RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), today announced the launch of the first ever “RCI Going Green Award” for its affiliated resorts in the Pacific.
Developed in conjunction with Griffith University, RCI’s Going Green Award was modelled after some of the top green certifications and awards currently in circulation within the tourism industry.
With a specific focus on timeshare resort operations, RCI will present Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to the top three ‘green’ resorts, assessing them accordingly:
• Self Assessment Phase: Resorts will be asked to assess the green practices currently undertaken within the resort and provide supporting documentation where possible.
• On-site Inspection Phase: Shortlisted resorts from the self assessment phase will be visited by an expert in sustainable tourism, with an on-site inspection and interview to be conducted.
Dr. David Weaver, Professor of Tourism Research at Griffith University, was instrumental in developing the award and has agreed to adjudicate both phases. Well respected in the industry, Dr. Weaver specialises in the fields of sustainable tourism management and ecotourism.
“I am absolutely delighted to be working on this initiative with RCI,” said Dr. Weaver.
“I expect an award program such as this will really raise awareness of and participation in environmentally-friendly best practices within the sector.”
“We are very excited to be the first in the holiday exchange industry to launch such an award,” said Charisse Cox, managing director of RCI Pacific.
“The Going Green Award fits in well with our global commitment to corporate social responsibility and the environment.”
“We are also very pleased that a person of Dr. Weaver’s credentials has agreed to assist with the structure and adjudication of the awards. His experience and independence are a vital component in offering such a credible green award,” said Ms Cox.
Winners of the inaugural Gold, Silver and Bronze RCI Going Green Awards will be announced at the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council annual conference in Christchurch in September 2010.
Across regions, RCI is promoting and encouraging sharing of environmental sustainability best practices and green ideas with its associates and affiliates through a Green Council in support of its parent company’s WyndhamGreen sustainability initiative.
WyndhamGreen by Wyndham Worldwide aims to manage energy consumption as a part of the company’s overall green strategy across its businesses and brands. Due to the company’s numerous brands, properties and distribution points, WyndhamGreen is expected to have a large impact on the company’s overall carbon footprint.
About Group RCI
Group RCI, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, (NYSE: WYN) is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the European leader in vacation rentals, with exclusive access for specified periods to more than 73,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. The company is comprised of vacation exchange, including RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and provider of travel services to businesses and consumers and The Registry Collection program, the world’s largest luxury exchange program; vacation rentals, including Endless Vacation Rentals®, Landal GreenParks®, Novasol®, and other renowned vacation rental brands, through which vacationers can rent a variety of property types, from city apartments to villas; and NorthCourse® Leisure Real Estate Solutions, an international leader in providing a full spectrum of advisory, research, and asset management services. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies with leading brands in lodging franchising, vacation ownership, vacation rentals and vacation exchange. For additional information visit www.grouprci.com or the media centre of www.wyndhamworldwide.com.
About Professor David Weaver
Dr. David Weaver is currently employed at Griffith University as Professor of Tourism Research, and has held prior academic appointments in Australia, Canada and the USA. He specialises in the areas of sustainable tourism management and ecotourism, and has to date authored or edited more than 100 books, journal articles and book chapters. His textbooks Tourism Management, Sustainable Tourism: Principles and Practices, and Ecotourism are widely used in universities around the world, and his journal articles are cited extensively. Dr. Weaver also sits on the editorial boards of eight international refereed tourism journals, and in 2009 was elected as a Fellow to the prestigious International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He has recently delivered invited keynote addresses at conferences in Mexico, Korea and Norway, and has collaborated with industry partners such as Binna Burra Mountain Lodge, and the American Society of Travel Agents. Current projects include the willingness of protected area visitors to engage in activities that enhance those areas, environmental best practice in the lodging sector, the evolution of indigenous tourism, and the geopolitical dimension of sustainable tourism.