EcoLuxury: Environmental preservation as an economic resource

Enrico Ducrot and the (true) luxury of the modern traveler

Tourism: it’s Italy’s most important resource.

What is the best way to drive innovation in tourism? How do we reach our full potential?

We’ve talked about designers like Serana Fanara who creates lights with 100% natural and biodegradable materials. We’ve told the story of Cangiari, the brand that has transformed the ancient art of the Calabrian loom into a thriving high-end fashion company.

Today our topic is travel and tourism, and here too, in terms of innovation, Italians are second to none.

On the cutting edge of this sector is the Italian company Viaggi dell’Elefante and their brand EcoLuxury.

Created by brilliant entrepreneur Enrico Ducrot, EcoLuxury provides an independent quality certification label to a network of hotels worldwide. This certification brings the sustainable luxury tourism industry to new heights by selecting only hotels that have passed their strict criteria and that are committed to reducing their impact on the environment, and to investing in the conservation of culture and education.

“My experience in South Africa taught me, it is not about having the best ideals or philosophies. At the core, there is no green economy without economic sustainability: protection is connected to economic factors."

Enrico Ducrot

EcoLuxury: Environmental preservation as an economic resource

Enrico Ducrot and the (true) luxury of the modern traveler

Born into a family of entrepreneurs and travelers in 1965, Enrico Ducrot has followed in their footsteps. He studied archeology at University, and began working for the family business, Viaggi dell’Elefante, in 1991. It wasn’t until 2001, however, when he visited a tent camping resort on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, that he learned about ecotourism and began to envision how he could apply the principles to his own work.

The EcoLuxury project is the first of its kind and the only initiative in the world that combines luxury hotel facilities and impeccable hospitality, with all that is environmentally friendly while taking into consideration current trends and economic sustainability.

Enrico Ducrot hopes to expand this extraordinary model to Europe and other countries where there has historically been a tradition of travel and tourism.

“If we give space to globalization, our cities will become destitute. Historical centers are like a living organism: if you start to remove the artisans, the small shops, and the ancient buildings, they will inevitably die.”

Enrico Ducrot

The current approach that is used in Europe is very old-fashioned: in countries where businesses are more closely connected with the well-being of the environment, this does not happen. As with eco-hotels near pristine natural landscapes, hotels in historical centers can also act as a guardian, supporting and protecting a shop as well as the architectural aspects of the building.

A wonderful example is the hotel Le Grotte della Civita, built by Enrico Ducrot and Daniele Kihlgren in Matera, in the Basilicata region. It is located in the oldest part of the Sassi, the Civita (the historic center), and was creating by restructuring and renovating 18 existing cave homes, as well as an ancient stone church, which has been turned into a common area.

Enrico dreams of a system of tourism that can support the preservation and renovation of Italy’s past achievements while operating in a responsible, and economically viable way.

Well-done Enrico!

The EcoLuxury label includes 150 hotels plus two stores that provide preservation and advice on travel. Find out more by following Enrico Ducrot on his blog or check out the incredible travel destinations on his websites Ecoluxury and Viaggi dell’Elefante.

Gallery: Ecoluxury, Made in Italy travel