Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Promoting eco-tourism, Vienna’s green hotels now a rage

An elaborate organic breakfast at hotel Topazz consisting of breads, cereals, spreads and juices | Source: IANS An elaborate organic breakfast at hotel Topazz consisting of breads, cereals, spreads and juices | Source: IANS
Indo-Asian News Service | Vienna | Posted: June 23, 2014 12:19 pm

Meals prepared from locally sourced organic ingredients, hybrid cabs for guests, solar panels that produce electricity and water drawn from a well are some unique features on offer by the ‘green hotels’ of Vienna as they cash in on the global concept of eco-friendly hotels catering to the growing number of tourists conscious of their carbon footprint.

Over the last few years, the historic capital of Austria has seen a sudden spurt of green hotels and their numbers are increasing every year owing to a similar surge in the number of aware travellers from around the world who make it a point to stay in such places, officials said.

“The number of guests preferring eco-friendly hotels is definitely rising, which means more business for such hotels and ultimately all of them contributing towards the environment,” Verena Hable of the Vienna Tourist Board (VTB) told IANS.

“It is a win-win situation for everybody,” she added.

The many hoteliers of the city – one of the country’s nine federal states with a population of around 1.8 million and known for its captivating architecture, rich culture and diverse cuisine – are leaving no stone unturned to earn the bragging rights for going green.

And the tariffs are just around 5-10 percent more compared to a conventional hotel.

Cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs being grown in the front lawn of hotel Daniel Vienna | Source: IANS Cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs being grown in the front lawn of hotel Daniel Vienna | Source: IANS

Some of the innovative techniques used include water pipes running through ceilings and floors of the hotel rooms so that when hot water passes through, the room automatically becomes warm and there is no need for electric heaters.

“The heating and cooling of our hotel is warranted by a ground water fountain and a ventilation system with heat recovery. Costs can be saved by around 25 percent in heating and about 60 percent in cooling,” Christiane Weissenborn, CEO of Hotel Topazz, told IANS.

“Moreover, the hotel is equipped with triple heat protection glasses and an airtight cladding,” added Weissenborn, whose hotel also offers a range of eco-friendly wine and was awarded the Green Luxury Award in 2013.

Some hotels also provide electronic scooters and bikes to guests to explore the city and thereby reduce their dependence on petrol guzzling cabs.

Sonja Wimmer, general manager of Best Western Premier, got so obsessed with going green that she completely renovated her family-owned boutique hotel in 2013 and thus made it the first among the few hotels in the city to fulfill the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF)-standards for allergy friendly hotels.

The original edifice built in 1989 now focusses specially on serving organic food.

“Our nutritious breakfast buffet is made continued…

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