Sustainable Tourism Development and the Ruggård Hay Hotel – Regina Puig

I would like to mention the different definitions we need to know to understand everything first. Sustainable tourism development “meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future” (UWNTO, 2001). Then we can split this concept in sustainable development and sustainable tourism. Sustainable development is “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987: 43). Sustainable tourism “is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems” (UNWTO, 2001). Now I can define what sustainable tourism development is for me. Sustainable tourism development is, considering the present needs, objectives, and material objects, to develop a plan that guide the actions and decisions in order to have a better future without force future generations to take certain decisions.

Even though we always think about the ecological part of the sustainability, we cannot forget the economical sustainability. Every business need economical sustainability in order to equal or exceed their profit. Sometimes, ecological and economical sustainability can be at odds. Some ecological products are so expensive, and you have to choose other non-ecological substitutes. However, if you have this in mind and you economize other aspects of the daily routine, it’s not that hard to maintain both sustainability.

 The 4 Principles

Now I’m going to talk about the 4 principles of Sustainable Tourism Development and how they affect to The Ruggård Hay Hotel.

 – Economical. The goal of having profit of a business is obvious. In this case, we must pay attention to the other three principles. A good way to connect the economical and the ecological principles can be the use of some type of renewable energy. As there is not enough sun in Denmark, the use of some photovoltaic panels is useless. The collocation of some small wind turbines allows you to use the wind to create the extra electricity the guests will use in their apartments. I know it is a huge investment, but as it’s always windy, but between the ranges of wind strength, it can be recovered in no more than 5 years. It has an easy assembly and there are many second hand wind turbines in good use. If we have to talk about a link between the economic and the social principle, I would say to enhance the relation with the City Hall. Not only in order to ask for the improvement of the different picnic places, but for asking for different subsidies which can be helpful for the hotel.

 – Social. This principle is about community. It’s about how a family business affects a community. What we have to do to is to buy local products. This not only affects the social principle but the economic and most of the times the ecological principle. On one hand, local producers are more aware of the environmental impacts so they are more ecological than big producers are. On the other hand, as the Kjær family can go for themselves to the producers, they may pay less for the products and they contaminate less too. Here we must talk about the key partners. In the previous post, we talk about the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and Station, a place to rest and have a good cup of coffee and some cake. Although the station needs some improvements, this connection helps to the growth of this feeling of community.

 – Cultural. This principle is bounded with the social. Every society has its own culture. In this aspect, I can only think in the past, when farmers used everything of the animals they had. Even the most insignificant part of the animal or the most disgusting part was useful. Nowadays, we can use this thinking and use everything in order to generate bio fuel, and use it later for the heating or the hot water. However, we cannot forget the experience the guests are having. By almost living with the family, they can learn more about the culture of the town and how the family lives.

 – Ecological. This is the main principle to be aware of. If we are thinking in the sustainability, we need to be environmentally friendly and produce the least impacts possible. For that reason, one of the most important and easy action we can do is recycle. Is easy to do, easy to learn and easy to teach to the guests. Another way of being ecological is to buy ecological products. Maybe they are more expensive than non-ecological products, but you contribute with little ecological producers, and maybe the Kjær family can also reach an agreement with these producers and have a better prize. Moreover, the organized excursions by bike or horse in the fields are not contaminating at all. The only thing you need to be aware of is the garbage produced in the meal stops, but this can be not a big problem if everybody is vigilant of their waste.

To sum up, I would like to say that although sometimes is difficult to maintain a sustainable tourism development and, as a result, a sustainable life, it’s not impossible to apply all this principles and have it in mind when starting the hotel project.

One Response to “Sustainable Tourism Development and the Ruggård Hay Hotel – Regina Puig”

  1. Christopher Kjær says:

    We are not allowed to set up a wind turbine. We live to close to the valley and solar cells do not produce enough electricity. Regarding garbage from meal stops it is of course very important for us that “our” tourists do not leave garbage in the nature.

    For your summary we can agree that STD can be a target, which helps to determine the direction of the development of our Hay Hotel

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