For over 20 years, EarthCheck has been benchmarking and certifying major attractions around the world. From Queensland’s Skyrail flying above World Heritage rainforests, the Green Grotto Caves in Jamaica and the Aquaventure water park at Atlantis Sanya through to the theme parks of Experiencias Xcaret. They are united by a shared vision to be sustainable and responsible tourism leaders.
Xel-Há, the most recent Platinum Certified attraction, is considered a natural wonder in Mexico due to the great wealth of flora and fauna species inhabiting its unique ecosystem. In fact, Xel-Há means “Blue Water” in the Mayan language.
The Mayan story tells of the gods joining their pillars of wisdom, dreams, and love to create a beautiful space that combines the best of nature in the same area. So pleased with their creation, the gods decided to share it with all mortal creatures. To take care of it and the elements that surround it, the gods named three guardians: “Huh” the iguana (Guardian of Earth), “Chuc Kay” the pelican (Guardian of Air), and “Kay Op” the parrotfish (Guardian of Water). It’s believed that even to this day, these guardians watch the park and everybody who visits it.
In 2009 Xel-Há was the first park in the world to achieve the coveted EarthCheck Certified status. Some 14 years on, they retained their Platinum Certification this week.
“Experiencias Xcaret has confirmed its position as a true worldwide leader in responsible tourism and a genuine source of inspiration to the international tourism community,” Said Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck.
“We believe what’s good for the planet can also be good for business, and we are thrilled to celebrate this world-class attraction’s achievements. I would like to congratulate the whole team at Xel-Há on their EarthCheck Platinum certification, which recognises fourteen continuous years of independent certification. Experiencias Xcaret is a leading operator in the Americas and a valued member of a global group of tourism operators who dare to make a difference.” he said.
Since it began operations in 1994, Xel-Há has had an unwavering commitment to holistic sustainability practices. Their EarthCheck Sustainability Management System focuses on monitoring and conserving endemic species, research, continuous improvement and developing initiatives that reduce their environmental impact and contribute to the communities they influence.
- Water: More than 600,000 litres of water per day are managed via their treatment plants.
- Waste: Xel-Há annually recovers 80% of the waste produced by the operation for recycling.
- Queen Conch Conservation Program: In partnership with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies, Xel-Há monitors queen conches inside the cove of Xel-Há.
- Native vegetation: More than 135,000 native plants are reforested annually across Xel-Há and their sister attractions.
- Education: More than 6,500 students are educated in environmental awareness each year. Sunscreen exchange program: 100,000 chemical-free sunscreens are exchanged annually with their visitors.
- Sea Turtle conservation program: In partnership with Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico, the attraction release an annual average of 97,000 turtle hatchlings on the beaches of Xel-Há.