25 May 2011

The Mayakoba Tourism Development, developed by OHL Desarollos in the Mexican Riviera Maya, has been recognized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Rainforest Alliance with the top awards of both organizations...

Mayakoba resort receives top honors from the World Tourism Organization and the Rainforest Alliance

- UNWTO Ulysses Award in the Business Innovation category

- Sustainable Standard-Setters Award of the Rainforest Alliance

- Both awards recognize companies and resorts committed to the environment and sustainability

The Mayakoba Tourism Development, developed by OHL Desarollos in the Mexican Riviera Maya, has been recognized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Rainforest Alliance with the top awards of both organizations in the 2011 editions of the Ulysses and Sustainable Standard-Setter Awards, respectively.

Both awards recognize companies and tourist developments which stand out for their strong commitment to sustainability, conservation, environmental improvement and support to local communities. These awards recognize Mayakoba's position in Mexico and in the international tourism industry as a standard for sustainable and environmentally responsible development.

Mayakoba was chosen for the UNWTO 2011 Ulysses Award in the Business Innovation category. These awards are given to initiatives and projects of public institutions, tourism businesses and nonprofit organizations that have made an important contribution to the advancement of tourism through innovation and in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The Rainforest Alliance, meanwhile, honored the Mayakoba Tourism Development and its three hotels (the Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba and Banyan Tree Mayakoba) with the Sustainable Standard-Setter Award. OHL Desarrollos and these hotels have been working with this international organization since June 2010 to implement sustainable tourism practices in Mayakoba under the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

These awards join other awards given to Mayakoba, which also obtained the highest evaluation given by the environmental authorities of Mexico. The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources has recognized Mayakoba as a benchmark environmental model for tourism in their country.

Mayakoba Tourism Development

Ther Mayakoba Tourism Development was developed by OHL on the Mexican Riviera Maya in the State of Quintana Roo. The project is being implemented in two phases over a total area of 649.7 hectares located in the central coastal area of the Mexican Caribbean. This is an area with a valuable ecosystems and fragile ecological balance due to the great diversity of flora and fauna, such as of the rainforest, mangroves, sand dunes, beaches and the reef ecosystem.

Recognizing the importance of these ecosystems and natural resources, OHL strove from the first moment to apply environmental protection and sustainability as the central theme for Mayakoba. With this in mind, OHL brought together a multidisciplinary team comprised of the best Mexican and international experts in the environment, urban planning and tourism, law, architectural design, geology, hydrogeology, financial viability, golf course design and construction processes, among others, for the design of the project.

For reference, the environmental aspect included 49 researchers and internationally recognized experts from 12 Mexican research centers, three U.S. research centers and four environmental consulting firms.

Respect for the dune areas, mangrove and forest with good environmental quality is the principle which inspired the environmental planning and development of Mayakoba. The hotel facilities are located more than 600 m from the beach and behind the mangroves, for the recovery of which a lagoon system of artificial canals and navigable waterways, covering 25 hectares and measuring 13 km in length, was designed and built.

Thanks to this effort OHL Desarrollos has made the Mayakoba mangrove swamp into the best forest structure, with the highest environmental quality, in the Mexican Riviera Maya. The number of species of birds, fish, reptiles, crustaceans and mollusks that have turned the Mayakoba into their natural habitat has risen to 200 from 70 just prior to these proceedings. In addition, the mangrove swamp has gone from being basically dwarf-basin type, with lengths of less than two meters, to the fringe-basin type, with lengths of about four meters

Mayakoba combines environmental sustainability with a maximum range of luxury and comfort for its customers. There are already three hotels from the world's most prestigious groups: Fairmont, leading luxury hotel operator in North America, Rosewood, considered the leading operator of small luxury hotels in the world, and Banyan Tree, the leading operator of luxury hotels in Asia. Furthermore, OHL Desarrollos is in advanced negotiations with two major hotel groups and investment partners regarding the last two projects in this first phase.

Mayakoba also has the El Camaleon golf course designed by Greg Norman, who designed it thinking of the American major leagues. It is par 72 and its 7,067 yards runs though three different scenarios: mangrove, rainforest and coast, making it a unique course in the world. The golf course was inaugurated in June 2005 and since February 2007 has been the host of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the first official tournament of the U.S. PGA Tour to be held outside U.S. and Canada.

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