Eco-aware hotel helps guests get around by bike
Sunday 02 May 2010
The Hilton hotel in Nagoya has started offering its guests free use of bicycles to get around the city, part of an experiment that the company hopes will be adopted by its properties around the world.
The campaign is part of the hotel's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, General Manager Jamie Mead told Relaxnews, but is particularly effective in a city like Nagoya.
"We started the scheme because we wanted to provide a more environmentally friendly way to get around the city, but it's ideal because Nagoya is pretty flat, there are broad roads and cycling is a popular pastime here," he said.
The city's authorities started a similar cycling experiment last year, providing people who registered with the free use of bikes to get around, a trend that been catching on in major cities like Paris, Barcelona, Geneva, Stockholm, Montreal and London (which will roll out its program in July). The Nagoya scheme was a huge success and underlined the growing popularity of cycling, both as a form of exercise and a way of helping to preserve the environment. Cyclists are given a map of the city and a helmet before they set off.
"We have a range of top quality bicycles that come in a range of sizes that allow our guests to get around the city for free and mean they don't have to take a taxi or the subway," said Mead.
Japanese businessmen have been quick to embrace the idea, he said, and can often be seen setting off in their suits and with the briefcases on the panier setting off for morning meetings. The concept has not caught on so quickly with foreign businessmen, he said, but he remains optimistic that it will in the near future.
The introduction of the bicycles coincides with a number of green-related events in Nagoya over the coming year, including the Conference of the Parties Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) and the Aichi Triennale international arts festival.
"This is just one part of the environmental programmes that the Hilton is introducing around the world, and although we provide bicycles for guests at our resort properties, we have never tried anything like this before in a city hotel," Mead said. "If it turns out to be a success - and it is certainly looking that way so far - then we would be keen to extend it to other locations where cycling is popular."
Hilton's city-based scheme is a new twist on a bicycle rental schemes that have proved popular with independent hotels, and larger chains such as Marriott or Holiday Inn, in rural areas.
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Despite expected death toll we must remember air travel has never been safer
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Q&A: What do we know about what happened?
The 10 Best hiking boots
Come to Crimea: Could tourism help heal the divisions in Ukraine?
Malaysia Airlines MH370: the missing aircraft, and what investigators will be looking for
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: Opportunity for a B...
£20000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: We're looking for t...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Flight Centre Bus...
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...