London (26 September 2013) - UNITE Press Release:
Protests against two top London hotels, which refuse to pay some of their staff the London ‘living wage’ of £8.55 an hour, will be staged tomorrow (Friday 27 September).
Unite, the country’s largest union, will be mobilising members in its hospitality branch to demonstrate outside the Radisson Edwardian May Fair, Stratton Street, W1J 8LT from 16.30 to 17.00 and the Holiday Inn Mayfair, 3 Berkeley St, W1J 8NE from 17.00 to 17.30.
Unite will be using tomorrow’s United Nations designated World Tourism Day to highlight the plight of the low pay of hotel staff, many of them women and from ethnic minorities, while the number of tourists visiting the capital soars.
Unite said that there are currently no employers within London’s hospitality sector which independently endorse and pay their employees the London ‘living wage’ rate of £8.55 an hour. Many of its members are forced to live on little more than the national minimum wage of £6.19, set to rise by 12p on 1 October.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Our protests tomorrow are focused on two hotels where we believe things should be different.
“The Radisson Edwardian May Fair hotel operates a franchise agreement with Carlson which owns the Radisson brand and the Holiday Inn Mayfair is owned by Intercontinental Hotels (IHG). Neither of these hotels pays its lowest paid workers the London ‘living wage’.
“However, both Carlson and IGH are signatories to the United Nations global compact. Employers, who are signatories to this compact, have given an international commitment to standards of decency, including the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
“We call on these two hotels, and all London hotels, to pay the ‘living wage’, so that some of the lowest paid workers in one of the world’s most expensive cities share in the current tourism boom that the capital is enjoying.”
In the first quarter of 2013 the tourism sector in London saw 3.4 million overseas visitors, a 4.2 per cent increase on the same period last year. This generated expenditure of £2.1 billion, up 11.5 per cent from already huge expenditure recorded last year during the Olympics and other key events.
In the summer, Unite presented its submission 'Hopelessly Addicted to Low Pay' to the Greater London Authority (GLA), demanding that the hospitality and hotel industries pay the London ‘living wage’ of £8.55 an hour.
For more details visit www.unitetheunion.org
London (24 September 2013) - ITF Press Release:
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) will push ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) in Canada today for action on flagrant abuses of aviation workers’ labour rights by airlines based in Qatar and the UAE.
The ITF will be at ICAO’s 38th General Assembly, taking place in Montreal from 24 September - 4 October, where it is proposing that ICAO and the ILO (International Labour Organization) must work together to address the problem. The ITF is already campaigning along with the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) for abuses to be remedied.
The ITF states that Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are among the fastest growing airlines in the world. They employ more than 70,000 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff between them. More than 90 percent of their employees are non-UAE/Qatari nationals – all of whom have to rely on obtaining temporary work visas under a sponsorship programme. Although these foreign workers are vital to the success of the airlines, they do not enjoy the basic labour rights (including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining) which apply in their home countries and in virtually all the nations whose airlines compete with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
According to the ITF the case of Qatar Airways is the worst. For example, a standard hiring contract for thousands of the airline’s female workers reads: You are required to obtain prior permission from the company, in case you wish to change your marital status and get married. And: The employee shall notify the employer in case of pregnancy from the date of her knowledge of its occurrence. The employer shall have the right to terminate the contract of employment from the date of notification of the pregnancy. Failure of employee to notify the employer or the concealment of the occurrence shall be considered a breach of contract.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: “Earlier this year the ITF and ITUC spearheaded the successful resistance to Qatar’s bid to have ICAO moved to Doha*. The same democratic deficit that torpedoed that ridiculous bid is still in place in these airlines. At the time Qatar Airways’ CEO even went on record as saying: ‘If you did not have unions you wouldn’t have this jobless problem in the Western world’. The fact is that these companies are making a fortune from the efforts of hardworking staff who, undefended, can be discharged and deported on a whim.”
ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow added: “Nations and companies cannot continue to turn a blind eye to abuses of workers in Qatar. International pressure is growing, from the ILO to the UN Special rapporteur on migrant rights the spotlight is on companies in Qatar to take responsibility for workers’ rights and follow global rules.”
This proposal is one of seven working papers the ITF will present during the ICAO assembly. Among the other papers to be presented are the need for the removal of national obstacles to the collection of safety-related information by airline staff; air pollution at airports; and cabin air quality and its impact on cabin crew.
For more information visit: www.itfglobal.org
ORANJESTAD, St. Eustatius, (25 Sept, 2013) – CTO Press Release:
The head of the Caribbean region’s tourism development agency has called for legislation to regulate the disposal of waste in Caribbean waters. Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 2nd Sustainable Conference in St. Eustatius this morning, Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), said the Caribbean had a responsibility to protect and preserve its water resources.
The two day conference, organized by the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation with support from the CTO, has as its theme, Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future. Reflecting on the theme, Mr. Riley reminded delegates, including Island Governor Gerald Berkel and the commission of tourism, Carlyle Tearr, that water was at the core of the Caribbean’s efforts at sustainability and that it was important that the necessary policies be put in place to safeguard this vital resource.
“We must never forget that we in the Caribbean have a duty to create policies and to engender behaviors in our people and in our visitors, that will safeguard our water resources for future generations,” the CTO secretary general told the audience gathered at the Mike Van Putin Youth Centre.
“We must practice sustainable water-use policies and observe appropriate waste-water management practices. We must not only enact, but also enforce legislation that regulates the proper disposal of waste in the waters that wash our shores, and we must severely punish all violators, because they endanger our health and jeopardize our children’s future,” he added.
