At its core, tourism depends on the beauty of the environment. Ensuring the destination(s) we visit are viable far into the future is critical to the success of our business, as is providing tours that operated sustainably. But sustainable tourism demands a multi-stakeholder approach to succeed, that is why endorse the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards as recommended baseline practices for a tourism business to maximize their positive impact and minimize the adverse effects on the environment and local communities.
20 years ago, we hosted out first G.I.V.E. Day to give back to the communities where we live and operate. Each year employees and their friends and families, suppliers and business partners, join forces nationally and internationally to assist nonprofit and community organizations in improving the quality of lives in their communities. From G.I.V.E. For The Holidays across our fleet to initiatives like the beach clean ups, employees leave with a sense of camaraderie with colleagues and our communities.
2017 was an unprecedented hurricane season with many of our island neighbors being impacted and even our corporate headquarters in Miami, FL. When Hurricane Harvey savaged coastal Texas, closely followed by Irma’s fury in Florida and Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean habitations, there was a quick, collective decision by RCL to take humanitarian action.
By the time two Category 5 hurricanes – Irma and then Maria – got done with St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches was devastated and defaced. After seeing the damage first hand we decided to take action to restore the 500-yard long beach.
We regraded the entire beach, supplied refrigeration and grilling equipment, replaced all signage and seven lifeguard stands, and brought hundreds of mature trees to the island in nearly 20 shipping containers.
To finish off a unique artwork was commissioned. Residents from all over St. Thomas were hired to collect colorful pieces of lumber from ruined structures and bring them to Magen’s Bay. There they were assembled into a memorial to the storms’ devastation and the people who rose above it.