The concept of sustainability revolves around three basic dimensions namely economic, social and environmental. The idea of long term maintenance of sustainability in the economy, society and environment has gained much popularity in tourism sector, which accounts to about 9% of GDP, 1 in 12 jobs, 5% of investment and 5% of exports according to WTTC. Tourism’s direct contribution towards GDP was US$ 2trillion and the industry generated 98 million jobs. Therefore the sustainability factor in this multifaceted industry is highly beneficial towards creating a greener world, healthy ecosystem, ethical consumerism and a stable society.
During the recently held event “tourism for a sustainable future” at Rio, participants agreed that Tourism’s role in providing jobs and supporting the livelihoods of millions, particularly of women and young people is central to advancing the three pillars of sustainability.
Mysore “Green Hotel” is such an example where one can literally see and experience the whole sustainable practice that became the heart and soul of this small heritage hotel. It was initially built as a palace for Mysore’s princesses and later restored as a hotel. The hotel looks stunning with a long green lawn, rose gardens, majestic trees and an aesthetic garden. All the rooms, corridors and common places are strikingly decorated with potted plants.
“Green hotel” has incorporated energy saving practices in its hotel policy. It is amazing to see that inspite of this hotel not having air-conditioned rooms, TV and generators, visitors come for a night and stay for a month! The soothing weather conditions of Mysore makes it possible to have this amazing experience. The hotel uses solar energy during power cuts and not even a single drop of rain water is wasted. The water which is used to clean the utensils is purified using filters and is then used to water the plants.
This hotel has long been practicing corporate social responsibility and till now donated most of its income towards charitable and environmental projects in India. Few of the programs for which the hotel has donated money are ‘Gramina Aksharasyata Arogya Padhakam’ for slum children, ‘Odin Nandi’ which works for the welfare of sex workers etc.
It is no wonder, this hotel is a pioneer, a model and an ideal for the practice of sustainable tourism. It has adopted equal opportunity policy when employing hotel staffs. Majority of the employees are women who are either widows or abandoned wives, for whom getting a job is really tough and unimaginable. The hotel provides six months training to get them acquainted with the hotel operation since they are not well educated. English, hospitality, accounting and multi-cuisine cooking are taught to these women. Through these measures they could help their family financially and live a good life. After all, all human beings are born equal.