According the PRNewswire in May 2011, “ Mexico will be recognized by the Rainforest Alliance at their upcoming gala dinner and awards ceremony in New York on May 11 for its achievements of sustainable tourism in the Mayakoba region and forestry practices of the Mexican government.
"We would like to congratulate Mayakoba Tourism Development and its three hotels for the recognition they have received from the Rainforest Alliance," said Gloria Guevara Manzo, the Secretary of Tourism for Mexico. "Mayakoba is the first tourist area to be recognized by the Rainforest Alliance for achievements in sustainable tourism. Mexico is very proud to have received this honor, because sustainability practices are our priority in the tourism sector."
The Mayakoba Tourism Development with its three properties, Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba and Banyan Tree Mayakoba will be recognized by the Rainforest Alliance for their achievements in sustainable tourism. This is the first time a tourism resort is to be honored in this category. Located in the heart of Mexico's Riviera Maya, the Mayakoba Tourism Development combines luxury and comfort with the natural environment. Comprised of three separate, independently owned hotels, the development has taken on a variety of measures to ensure its sustainability, implementing water and energy saving practices, promoting visits to local communities, and administering strong and well-documented sustainability policies and procedures.
"The Mayakoba vision started with a desire to establish a new tourist development where environmentalism was to take center stage," said Andres Pan de Soraluce, President, OHL Development. "A lot of planning and infrastructure was put in place to preserve the amazing ecosystem that our development sits on, and we are glad our vision was achieved. "We have been working with the Rainforest Alliance since 2010 to comply with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria's internationally recognized recommendations for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable tourism, and we encourage other tourism properties in Mexico to do the same."
A primary initiative for the Rainforest Alliance is the conservation of forests, an objective Mexico has been working towards through several national programs and initiatives. As a result, the Rainforest Alliance is also recognizing the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources – National Forest Commission, for their achievements in forest sustainability.
"Companies are continuing to make bold commitments to sustainability and traceability, despite ongoing instability in the economic environment," said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. "The companies and individuals honored during our annual gala deserve recognition for their demonstrated commitments to sustainability. Collectively, their efforts are enormously beneficial to workers, to communities and to the environment."
In addition to the recognition from the Rainforest Alliance, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a number of initiatives to educate hotel and tour operators about the importance of managing their businesses responsibly. In collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, the Mexico Tourism Board is bringing lessons on sustainable tourism directly to hotels and tourism businesses in southern Mexico through the Rainforest Alliance sustainable tourism program. To date, 31 hotels in the Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states have improved their compliance with social, environmental and economic sustainability criteria thanks to Rainforest Alliance-led training sessions. In a further display of its commitment to sustainable tourism, the Board joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in 2010.”