19 May, 2011
Who: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
Profile: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is best described as a sustainable tourism experience. The hotel has been developed by owners, Shireen Aga and Barbara Walker, as an icon of environmentally-friendly tourism. A boutique hotel, it has only 10 rooms, set in six-and-a-half acres on a hillside outside Port Antonio on Jamaica’s north-east coast.
Assistance received: The hotel received financial help in order to strengthen its environmentally-friendly practices from the Direct Assistance Scheme administered by Caribbean Export and funded by the European Union under the 9th Economic Development Programme. Two grants have enabled the operation to become more self sufficient in producing key resources such as water and electricity.
Impact: The hotel has gained Green Globe certification, which signals the hotel’s adherence to international standards for environmentally-conscious tourism. It also received Virgin Holidays/Responsible Tourism’s ‘Best Accommodation for the Environment’ Award at the World Travel Market in 2010.
Insight: “These grants have helped us, absolutely. In bigger countries governments are subsidising green technology because the initial investment is still very high, and this poses quite a challenge for small businesses. Without grants from agencies such as Caribbean Export it would be next to impossible…. We would not have been able to survive the current recession in the way we have if we did not operate sustainably,” Shireen Aga, co-owner, Hotel Mocking Bird Hill.