Over the next two days delegates will debate a number of water-related issues, including who benefits from coastal management; the risks to wildlife and water along with the tourism opportunities that come with development; and water conservation in hospitality.
For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.onecaribbean.org.
Athens, Greece (7 August 2013) - Two new eco-friendly hotels have been accepted as ECOCLUB.com Ecolodge Members following a transparent online rating procedure.
Farakunku Lodges are four secluded, solar-powered lodges in a natural, rural area 2 km from the sea on Gambia’s unspoilt south coast, great for birdwatching. Stay in a large, airy octagonal lodge with your own large private sun terrace. Enjoy fresh buffet breakfast, daytime drinks and snacks and a set 3-course evening menu. Enjoy the plunge pool, hammocks, lovely gardens or engage in many cultural and community-tourism actitivies. The Lodge's ECOCLUB.com Rating report can be found at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating/farakunku
Visit http://www.farakunku-lodges.com for more details
Taleton Eco Boutique Hotel is a converted stone-built olive oil warehouse at the heart of idyllic Xirokabi village near historic Sparta, at the foot of Mt. Taygetus. Among many eco-features there is natural geothermal heating & cooling in the rooms. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast in the peaceful inner courtyard featuring an original rain cistern, hike or bike to local wineries, olive groves, old monasteries and archaeological treasures. The sandy beach of Mavrovouni is only 30 minutes away. Taleton's ECOCLUB.com Rating report can be found at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating/taleton
Visit http://www.taleton.gr for more details.
ECOCLUB.com Ecolodge Membership is a free, specialist promotion and ecotourism rating package offered to eligible accommodation facilities following a transparent online rating procedure.
For more details please visit http://ecoclub.com/join/lodge
Using mobile architecture, structural fabrics and state of the art tensile membrane technology combined with innovations in renewable energy technology and waste water treatment systems this is now possible.
Nomadic Resorts has recently developed a new eco-resort concept for the adventure tourism market which would leave the lightest possible physical footprint on the site. The Nomadic Resorts goal was to use über-light, pre-fabricated tensile structures to create pop up resorts that can be removed in a matter of days leaving no trace.... Mobilis in Mobili...mobile in the moving element.
In recent years tourist expectations have changed...the traditional sea, sun and sand holiday enjoyed by European and American markets is no longer the sole focus for most holiday makers. Seasoned western travelers, who have visited exotic, island destinations like the Maldives or Seychelles are increasingly looking for exciting, local experiences in each destination they visit, be they cultural, intellectual or physical whilst travelers from the new emerging emitter markets are much less beach focused and tend to enjoy site seeing, wellness and gastronomic experiences.
The increasing number of wilderness camps, yoga retreats and safari lodges specialized in outward bounds activities bear witness to the experiential travel trend. Conventional hotels are ill adapted to this new trend – the large capital investment required for the infrastructure and facilities leaves limited funds for bespoke activities and experiences. It is becoming more and more difficult for traditional hotels to cater to these new guest expectations so they tent to outsource their guests to hotels near the attractions.
Louis Thompson, CEO of Nomadic Resorts explains: “Our pod concept is extremely versatile - the design can meet the requirements of a surf resort next to great break on an isolated beach in eastern Sri Lanka, a wilderness camp for hikers perched up on an inaccessible plateau in the Ethiopian Highlands or a luxury wine camp overlooking the vineyards in a Bordeaux Chateau. Our focus is on the local experience, the joy of travel and the local environment rather than the conventional concept of luxury. Using sophisticated thermal models combined with local meteorological data we can modify the pods to meet the climatic requirements and topography of the area where the camp will be assembled. Our aim is to create comfortable, healthy resorts with a very low carbon footprint and low operating costs whether our clients want to build a mountain biking lodge in the Californian desert or an Ayurvedic yoga retreat in the forests of Kerala"
The Looper units can provide the backbone of the tented camp or retreat or be a simple guest bedroom in the garden of a private residence. Resort developers can add restaurants, spas and sports facilities depending on the context and the attractions in the area....kayaks and mooring facilities for a river camp, skis and snowboards in the mountains, surfboards and sun loungers for a beach concept.
The design is focused on effective use of resources and self-sufficiency – it includes LED lighting and an extremely efficient air conditioned sleeping space as well as incorporating a thin film solar canopy, a rainwater harvesting tank, a constructed wetland sewage treatment system and a solar hot water heater. The biomorphic form provides good cross ventilation and insulation with vents along the ridge of the roof to release the warm air in the top of the space by convection.
The orthogonal, biomimetic structure uses a small volume of structural material to enclose a large internal volume in translucent fabric. The recyclable membrane flysheet lasts for decades, withstands the harshest environmental conditions, emits no volatile organic compounds and with appropriate lighting glows like a firefly at night. Each pre-fabricated pod is designed for disassembly so that the units can be taken to pieces, packed into containers and shipped to a different location as and when required allowing resorts to morph to suit occupancy or trends. As a result resorts and camps can change places to provide new, exciting experiences in destinations where conventional construction would be impossible.
Nomadic Resorts is an ecological design cooperative founded in 2011 featuring a core team of an architect, tent technician, interior designer and an MEP engineer who have worked on numerous award winning eco-resort projects across the world. The company’s main focus is creating modular tented camps, edible landscapes and unique treetop experiences.
For more information visit www.nomadicresorts.com or contact the CEO Louis Thompson regarding any press or investment enquiries:
Email: email [at] nomadicresorts [dot] com / Telephone (Mobile): +94711952728