This week I was a bit more active. I had to visit different departments within the hotel. On Monday I gathered microbiologic reports from the maintenance department. I saw how rigorous these reports can be. They evaluate the quality of water in their ice machines, the rooms, and the pools. The Certification for Sustainable Tourism has a criterion for Water Consumption with an indicator for the establishment to conduct a water quality test on a regular basis. This has to be done by an external entity which has to guarantee the quality of water and ice for human consumption. For the criterion on External Clients, I have been visiting Team Members from the Guest Services department. They have been providing me with evidence of the information given to guest. For example, they promote Law 6084 to not feed the animals. And other environmental indicators that promote tours and activities to Protected Natural Areas and the interaction among the guest, the community and nature.
Another indicator under External Clients is about encouraging guest to reduce water and energy consumption. The DoubleTree offers an initiative to Reduce and Reuse. If they don’t want their towel changed it should be left hanging, otherwise thrown on the floor. Sheets are changed every three days unless the guest places the card on the bed.
I visited the kitchen, where I gathered evidence on their promotion of regional and traditional dishes. I’m waiting to get statements from the food providers stating that they in fact source locally and that the fish is caught responsibly. I was also able to talk to a chemical engineer from Ecolab. They have a contract with the hotel for biodegradable products used for cleaning the facilities, as well as dish-washing and laundry. He provided me with data sheets for every single product and an statement declaring that their products are environmentally friendly and that they use recycled or reused containers. It’s been most difficult to sit down with the managers from the purchasing and the maintenance departments. Apparently they do have a lot on their plate.
I have been working pretty independently on this whole evidence gathering. I really don’t have anyone giving me deadlines, or checking on my progress. I rather feel the need to report on what I have been doing. It seems like is up to me to complete as much as I can. Today, I requested to be reviewed or have a quick evaluation so I know where I’m standing. I only have two more weeks left. I figured I’ll do the interviews, for my research, late next week or my last week after that.