Chaa Creek in USA Today’s
“Bucket List” a Boost for
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s inclusion in this summer’s USA Today Travel “bucket list” of eleven top travel destinations shows that an emphasis on environmental sustainability can go hand in hand with high quality and excellent service, according to the Belizean eco resort’s marketing administrator.
Roberto Harrison said that having Chaa Creek listed alongside just ten other resorts in diverse locations such as the GoldenEye Hotel and Resort in Jamaica, Ireland’s Ashford Castle, The Liberty Hotel in Boston, Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp in Botswana and the Grand hotel in Baglioni, Florence, is good news for the entire Belizean eco-tourism industry.
“It’s great to see Chaa Creek in such prestigious company. USA Today Travel is very discriminating and has such a wide audience that their recognition is very important to us, not only for Chaa Creek, but for all tourism destinations focussed on responsible travel.
“The USA Today recognition proves once again that being green doesn’t mean you sacrifice quality and luxury, and that sends a very positive message throughout our industry,” Mr Harrison said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek was one of eleven “must see” destinations listed in a June 6 2014 USA Today Oyster.com feature titled, “11 unique lodgings for your travel bucket list”.
“Travel is about new experiences—and travel at its best can mean eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime and even life-changing journeys. Many of us have a personal bucket list of trips to try before we die, and those who don’t might just need a little inspiration,” the article begins.
The authors then went on to list their worldwide choices, with a description that;
“Chaa Creek, one of Belize’s first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm to become a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as an infinity pool with jungle views and a full-service spa. The riverside setting on a private rainforest reserve is phenomenal, and myriad tours and outdoor activities are offered through the hotel. To top it off, room rates are fair for what you get — and there are even budget accommodations available at Macal River Camp, located on the property.”
The Belizean eco-resort’s co-owner and GM Lucy Fleming, who started Chaa Creek as a family farm with her husband Mick in the 1970s, agreed that the USA Today nod had wider implications for the entire eco-tourism industry.
“It’s noteworthy that the USA Today bucket list wasn’t limited to eco resorts, even though some of the hotels listed have a strong environmental ethos,” Ms Fleming said. “This proves that Green destinations are providing the same levels of luxury, service and quality as any high-end resort or hotel, and that’s great news for our industry and the environment,” she said.
Ms Fleming also said that while Belize has so much to offer travellers, such as the second largest barrier reef in the world, vast tracts of protected pristine jungle reserves, a large concentration of ancient Maya temples and archaeological sites, hundreds of tiny islands and a friendly, English speaking population, the little country’s emphasis on environmental sustainability set it apart from other destinations early on.
“Belize’s tourism industry is relatively new, having really only started after Belize achieved independence in 1981, the same year we began taking guests in at Chaa Creek. In some ways this was fortunate, as environmental sustainability and responsible travel were part and parcel of our operations from day one.
“And now, with USA Today joining Condé Nast, National Geographic, Lonely Planet and other travel authorities giving Chaa Creek and Belize their stamps of approval, we’re proving that an environmentally sound approach to tourism works,” she said.
Mr Harrison said, “While we’re happy to see that travellers support our green practices, it’s great that we’ve also developed a reputation for quality, service, excellent amenities and value for money. That’s very satisfying.
“To have developed as a true ecotourism destination focussed on responsible travel and Green, sustainable tourism is an achievement the entire nation can feel proud of,” he added.