Families with a sense of environmental responsibility and a desire to bond over shared adventures are fuelling the growing trend towards “Green family vacations” which, according to one popular parenting magazine, no longer need be Spartan, uncomfortable experiences.
And an educator at Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which was featured in a recent article in Natural Child World magazine for providing environmental and family friendly vacations, agrees that a growing number of families worldwide now place a high value on environmental sustainability.
The Natural Child World article, “Time To Embrace a Green Family Vacation” begins by stating that “We learned that vacationing responsibly does not mean you have to sleep on the ground or cook your meals over an open fire By doing your research and selecting travel suppliers that support the future of the environment, preserve cultural history and promote local economies we can all take greener family vacations.”
The article then goes on to quote family travel specialist Kristy Hall of “Two and a Half Travellers”. In discussing ways in which “you and your family can balance comfortable family travel and sustainability,” Ms Hall said that, “The Lodge at Chaa Creek in beautiful Belize is set upon a private 365-acre nature reserve. The resort has earned numerous accolades for its commitment to the environment, including Belize’s first ever Green Globe Certified business. There are family adventure packages (think child-friendly jungle safaris) and a fantastic Eco Kids Rainforest Adventure, great for children 6 and older.”
Brion Young, assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre, who coordinates some of the educational components of the eco resort’s all-inclusive Belize family adventure packages, agrees that sustainability is of growing importance to many families.
“It used to be that when people heard about our green credentials, they just said, ‘that’s very nice,’ but now it seems to be one of the main things they’re looking for when booking family holidays in Belize,” he said. “That’s great news for those of us who have been promoting sustainability and responsible travel over the years.”
Mr Young pointed out that under the Chaa Creek Cares initiative, 10% of all room revenue goes directly into environmental and social programs. Known as Belize’s first true eco resort with over 70 Maya archaeological sites its 365 acre rainforest reserve, Chaa Creek has received numerous awards for its green practices, sponsors a number of other cultural, environmental and social projects in Belize and hosts various green organisations and university research projects.
The Natural Child World article also highlights other hotels and tour operators in the US, Australia, Mexico and other locations that share a similar commitment to sustainability.
“By doing your research, speaking up and asking your hotel, resort or tour operator how they encourage responsible tourism, you can make a difference,” the article states.