|HONOLULU – Outrigger Hospitality Group, the premier beach brand in the world, earned the prestigious 2020 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the Climate Change category for its OZONE platform – a global conservation initiative supporting coral health and resiliency, with special focus on the waters that surround the iconic beach destinations of Outrigger Resorts around the world. The winners were announced on September 24, 2020 during the virtual PATA Gold Awards presentation.
With more than 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs under immediate threat due to climate change, land pollution and unsustainable fishing, OZONE invites Outrigger guests to be part of the solution.
“Outrigger’s link to the ocean is unbreakable and the brand sees its stewardship as a responsibility that is inextricably tied to its success,” said Monica Salter, vice president of corporate communications. “Our OZONE conservation initiative provides enriching experiences for guests, hosts and local communities; we are honoured to receive this PATA award for our efforts and inspired to continue doing our part to protect the world’s oceans and help this essential ecosystem thrive for generations to come.”
As part of the OZONE launch in 2014, Outrigger set a goal of planting and growing a football-field worth of coral at participating resorts over the next decade. Just five years into the programme, Outrigger has aided in the planting, monitoring and protection of more than 100 football fields’ worth of coral, which has led to an increase in marine life surrounding the coral planted by Outrigger.
The quick success Outrigger saw with its OZONE initiative was in part due to specifically tailored conservation and sustainability programmes in each region the premier beachfront resort brand operates in, such as coral planting in Fiji, snorkelling with a resident marine biologist in Maldives, beach cleanups in Hawaii, visiting a marine rehabilitation centre in Thailand, among other educational opportunities offered to Outrigger guests year-round.
In addition to the immersive activities and educational opportunities, Outrigger was the first Hawaii hospitality group to champion the use of reef-safe sunscreen, well in advance of it being recommended as law starting in 2021. It has given away thousands of reef-safe sunscreen samples, partnering with well-known brands All Good and Absolutely Natural – as well as including information on this in the in-room video.
The focus of OZONE has expanded to include energy conservation, recycling and the reduction of single-use plastics at its properties worldwide. For example, in Thailand, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort has not only eliminated single-use plastics, but uses a reverse osmosis water plant to purify and bottle its own drinking water.
Such milestones, and the prestigious PATA Award, would not have been possible without Outrigger’s dedicated hosts, passionate guests and like-minded partners such as Mamanuca Society, Waikiki Aquarium, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Phuket Marine Biological Centre, Best Dives Maldives, Reef Conservation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and many more.
The annual awards held by PATA, which was founded in Hawaii in 1951, honour responsible travel and tourism brands that raise the bar of innovation and excellence. Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, this year there were 121 entries from 62 travel organisations across the Pacific Asia region. The full list of the 2020 PATA Gold Award winners is available here.
For more information on Outrigger Hospitality Group and its OZONE initiative, please visit www.outrigger.com/ozone