Planting koa trees is one way eco-conscious travelers can help the environment while in Hawaii. // © 2014 Aston Hotels and Resorts
Aston Hotels and Resorts is offering a new package for environmentally concerned clients who want to make a difference during their vacation on Hawaii Island.
Called “Leave a Legacy with Aston,” the initiative comes with two adult tickets for Hawaiian Legacy Tours. During the 90-minute excursion, guests plant their own koa tree — a rare endemic species — to help return island pasture back to native forest.
“Leave a Legacy with Aston offers travel agents an opportunity to sell voluntourism in Hawaii,” said Shari Chang, senior vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management for Aston Hotels and Resorts. “Agents can use it to reach a unique niche of eco-conscious, active clients — including families — looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences.”
Clients can also explore a different side of Hawaii while offsetting their carbon footprint, Chang added.
Participants on the tour are taken to lands once covered by a majestic koa forest, which was flattened 100 years ago for ranching. They are encouraged to plant their legacy trees in honor of a cherished event or loved one.
Each guest gets a certificate with an RFID code to track the tree’s growth and view it online via Google Earth for years to come.
“It’s important that we provide travel agents with new and relevant products for their clients,” said Chang. “This package has great appeal to travelers interested in giving back to the destination they visit, and shows that Hawaii is so much more than just sand and surf.”
Leave a Legacy with Aston is available to guests of the chain’s three Hawaii Island properties: Aston Kona by the Sea, Aston Shores at Waikoloa and Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas. Package rates start at $212 per night based on a four-night stay.