Shenzhen, China: Mission Hills has confirmed the opening of more than 30 kilometres of nature and cultural heritage hiking trails, and an Eco Gallery education centre at all three of its resorts in China – Mission Hills Shenzhen, Mission Hills Dongguan and Mission Hills Haikou.
Mission Hills is the largest resort company in China to put sustainable tourism best practices at the forefront of its hospitality efforts and guest services.
The newly opened nature trails, cultural heritage walking tours, and eco galleries at all three resorts will be included in vacation packages and special promotions aimed at educating the growing number of Chinese travellers as well as international visitors on the importance of sustainable tourism, defined by environmentally-friendly resort operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and social and economic well-being of local communities.
The nature trails and eco galleries contain educational displays about ecology, bio-diversity conservation, and climate change, along with information on how to be a more responsible traveller in today’s world.
As owner of the largest golf resorts in China, Mission Hills has also embraced sustainable best practices in its golf operations, including working with the Europe-based Golf Environment Organisation, the world’s leading programme on more environmentally-friendly golf.
Dr Ken Chu, Chairman of Mission Hills Group, said: “Twenty years ago my father was a pioneer who brought golf to China. My goal is to bring sustainable tourism practices to China on a new and larger scale to raise awareness among travellers and the public about the importance of protecting our planet. At Mission Hills we are deeply committed to sustainable development.”
Chu also served as one of the top experts for the 2014 World Travel and Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which recognise global leaders in sustainable tourism.
Mission Hills’ environmentally friendly resort practices were featured in National Geographic Traveller magazine last November, including use of solar powered golf carts, water conservation efforts, and the establishment of an international scientific climate change research field station at Mission Hills Haikou.
Mission Hills is among the first major resort companies in the world to ban sharks fin from being served in any of its resort restaurants. In addition, its Eco Gallery education centres include video displays about the illegal poaching of elephant ivory and rhino horn in Africa, including a video by former NBA basketball star Yao Ming, who has visited Mission Hills, and who has called upon China to ban the sale of all elephant ivory and rhino horn products.
“When I was a child, the Chinese Government launched a successful campaign to educate citizens about the importance to protect the Giant Panda. We need to create a national campaign to save endangered African rhinos and elephants by calling for a ban on the sale of ivory and rhino horn,” said Yao, speaking at last month’s Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Hainan, where Dr Chu also spoke about Mission Hills’ efforts to support bio-diversity conservation and sustainable tourism.
“We share Yao Ming’s commitment to protect African elephants from extinction, and we are especially proud of our efforts to educate Chinese travellers that only elephants should wear ivory,” said Dr Chu.
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