According to Hi tesh Mehta, the contemporary definition of an ecolodge is a 5 to 75-room, low-impact, nature based, financially sustainable accommodation facility that helps protect sensitive neighbouring areas.
Involves and helps benefit local communities, offers tourists an interpretative and interactive participatory experience; provides a spiritual communion with nature and culture; and is planned, designed, constructed and operated in an environmentally and socially sensitive manner.”
It must satisfy five of the following 10 criteria, with three embodying the three main principles of ecotourism: protection of nature, benefits to local people and availability of interpretative programmes:
1. Help in the conservation of the
surrounding flora and fauna.
2. Have minimal impact on the natural
surroundings during construction.
3. Fit into its specific physical and cultural
contexts through careful attention to
form, landscaping and colour, as well
as the use of vernacular architecture.
4. Use alternative, sustainable means of
water acquisition and reduce water
5. Provide for careful handling and disposal
of solid waste and sewage.
6. Meet its energy needs through passive
design and renewable energy sources.
7. Use traditional building technology
and materials wherever possible and
combine these with their modern
counterparts for greater sustainability.
8. Endeavour to work together with the
9. Offer interpretive programmes to educate
both its employees and tourists about
the surrounding natural and cultural
10. Contribute to sustainable local
development through education
programmes and research.
The only way to speed up sustainable design being a given rather than an option.
Source : Asia Spa Design . Rebecca Lo