The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel: More “Eco” Than Ever!05 Jan 2017, Posted by Galapagos Islands Blog in
We may have changed the name… but no one will ever take the “eco” out of the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel.
Some of you have noticed that recently we changed our name from the Finch Bay Eco Hotel to the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, and you have started to wonder if this represents a change in our commitment to the fragile and unique environment of the archipelago. We want to state emphatically that, on the contrary, everything we do at the Finch Bay starts and ends with our deep belief in the importance of using sustainable tourism to protect the islands while providing our guests with the utmost in transformative travel experiences.
So why did we change the name?
Precisely because it was important to us to link the brand name of our unique property to the iconic place in which it is located. The Galapagos archipelago is one of the world’s top conservation destinations and it deserves to shine as a key part of our name.
What other changes have happened this year?
We could talk to you about our constant innovation at all levels, designed to increase our guests’ satisfaction while reducing our environmental footprint. We could tell you about how we listened to you, our partners and guests, and decided to make it easier for you to live Galapagos the way that you want to live it. Or that we sought out the best way for you to experience two different islands with a unique island hopping programme unlike any other. And all of this would be true!
But probably the change we are most proud of is that in 2016, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel was accepted as the only member in Galapagos of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World TM collection. The lodges included in this prestigious group showcase the best of both environmental protection and contributions to local community life, as well as authentic journeys of discovery. We believe our track record on both of these issues speaks for itself, as shown in numerous international awards such as the World Travel Awards’ denomination of the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel as the World’s Leading Green Hotel 2016 – a recognition we are thrilled to have received 3 years in a row!
Ongoing environmental practices
The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, since its purchase by Metropolitan Touring, has implemented numerous permanent practices designed to reduce its impact and increase awareness of the beauty and fragility of the islands. These include ongoing clean-ups of the beach and surrounding walking paths, daily monitoring of energy use and weighing of trash output with the goal of reducing trash to a minimum. We train our staff regularly on environmental and sustainability issues. They take these practices home but also share them with our guests, who receive introductory conservation lectures that increase consciousness while teaching guests how they can contribute to the environment both on the archipelago and at home.
Timeline of specific environmental initiatives
In addition to our ongoing environmental practices, we have made significant leaps in technologies that further reduce our impact and, in some cases, actually improve our local environment, as shown below:
Timeline of Eco Initiatives at the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
Socially Responsible with the Community
At the same time as we work to improve our environmental credentials, we place an additional focus on supporting our local community. This parallel commitment manifests in the following ways:
- – Free educational cruises for local students: The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel provides ongoing support as well as direct participation in our parent company’s programme that uses both our expedition cruisers and the Sea Lion Yacht to offer free cruises for local students to the most important and biodiverse visitor sites on the islands. These visits raise awareness amongst local school children of the importance of the archipelago they call home.
- – Internships: We welcome students from local schools and professional institutes as interns at our hotel.
- – Local hires: Over 90% of our employees are local and receive constant training in sustainability efforts, top customer care, English, and other skills which are then transferred to the wider society.
- – Chakrita Lab: School groups have visited the project as have other potential actors who might want to replicate the project.
This year, the United Nations recognized the value of sustainable tourism both in terms of its contribution to development and to environmental conservation. The Finch Bay Galapagos is, was, and forever will be committed to being part of this worldwide revolution in which authentic travel experiences bring joy, learning and a new way of facing the challenges of development in delicate ecosystems.