Hotel Chains and Boutique Luxury Resorts Adopt Sustainability Focus

Jones Lang LaSalle pic
Jones Lang LaSalle

Daniel “Dan” Fenton has a background in tourism and hospitality planning and holds leadership responsibilities with JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group in San Jose, California. Among Dan Fenton’s areas of focus are evolving convention center concepts and transitions by hotel developers toward a sustainable development emphasis.

A recent JLL Real Views article drew attention to diverse reasons for the increased sustainability focus, including “corporate peer pressure,” and wanting to attract urban consumers who are seeking sun-filled holidays in pristine locales. The new sense of urgency also reflects the location of many resorts in coastal areas that are the most vulnerable to rising seas, changing weather patterns, and the impact of global warming.

With major chains such as Marriott and Hilton stepping up their eco-conscious efforts, a next generation of boutique operations is making green headlines. This includes the in-progress Oasis Eco Resort in the United Arab Emirates, which is financed by “eco-minded entrepreneurs,” and a new resort planned on Blackadore Caye in Belize. The latter luxury property is spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio and will be the first to incorporate Living Building Challenge standards within a Restorative Island scheme.


Asia Witnesses a Boom in Sustainable Resort Developments


Dan Fenton, San Jose

Based in San Jose, California, Daniel “Dan” Fenton holds executive responsibilities with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotel & Hospitality Group in San Jose, California. Trend focused, Dan Fenton has a particular interest in the increasing number of hotels that are pursuing sustainable developments worldwide, with the United Nations dubbing 2017 the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.”

As reported in the South China Morning Post, one example of this manifests in the farm-to-table cuisine featured at luxury resorts. A restaurant at the five-star Thai property Soneva Kiri Resort offers cuisine with locally sourced ingredients as part of an overall effort to decrease its carbon footprint. The resort also emphasizes “barefoot luxury,” which combines open spaces with a commitment to keeping the surrounding coastal ecosystem pristine.

This ethos extends to the sister property Soneva Jani in Bora Bora, which features over-the-water villas. As a way of minimizing environmental impact, drinking water is bottled directly at the resort and 80 percent of waste is recycled. Glass bottles are sent to a local resort-run art studio, where they are transformed into sculptures.

Asia’s largest market, China, is also getting on board with this trend, with Anji County recognized as the country’s first-ever National Ecological County. As reported in the Post, all hotels in Anji are required to develop a composting system and organic perma-culture garden for restaurant ingredients, within “zero-to-landfill status” goals. With top-down rules beginning to correspond with the preferences of eco-conscious travelers, growth is expected in new resorts that are specifically designed to achieve sustainability mandates.

Technology Shaping the Convention Center Industry


What Makes an Iconic City


JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group  pic
JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group

Daniel “Dan” Fenton serves as the vice president of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group in San Jose, California, assisting hotels, destinations, and public assembly venues with operations and marketing to increase branding and tourism. A hospitality professional with a background in tourism development, Dan Fenton recognizes the importance of tourism to a city’s success and how cities become iconic enough to draw regular tourism.

A city’s success is directly influenced by its ability to draw residents and tourists alike. A functioning community cannot exist without people who call the place home and populate its schools and local businesses. Likewise, tourism brings additional revenue to a city, boosting its economy and increasing its publicity through visitors who share their experiences with friends and family. Iconic cities draw in enormous tourism, due in part to just those aspects which make the city iconic. This quality may result from its history and culture, to its architecture and landmarks; many iconic cities feature a landmark with cultural or historical significance, for example, such as Big Ben in London or the Eiffel Tower in Pairs.

In order to become iconic, a destination must possess a sense of self and have a clear idea of its desired identity in the future. Its citizens must feel pride in living there and be able to embrace local displays or attractions that embody the things their home represents. Indeed, the more local public support for a proposed landmark, monument, or artistic installation, the better chance it has to become an iconic feature of that place.