FINALIST – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator
A series of resorts dotted along Palawan, on the western edge of the Philippines, El Nido Resorts uses native landscaping and indigenous plants to bring guests into the natural environment. Hands-on activities in the local community such as traditional fishing and heritage community tours give guests a unique opportunity to learn more about their beautiful surroundings.
El Nido Resorts adheres to a quadruple bottom line: financial profitability, environmental stewardship, community engagement, and organizational development to guide their responsible tourism mission. As a part of Ayala Land, Inc., El Nido Resorts is used as an example for replicating their sustainability record in other properties.
Located in a very biodiverse area, El Nido Resorts works hard to protect the delicate ecosystems surrounding the resorts. Resort facilities were built in one area to concentrated areas to minimise the environmental impact and were constructed utilizing local materials and native landscaping. Guest activities are also coordinated to prevent overcrowding in the local communities. Keeping their high-quality, low-density approach to tourism in mind, El Nido Resorts developed several programs to stimulate interactions between the local communities, guests, and the environment.
Their medical outreach program offers free health consultations in the El Nido town center once a week while their Be GREEN outreach takes brings their environmental training and advocacy programs into local schools once a quarter. Every year the resort holds annual refresher, Be GREEN courses for the staff, which cover topics such as water conservation and energy and biodiversity while guides and activities coordinators are given extensive trainings in nature interpretation. Guests are also encouraged to participate in Be GREEN. During “Green Hour” talks and presentations are given during which guests are welcome to ask questions and present their own environmental initiatives.
Tours of nearby communities, excursions with traditional fisherman, and visits to local farms give guests of El Nido Resorts the opportunity to interact with and learn about the culture. Before community tours, local guides explain culturally-appropriate behaviour and encourage guests to share stories with the community members they meet. El Nido Resorts’ “Fishing with the Locals” activity is one of the most popular and partners guests with local fisherman to learn about traditional fishing methods and life in a coastal village.
El Nido Resorts also supports a number of foundations working on environmental and cultural preservation in the area including the El Nido Foundation, the Asian Conservation Foundation, the Malampaya Foundation, and the Ayala Foundation. Many guests who have visited the local communities through El Nido Resorts’ tours have started up their own scholarships or partnered with other area conservation and development organisations.
For more information about El Nido Resorts, visit their website: http://www.elnidoresorts.com/