Ideas for Resorts: Engaging Visitors on World Oceans Day

Host a fun-filled World Oceans Day event

Make your event family friendly and fun! Activity booths are an entertaining, informative way to celebrate. Have guests get creative and make their own reusable bag and take the Better Bag Challenge. At El Nido Resorts , participants made their own bags out of old t-shirts. Get kids involved in World Oceans Day with ocean-themed face painting and ocean crafts. Ocean craft ideas can be found on the World Oceans Day Pinterest page. Host an outdoor movie night with your guests! Screen an ocean-themed movie or cartoon. A list of eco-movies for kids can be found here. Finally, consider hosting a photo exhibit or art display at your resort. At Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, the Dolphins and Sea Official photo exhibit was displayed on World Oceans Day 2015. And, remember, ask your guests to join with the world to also help the ocean in some ways, such as the Better Bag Challenge/mentioned above, or you can help them make an ocean promise and have them take a Selfie for the Sea.

Photo: El Nido Resort

Make your event educational

Are you looking to host a more educational event? Terranea Resort partnered with Algalita and hosted an educational booth to raise awareness and provide information on methods to clean up and protect the ocean. Your resort can become even more involved with World Oceans Day by hosting a conference for youth or professionals. Resorts World Sentosa hosted an inaugural World Oceans Day 2015 Symposium for students and teachers. The symposium included presentations from keynote speakers, a discussion on ocean conservation, and ended with a coastal cleanup. Also consider inviting an ocean conservation expert to come to your event and speak or participate in celebration activities.

Photo: National Aquarium

Get the whole resort involved

Do you have a restaurant on your resort? Ask the restaurant to create a custom World Oceans Day menu and serve sustainable seafood options as their special. Learn about about good choices from Mr. Goodfish or hand out Seafood Watch's consumer guide to help guests make ocean-friendly seafood choices. Place pamphlets in guest’s rooms about World Oceans Day - contact us for content ideas. Provide them with conservation tips, such as taking shorter showers to conserve water and encouraging them to recycle within their guest rooms, so they can take action for the environment during their stay. Get your your resort interested in World Oceans Day through contests. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles had a postcard photo contest to get guests involved.

Expand your celebration beyond the resort

Beach cleanups are a great way to get guests involved in conservation. If your resorts beach is free of marine litter, take guests out in to your community to another local beach for a cleanup. At Algonquin Resort, a team of guests cleaned up a cove near the hotel. You could also bring your guests on an adventurous excursion! Offer snorkeling and dive excursions that include an underwater cleanup. At Constance Hotel Halveli Maldives an entire week was dedicated to the ocean in 2015. Events included a lagoon cleaning and dive clean up as well as a guided off-shore snorkeling tour. Consider offering some unique tours such as ocean kayaking or an ocean trail walk.

Photo: El Nido Resort

Make a commitment

Your resort can make your ocean conservation impact even bigger by making a commitment to the ocean on World Oceans Day. Pledge to use less plastic at your resort or create a permanent program for guests to learn about ocean conservation year round. Outrigger Hotels and Resorts created the OZONE program, a global conservation initiative to promote coral reef health in the oceans off of Outrigger resorts. The OZONE program provides guests with in-room videos and on-property lectures about coral reefs. Outrigger resorts with the OZONE program partner with other organizations to enhance their mission. Begin your own conservation efforts at your resort through activities like coral reef restoration. At Coco Bodu Hithi Resort, a coral planting initiative has been established, and on World Oceans Day 2014, guests helped to create a coral garden.

Is your resort hosting a World Oceans Day event this year? Make sure to register your event on the World Oceans Day website so we can share it with the world!

Samantha Mackiewicz 12-Apr-2016