Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Green Grotto Caves gain master level certification

Published:Monday | December 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The Green Grotto Caves was the first natural attraction in Jamaica and worldwide to receive the Green Glove certification in February 2003.

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC)-owned Green Grotto Caves and Attractions in Discovery Bay, St Ann, is the first in the world to receive the prestigious EarthCheck Master Achievement Award.

EarthCheck, the world's leading scientific benchmarking, certification, and advisory group for travel and tourism, in alerting the attraction's management of the endorsement in November 2017, said that it had obtained master certification achievement, representing 15 years of continuous accreditation with EarthCheck.

Zoe Ma, relationship manager for Earthcheck, said that certification now places Green Grotto, an attraction operated by the St Ann Development Company, a subsidiary of the UDC, as a leader in the unique worldwide group of sustainable tourism operators that are certified to the internationally recognised EarthCheck standard.

Sandraleen Tucker, manager of Green Grotto Caves and Attractions, in responding to the announcement, said that the attraction's team was very proud of the certification.

"We were first certified in 2003," she recalled. "At that time, we were Green Globe certified and then they changed to Earthcheck, and we got the Earthcheck gold certification in 2009, having been certified for 10 consecutive years, and then platinum certification in 2012. This year is our fifteenth year, so we are at the master level", Tucker said.

"Getting to that level was no walkover. Each year, we try to lessen what we use in terms of utilities, and so on," she said.

"For benchmarking, we have to do a lot of paperwork because daily, we have to record what we use in terms of utilities at a set time. We have to ensure that all our licences are in place and that the property is in good shape in terms of safety and security. We practise the four R's, which are rethink, reduce, recycle, and reuse," Tucker added.

The impact of those practices has gone beyond the boundaries of the caves property, she noted.

Green Grotto Caves and Attractions is situated on 64 acres of land in Discovery Bay, St Ann, between the resort centres of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

The rates for non-residents to access Green Grotto Caves and Attractions are US$20 for persons aged 13 years and over, and US$10 for children between the ages of four and 12. Special rates apply for Jamaican residents.