Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is focusing on a Wave of Change initiative throughout its properties worldwide. The power behind this movement is Gloria Fluxa, vice chairman and chief sustainability officer, also daughter of Iberostar owner Miguel Fluxa.

The Wave of Change focuses on a few pillars, among them is the reduction of plastic straws throughout its properties worldwide—more than 120 hotels in 18 countries—that began in early 2018.

“In the next year, each of our hotels will be part of the Wave of Change movement when our more than 120 properties worldwide become single-use plastics free in the rooms of our guests. Guests in the city hotels in Spain are already joining the movement within that specific line of action from Wave of Change. While the City and Iberostar Heritage hotels may not be beachfront, many of these properties are in cities that are responsible for coastline, thus it is important that we continue to find ways to reduce our impact on the oceans. We’re excited about how City and Iberostar Heritage hotels will be even further involved in the Wave of Change through the evolution of our consumption of responsible seafood and reduction of single-use plastics in upcoming initiatives,” said Fluxa.

Another focus in this initiative is sustainable fishing. The chefs at the onsite restaurants will be changing the menus to include more sustainable fish, meaning using more local breeds of fish and/or fish that are currently in season for their dishes. In addition, they’ll be avoiding any fish that are endangered. New for 2019, guests will be served MSC-certified fish in the Dominican Republic, Spain, and Mexico.

wave of change
Divers working on the Iberostar’s Dominican Republic coral reef nursery. (Photo courtesy of Iberostar.)

The push for coastal health is another aspect of this initiative, which includes the research and protection of the coral reefs. In the Dominican Republic, Iberostar will be launching its first coral reef nursery in the country. Guests staying at the Bayahibe property in the Dominican Republic can dive to the coral nursery with Iberostar’s partners, Dressel. After the launch of the coral reef nursery in the D.R., Iberostar has plans to expand this program to other areas as well starting in 2019 in the Caribbean. However, as of press time, the name of what property it’ll be at has not yet been released.

Guests can take part in the Wave of Change as well during their stays. For example, the beach front resorts will offer a Star Camp Program, which will teach kids through educational activities. For example, an entire day of the Star Camp would be dedicated to the oceans. On this day kids will enjoy fun activities such as hunting for microplastics on the beach or handicraft sessions using recycled materials. Throughout the day the programming will provide an opportunity to learn about the environment through play. Currently, the Star Camp program is available in properties across the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. In addition to the Star Camp program, there will also be opportunities for guests to take part in marine beach cleanups.

In Bavaro, guests visit the aquaria facility that Iberostar is building to conduct research on how to scale up reef restoration. And, in other locations, such as in the Dominican Republic, guests can get water in common areas from the RO filtration stations. In addition, Iberostar will be working with its animation teams to come up with ways to involve guests in the events around World Ocean’s Day, beach cleanups, and more.

Throughout 2019, Iberostar will be focusing on how to integrate more programs with the guests. In addition, the company will also be changing all of the employee uniforms from polyester to plastic repurposed material as a nod to their corporate social responsibility.

“With the Wave of Change, we’re working to find ways to bring the reefs on land. Whether that be through new shows our animation team is producing set under the sea to finding partners to help us visualize and video the efforts we have under water to the general public. We cannot protect what we don’t know so we realize that a first major step is to share the reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses that are the key ecosystems that protect our hotels with our clients,” added Fluxa.

For more information, visit waveofchange.com.