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Goal of Olympic Games hotels: green guests

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-02 08:32

"Please be environment friendly and help us reduce the frequency of washing towels ."

These words will be seen on small cards by the end of the year in all the rooms of hotels that have signed a contract with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

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The kind reminder cards are just one of the measures taken by the 112 facilities to qualify as "green hotels".

Any hotel that fails to meet the criteria by the end of this year can have its contract annulled, BOCOG officials said at a press conference yesterday.

The environmental norms issued by China National Tourism Administration in early 2006 say that "green hotels" need to set up eco-friendly managerial systems and facilities and adopt technologies that conserve water and reduce energy consumption and waste generation.

"BOCOG will invite experts to survey the hotels early next year. And hotels that fail to meet the standards will be told to do so," or be dropped from the list, deputy director of BOCOG's Services Department Xiang Ping said.

Thirty-eight of these hotels are five-star facilities, 40, four-star, and the rest, three-star.

The Beijing Tourism Bureau put the "green seal" on 52 of the 112 hotels, including Beijing Hotel and Kempinski Hotel, last year.

"We put in great efforts over the past year to raise our green standards and make our hotel more environment friendly," Kempinski public relations manager Li Shuang said. For instance, the hotel now uses recycled water to flush toilets.

Upgraded electrical tools and structural changes have helped these hotels reduce air and noise pollution and cut their energy consumption, experts said.

But other small changes are needed to show guests why they have been give a "green" tag. For example, a hotel has to make it clear to its guests it will not cook or process wild animals protected by State law.

The listed hotels are expected to urge guests, through their services and suggestions, to lead a lifestyle that is environment friendly, Xiang said. For instance, if a guest or a group of guests has ordered enough dishes but wants to order more, waitresses have to inform as politely as possible that that is an avoidable waste.

These hotels will provide about 30,000 rooms to "Olympic guests, Xiang said. The combined capacity of Beijing hotels is about 260,000 rooms.

At least 1,500 mainland hotels had met the green criteria by the end 2006.