How Luxury Hotels Adapt to Global Warming

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Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) –- The Soneva Group Chairman and CEO Sonu Shivdasani discusses how his hotels are working to create “intelligent luxury” with Angie Lau on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The most renowned brands in asia.

That is the group that you started way back when.

We started with soneva in 1995. that evolved into different brands.

Last year, my wife and i made a decision to focus on soneva which is our flagship brand.

Back to the origins.

A lot of concern when you take a look at the maltese and see that perhaps in the near future, they might not even exist as a luxury group brand in terms of hotels.

The ocean waters are climbing.

Certainly.

Waters are rising.

We haven't noticed in the maldives yet.

If you think about darwin's. -- theory, what he noticed was in the co-op of those islands, you had big mountains like french polynesia and flat islands.

A were next to each other.

What his conclusion was, it was a bump on the head.

The earth sort of him through the sea.

It started to subside.

The maldives is just a more older version of a volcanic activity compared with french polynesia.

For the maldives to continue to sink, because the coral is alive, it is continuing to fit in the lagoon.

That is why these environments exist.

The maldives have had no rise in sea water levels.

I am a big believer in the fact that global warming is going to be a big challenge.

Globally, we are seeing and environmental shift.

It necessitates the health of those coral reefs to keep the survival of the maldives.

The oceans are polluted.

What happens if we don't care about the environment and the coral dies?

That will be a disaster.

Then the maldives will continue to sink and coral won't grow to fill in the lagoons.

That is a huge challenge.

People always look at the maldives as the example as a destination that is going to suffer.

What are you doing?

Various things.

We have a goal to be zero carbon in our operations.

So far, we have reduced our diesel consumption from about 120,000 liters to 80,000. we are making further investments.

The funny thing about it is, good environmental sense often makes good economic sense.

All these investments have a great yield.

We are achieving about a 15%-20% yield.

So that is very encouraging for other hotel groups and luxury brands to follow your lead.

Absolutely.

Another thing we do, we had no guest push back at all.

It is a very important point.

Operations -- governments will set conditions and the right framework for change.

But it is companies that need to change our ways.

If not, we are not going to save the planet.

We have imposed a 2% charge on all our guest room revenues.

If you stay with us, we quote you the room rate and the service charge and the local gst and a two percent carbon levy.

That has allowed us to plant 460,000 trees in china.

A 1.5 megawatt windmill in india.

Lately, a project which involved stoves in darfur and myanmar.

We are quite right about that.

It is a project which gives local families stoves, reduces fuel consumption by a third and energy poverty is one of the big challenges.

And we are seeing the pollution as people burn even rubber tires because it is a cheap source of heat.

I know.

It is shocking.

Let's talk about your property groups.

You have two resorts.

What is next?

The focus is on owning properties as well as operating them.

We have another project we are about to start work on in the maldives.

Also a site in bali.

We are sticking true to our core purpose.

Our mission is intelligent luxury.

Questioning and challenging what is truly luxurious.

With wealth comes responsibility.

Experiencing a luxurious life also means to be responsible to the environment and that is the definition that you have put on luxury travel today.

Hopefully this trend continues.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you.

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