Outrigger gears up to celebrate anniversary of conservation efforts

Outrigger Resorts is gearing up to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its innovative global conservation initiative, OZONE (Outrigger’s ZONE), with a variety of environmental events and activities.

In conjunction with World Oceans Month, and in collaboration with its global OZONE partner organisations, the celebratory activities will take place at Outrigger’s nine iconic beachfront properties in the Asia Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions.

The Outrigger Konotta resort in the Maldives is planning a series of special activities in partnership with Best Dives Maldives, including a snorkeling clean-up of the resort’s lagoon with a local marine biologist, a tree planting event, and presentations to guests on the impact of the environment on marine life.

The resort will also host a “Dive for the Ocean” underwater vows ceremony, where guests can take an oath to protect the environment as they dive under the sea together.

“With more than 60 percent of the world’s reefs under serious threat, we at Outrigger have made it our mission to help restore the vital marine ecosystems of tropical destinations worldwide within the next decade, as well as educate and engage guests on the importance of ocean conservation through various workshops, videos and activities available at Outrigger Resorts year-round,” said Bitsy Kelley, vice president of Outrigger Enterprises Group.

The Hawaii-based hospitality group has also launched a special OZONE Eco Adventure package at its two beachfront hotels in Hawaii – Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort – to inspire guests to get in the water and join ocean conservation efforts for a sustainable future.

On June 4, guests at the Waikiki resorts will receive free admission to the Waikiki Aquarium to participate in a variety of fun, family-friendly activities, including live music, arts and crafts for children, as well as educational games and activities for all.

The event will also feature an ocean-inspired art show with pieces by ‘Art on the Zoo Fence’ artists who are donating twenty percent of any sale made during the event to the Waikiki Aquarium. An algae cleanup of the reef adjacent to the Waikiki Aquarium will round out the OZONE Day festivities.

According to Outrigger, at the inaugural OZONE Day at the Waikiki Aquarium last year, more than 100 Outrigger hosts and community volunteers removed 220 pounds (99kg) of algae from the waters fronting the Waikiki Aquarium.

In Thailand, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort and Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas will host an outing for the students from Baan Khok Wat Mai Primary School to the Phuket Aquarium and the Phuket Marine Biological Center, a rehabilitation center for turtles and other marine life that have been injured by debris.

Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort will spearhead a ‘Mega Beach Clean’ for its hosts and guests, as well as guests from surrounding properties, who wish to participate in the clean-up effort. The resort will also be serving a sustainable menu, incorporating some of its delicious indigenous ingredients.

“As a longstanding supporter of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a major sponsor of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, Outrigger Resorts is excited to be a part of the Hōkūleʻa’s historic visit to New York City from 5 – 8 June,” the company said.

On World Oceans Day (8 June), Hōkūleʻa’s navigators and crew members will join the United Nations to discuss their observations on the state of the oceans and to share ocean protection declarations that they have collected during their journey.

“Navigating using only the stars and other natural elements, this iconic canoe departed Hawaiian waters in 2014 to embark on a voyage around the world that, when complete, will have covered 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports and 27 nations connecting with communities and sharing a message to Mālama Honua (meaning care for Island Earth).”

The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort will invite visitors to join in sinking “fish houses” made of transplanted coral, which will become a coral nursery over time. Resort hosts will also relocate large clams into fish houses in the surrounding waters for protection and growth.The Castaway Island, Fiji Resort will be hosting OZONE Eco Club members from the Malolo District and Mana SDA Schools, where school children will display their art, participate in a traditional local dance and sing coral reef songs. The resort will also be hosting coral planting opportunities for guests, as well as a butterfly fish count, coastal tree planting, and an educational game that guests can participate in.

The Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort will also host a number of interactive activities, including guided lagoon tours with reef conservation staff, a wetland experiment and a waste station shopping game.

At Outrigger Guam Beach Resort, a beach clean- up is planned for guests and hotel hosts. Guests will also have special access to the Underwater World Guam, where they can learn more about the underwater exploration by the NOAA research ship Okeanos as it conducts extensive research and mapping of the ocean waters of the Marianas islands.

OZONE was launched in June 2015 as a global conservation initiative centered on coral health and resiliency in the world’s oceans, with special focus on the waters that surround the iconic beach destinations of Outrigger Resorts’ hotels around the world.

As part of the launch, the brand set a goal of planting and growing ‘a football field worth of coral’ at participating resorts over the next decade.

“As of now, Outrigger has already planted approximately 37% (21,450 square feet) of its target in coral and is well on its way to achieving its goal. In addition to optimizing growing conditions and planting new coral, Outrigger also works with local conservation teams to promote the protection of existing healthy coral in the surrounding areas and encourages local resorts in the region to participate,” Outrigger said in a press statement.

According to the company, Outrigger employees put the company’s sustainable mission into action by participating in green initiatives across local communities on a regular basis. As such, the Outrigger Guam Beach Resort took part in the 21st Annual Guam International Coastal Cleanup last year.

“Over the past seven years, Outrigger properties in Waikiki have collectively recycled more than 354,000 pounds of aluminium, plastic, paper and glass.”

In May 2016, four of Outrigger’s Hawaii properties received the prestigious 2016 Hawaii Green Business Award. Three other Outrigger properties also had received the Hawaii Green Business Award in the past.

Outrigger also has programs in place at its global properties that focus on conserving energy, reducing water usage, preventing pollution and diverting waste from landfills.

“As a lifelong surfer, swimmer and snorkeler, I have a personal passion for preserving ocean health. It brings me great pride that Outrigger, our family owned and operated company, is helping to not only raise awareness of the importance of protecting the world’s largest and most vulnerable ecosystem, but is also utilizing our premier beachfront properties to inspire our hosts, guests and communities to participate in efforts that will positively impact coral reefs and water wellness for years to come,” continued Kelley.

“At Outrigger, we feel that it’s our responsibility to be exceptional hosts and take impeccable care not only of our hotel guests, but also of the many locations and communities where Outrigger calls home. From Outrigger’s recycling initiatives and energy-saving solutions to our global OZONE conservation plan to protect our oceans and coral reefs, we’re confident that these collective efforts make a significant contribution in our ability to preserve the pristine beauty and natural resources of our planet for future generations to enjoy.”

Outrigger’s OZONE partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Polynesian Voyaging Society (Hawaii), Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (Hawaii), Waikiki Aquarium (Hawaii), Underwater World (Guam), Mamanuca Environment Society (Fiji), Reef Conservation Mauritius, Best Dives Maldives and the Phuket Marine Conservation Biological Centre (Thailand).

Outrigger Enterprises Group runs a highly-successful, multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties, including Outrigger® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger®, Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger®, Embassy Suites®, Holiday Inn®, Best Western®, Wyndham Vacation Ownership® and Hilton Grand VacationsTM.

Currently, Outrigger operates and/or has under development 38 properties with approximately 8,000 rooms located in Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island); Guam; Fiji; Thailand; Mauritius; and the Maldives.

For more information, visit www.outriggerenterprisesgroup.com and www.outrigger.com.

For rates and reservations for the OZONE Eco-Adventure Package, go to outrigger.com/ozone

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