Preferred Hotel Group, Inc.– the family-owned company that manages and operates global travel and hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, and PHG Consulting – announced the acquisition of Beyond Green Travel – a world-renowned leader in providing sustainable tourism services and consulting, founded by ecotourism pioneer and global sustainability expert Costas Christ.
Finalized on February 4, 2020, this is the first acquisition by the Ueberroth Family since they purchased Preferred Hotel Group, Inc. in March 2004, and represents the next step in CEO Lindsey Ueberroth’s strategic vision to enhance the company’s portfolio in making travel a positive force for people and the planet.
“As we look ahead to the future of travel, particularly during this period of economic recovery, we believe more than ever that the time is now to take sustainable tourism to the next level,” said Lindsey Ueberroth. “Working alongside Costas and his team, we are excited to create a sustainable tourism platform that will enable our brand promise of ‘Believe in Travel’ to help our destination and hospitality clients infuse genuine, holistic, and inspiring sustainability best practices into their daily operations and overall ethos.”
“We are at a transformative crossroads in the history of modern travel, where the need for economic recovery and social change align directly with the core values of sustainable tourism, including a commitment to diversity, equality, and the wellbeing of local communities, environmentally friendly practice, and support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage that are changing the travel and tourism industry for the better,” said Costas Christ, who remains president of Beyond Green Travel.
The acquisition expands the suite of destination stewardship services offered by Beyond Green Travel through a unique partnership with PHG Consulting, Preferred’s global travel and tourism marketing and consulting agency. Similarly, current and potential clients of PHG Consulting can tap into Beyond Green Travel’s sustainable tourism expertise as part of comprehensive agreements. Further, member hotels represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide brands can directly engage Beyond Green Travel to advance their sustainability initiatives on a variety of levels, ranging from establishing community projects and partnerships and crafting innovative guest experiences to conducting property sustainability audits, delivering sustainable tourism staff training, and creating annual hotel sustainability reports to monitor progress and document success. Beyond Green Travel will also help guide the overall approach to GIFTTS (Great Initiatives for Today’s (Tomorrow’s) Society), Preferred’s corporate social responsibility program that the Ueberroth family launched in 2006.
Christ and the Beyond Green Travel team have been helping to lead the global sustainable tourism movement for more than 20 years, developing content and strategies for the world’s top travel and hospitality companies such as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, The Travel Corporation, Wilderness Safaris, and National Geographic Travel, to help them reach passionate travelers and make a lasting positive impact. The company has also advised destinations and governments on how to successfully implement sustainable tourism. Notably, in Colombia, Beyond Green Travel worked with the government and local villagers to create a peace through tourism strategy following decades of civil war. The company also established a national ecotourism plan for Bhutan, and was recently tapped to lead the Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur, California, encompassing 70 miles of scenic coastline and rural communities. In addition, Christ served as senior advisor on sustainable tourism to Virtuoso, including designing staff and travel advisor sustainability trainings and workshops.