A One Planet holiday? Meet the destination aiming to revolutionise sustainable tourism

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The One Planet Annual Review 2015/16 for Villages Nature® Paris has revealed it is making excellent progress. We had a chat with Olivier Robin, Director of Operations, who explains the vision behind the One Planet Destination and how it aims to engage its guests with sustainability in a new light.

With its One Planet Action Plan endorsed by Bioregional in 2013, Villages Nature® Paris is a new European holiday destination due to open in July 2017. This One Planet Destination aims to create a different kind of holiday, immersing one million visitors a year in nature while minimising its impact on natural resources.

1.What’s your vision for Villages Nature® Paris?

Olivier: We want to merge large-scale tourism with sustainable development to engage people. We are best placed to do this by helping our guests develop an emotional bond with nature through a variety of experiences. The range of activities at Villages Nature® Paris are designed to help people find the way that they enjoy doing this best – from exercising outside to exploring a forest or through enjoying a cooking or gardening workshop.

2. Why was it important for sustainability to be part of your vision?

Sustainability can often be seen just as a checklist of things to do – or not to do. As a leisure destination, we wanted to emphasise the pleasure that can be found in enjoying nature and living a sustainable life. More and more people are recognising the opportunity for positive change and innovation that a ‘green revolution’ provides and we wanted to be a part of this.

3. What kind of holiday will people enjoy?

People now look for trips that enable them to ‘slow down’. They don’t want to choose between relaxation and fun. We wanted Villages Nature® Paris to respond to this trend. Our guests will have access to five ‘immersive worlds’: entertainment and sporting activities, restaurants with local and fresh food, and a biodiversity trail. With Paris and the wider Paris region on the doorstep, guests will also be able to enjoy city life as well the local countryside with its rich heritage – or add to their magical experience with a visit to Disneyland® Paris!

4. How will guests feel when they leave?

Relaxed, inspired and happy! In France, we talk about ‘the good life’ and this is what we want to encourage – simple pleasures like soaking up nature, enjoying new experiences and discovering a new way of living in harmony with nature. Villages Nature® Paris is designed to inspire people to continue to do this after they go home. We hope that this will encourage them to make changes towards happier, healthier lives.

5. How has One Planet Living helped?

The ten One Planet Principles challenged and guided us to consider all aspects of sustainable development at Villages Nature® Paris – from design and construction to operations and guest experience. An environmental certification would have helped us consider technical processes, but wouldn’t have been able to support the development of the guest journey in the way that One Planet Living has.

As a planet we need to undergo a huge transformation, and business will need to play a leading role in this. One Planet Living recognises this and helps companies along a journey of change in a pragmatic and engaging way.

Villages Nature® Paris’s One Planet Review for 2015/16 has been written by Bioregional in conjunction with Villages Nature® Paris and shares the progress in developing a truly sustainable tourism destination.

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