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SPOTLIGHT ON Russell Kett, Chairman, HVS, London

Russell joined HVS in 1995 and was appointed managing director in 1996, becoming chairman in 2012. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from HOSPA, the hospitality professionals’ association, in 2011, and the ‘Hall of Fame’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hot.E hotel investment conference in London in 2017. He shares his thoughts on the long term effects of the pandemic and strategies to survive.

Costa Rica has launched a carbon footprint calculator

Costa Rica has launched a carbon footprint calculator, the first of its kind, which encourages tourists to offset their emissions from air and land travel. Developed by the National Forest Financing Fund (Fonafifo) with the support of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), Costa Rica’s carbon footprint calculator will aid the country’s sustainable tourism efforts and strengthen forest conservation. Costa Rica is home to more than 6% of the world’s known biodiversity and has 54% forest cover, being the only Central American country that has grown its forests in this century.

According to calculations made based on the ICT’s 2018 visitation data, if only 10% of the tourist emissions calculated were offset (476,541), an annual benefit of $3,574,063 would be achieved. This could fund the planting of more than 1.5 million trees, or support agroforestry systems in some 34,500+ acres. The operationalization of the program will be carried out by the ICT and Fonafifo, an organization responsible for recovering more than 3 million acres of Costa Rica land between 1997 and 2019.

How it Works
Travellers can click this link to access the calculator and quantify their carbon emissions.

  • Step 1 – Use the orange tabs to calculate the emissions on a variety of trip modes: international or domestic flights, land transportation and gas consumption, and A/C and electric consumption.
  • Step 2 – Enter the data and click ‘Add’ (Agregar) to find out how much CO2 is generated from each trip. To move to the next step, click ‘Results’ (Resultados).
  • Step 3 – Click ‘Compensate’ (Compensar) to find out a US dollar amount needed to offset the calculated emissions. Next is an option to donate via debit or credit card to the Payment of Environmental Services Program (PSA), which is responsible for funding programs to plant trees, the protection of hydrographic basis, agroforestry systems and more, in Costa Rica.

For more information on Costa Rica’s carbon footprint calculator, see the Costa Rican Tourism Institute’s announcement press release attached and infographics here. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or are interested in speaking with an ICT or Fonafifo representative.

How to Better Manage Conference and Banqueting When It Returns

Let’s face it: Even discussing conference and banqueting business right now drips of tone deafness. We get it: There’s not much of it on the books. According to HotStats data, year-to-date revenue from conference and banqueting is down 72% to $8.38 per available room compared to the same period last year.