Jake Kheel of Puntacana Resort on Being a Luxury Ecotourism Trailblazer
Punta Cana, the super-sized 30,000-room resort town that plays host to most visitors to the Dominican Republic, doesn't sound like much of a model for sustainable tourism. But the area's first resort, Puntacana Resort and Club, is beating a greener path, with an ecological foundation and environmental research center that have undertaken a range of promising initiatives, from local schooling to coral conservation. In an awards ceremony in Brazil last week, Puntacana became the first Caribbean organization to receive the Tourism for Tomorrow Award from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Jake Kheel, the head of the Ecological Foundation, spoke to me about the resort's commitment to sustainability, how a single company can spread ecotourism ideas among other hotels and governments, and Oscar de la Renta's fondness for bees.
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