French holiday chain Club Med has unveiled a new "Eco-Nature" resort concept, designed to appeal to families who wish to get close to nature whilst on vacation.
It has chosen the Malaysian resort of Cherating Beach, situated between a protected jungle and the South China Sea, as the first location for its new line, with the second to follow in Brazil next year.
Cherating Beach was first opened in 1977, but Club Med says that the resort was constructed with local materials, boasts a low ratio of buildings to nature and houses several endangered species, making it the perfect location to inaugurate the Eco-Nature line.
The resort has also developed a natural waste water treatment system, kitchen waste is composted or recycled and the resort spa uses eco-friendly products.
Club Med says that the Eco-Nature resorts will offer a new all-inclusive holiday experience, situated in the centre of preserved sites and allowing guests to discover different "green" areas of each resort.
For children, new activities for the Petit Club Med and Mini Club Med programs will focus on nature trails and exploring the environment, with a recycled paper treasure map guiding them around events and visits to local wildlife highlights such as turtle and elephant sanctuaries.
Adults can explore the natural forest and exciting excursions, returning to the resort to enjoy healthy eating dishes with an emphasis on seafood, fresh vegetables, fruits and cereals.
Figures recently published by online travel booking site Travelocity suggest that green hotel bookings are some 65 percent higher than non-green bookings for the first three months of 2010, proving that the popularity of a eco-friendly vacation is showing no sign of abating.
In 2006, German travel giant TUI awarded its first "ecoresort" badge to resorts that allow guests to experience nature, commit to sustainable development, are ecologically efficient and are certified "green" by international standards.
The number of TUI properties awarded the label has risen from 24 in 2006/07 to 50 this year.