Eco-conscious travelers take note. Bee + Hive, a not-for-profit sustainable tourism association based in Canada, is expanding its portfolio of hotels, restaurants and parks "that embrace sustainable practices and experiences." Most recently, it has added Little St. Simons Island in Georgia, while existing members include Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef in Australia, Masuwe Lodge in Zimbabwe, Bananal Farm, Pousada Tutabel, Pousada Literária de Paraty and the Caiman Ecological Refuge in Brazil, and the Treehotel in Sweden.
Bee + Hive aims to act as a marketing alliance to increase awareness and demand for its partners. “Even in the high-end segment, it is very difficult for small boutique properties to have an international profile,” said Bruno Correa, the organization’s founder, in a written release. "We are addressing this need by combining like-minded experiences."
The network offers consumers access via Bee + Hive’s online platforms where travelers can discover the best in sustainable experiences. For example, at St. Simons Island, visitors may get involved in the protection of loggerhead sea turtles or go on bald eagle-spotting expeditions. Guests at Masuwe Lodge are invited to spend an evening afloat the Zambezi River where pods of hippo, herds of elephant and other animals come down to drink at day’s end.
Organization members in Brazil offer a variety of experiences ranging from bird watching to visiting a reservation of the Pataxo natives (one of the indigenous tribes in the country) or going on a safari to spot the Brazilian jaguar.
Bee + Hive works closely with its members to develop travel experiences with sustainability at their core, including preserving and re-habilitating wildlife and ecology, ensuring viable socio-economic projects for the local community, and protecting cultural expression. Through showcasing these experiences, Bee + Hive aims to inspire travelers to spread awareness of sustainable travel after returning home.
Founder Bruno Correa comes from a successful hotelier family. For over a decade, he has helped launch and run boutique hotels that focus on sustainability. In one case, boutique hotel Pousada Literaria de Paraty in Brazil replanted 21,000 trees to regenerate a neglected environment, which in turn attracted a plethora of birdlife. This transformed the site into the country’s first private bird reserve. Such action, coupled with Correa’s experience witnessing other sustainable initiatives led by luxury boutique properties, resulted in the launch of Bee + Hive.