourists to the destination in the first place.

To specifically address the biodiversity risks associated with the development and operations of hotels and resorts, IUCN has developed the Biodiversity Principles for siting and design of hotels and resorts and guidelines for the sustainable use of biological resources in hotels and resorts.

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Isla Palenque - Panama

Siting and Design of Hotels & Resorts

At the planning stage, the most important issue in determining the level of impact that a hotel will have relates to choices about its siting and design. Choices about the materials that will be used to construct the hotel, where those materials will come from and the physical footprint of the hotel will also influence how significant its impacts will be in the operational stage.

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Queen conch (Strombus gigas)

Hotel & Resort Operations

In their operational stage, hotels and resorts can minimize their impact on biodiversity by using organic and sustainably produced food; reducing, treating and disposing of waste appropriately; making sustainable purchasing decisions and managing gardens with natural-style plantings.

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Caribbean diving

A focus on the Caribbean

In response to the concerns of Caribbean IUCN Members and stakeholders about the impacts of hotel siting and design on coastal ecosystems critical to biodiversity in the Caribbean, IUCN collected evidence of the biodiversity risks and opportunities linked to the development of hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.

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Bonnes pratiques environnementales du tourisme - Archipel des Caraïbes

About this project

The French Ministry for Sustainable Development and the French Overseas Territories Ministry have provided the financial mechanism to IUCN to implement this project aiming at supporting tourism decision makers to more effectively integrate biodiversity priorities into the planning, development and operation of hotels and resorts.

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hotel & resorts publications
  • Hotel publications
Introductory video (English)

Watch it on youtube 
Also in: french, spanish, japanese

With support from:
  • République Française
  • République Française