Being green is all the rage. Even Panama is going green, al be it reluctantly. In the last years, solar panels and wind mills have been built and in some areas you can deliver energy back to the net if you have solar panels and the energy to bully and bother the utility company for so long that they eventually give in.
We have always been green. After all, rather than cutting down a forest to build our lodge, we replanted a forest aroound our Lodge. We also harvest rainwater, have installed energy-efficient lights and air-conditioners, compost our organic waste, recycle what we can and also re-use where we can.So when we we re invited to participate, we accpeted.
The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) is also developing a green tourism certification programme. We have been involved from the beginning. Exactly how many workshops and public consultations we have attended in the last year and a half, we do not remember, but there were many. The ATP has decided that they want to use standards that are similar to those of other Central American countries, but they want their own brand.
Perhaps more important than the number of workshops and consultations we attended is the fact that we are still involved. We started out with maybe as many as 60 tourism companies in Panama, but we will be one of may be a dozen that will actually get certified. Next week, on 18 May 2017, the auditor will visit our hotel for a last time to check everything. If all goes well, we will be one of the very few tourism businesses in Panama with a green certification.
ATP has promised that this will give us some benefits as well. They intend to provide extra publicity and preferential treatment to certified businesses. We will see.