‘Sustainability’ to be the top agenda’ – this will be the unanimous opinion of the travel trade at the World Green Tourism 2011. To be held in Abu Dhabi in November this year, it strives to bring together the trade for the cause of green tourism. It is the very first commercial conference and exhibition to promote sustainable tourism and initiate ‘green’ practices.The exhibition is supported by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Environment Agency.
Abu Dhabi has long term plans for sustainable tourism. As a part of its Plan 2030, it is developing its resorts, hotels, golf courses and cultural destinations on the same lines. They are working towards helping the local community while growing the tourism products, strength by strength. It aspires to reduce its hotels’ energy usage by 10 per cent, water usage by 20 per cent and landfill waste volume by 20 per cent.
«The regional travel trade now has a unique opportunity to come together and increase knowledge of sustainability and its growing significance,» Oisin Commane, Group Director, Streamline Marketing Group, the organiser of World Green Tourism said. «Two-star and standard hotel apartments are also invited in this edition,» Commane added.
The second edition of the event that was launched in the UAE in November last year, will take place in Abu Dhabi on November 5- 7. The focus of the exhibition will be sustainable technology, engineering advances, ‘green’ and clean energy and energy saving devices.
‘Green’ buildings can save an average of 30 per cent energy over their conventional counterpart through a blend of energy-saving design strategies and using on-site renewable energy.
Dubai’s hospitality industry is putting its best foot forward to reduce the region’s carbon footprint. Launched in 2009 by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the first round of Dubai Green Tourism Award attracted 79 hotels and 450 general managers to participate in workshops and seminars.
A variety of sustainable initiatives are underway to support Hyatt’s objective of environmental responsibility. With the opening of Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi later this year, it aims to extend its green plans. «Using a double glass facade, for the first time in UAE, the building is constructed in such a way that it will reduce 5 per cent of the heat, hence lowering energy bills,» informed Ashwini Kumar, General Manager, Hyatt Capital Gate. Leaning 18 degrees westward, the concept of this meshed structure, inspired by Abu Dhabi’s landscape has fluid natural rhythms of wind and water. In addition it offers 30 per cent reduction in heat providing shade, maintaining 80 per cent transparency.
The Moroccan-style property in Fujairah, Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort has received Green Globe Award this year for attaining desirable results in sustainable tourism.»We are proud to achieve this recognition. Miramar is the first hotel on the UAE’s East Coast and first beach resort in the Emirates to receive this certification,» said Ashraf Helmy, Area General Manager and Business Development Manager, Iberotel Hotels and Resorts. «We have shared our experience with others, encouraging them to build and grow in agreement with nature,» he added.
Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi is focussed to conserve water and energy, control waste among others. «The steps that we take today will preserve the planet for our children. We need to empower everyone to protect environment and reinforce the message of conserving energy,» expressed Moine Kandil, General Manager, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi. «We have been awarded the ‘Best Environment Hotel in MENA’ and will continue to set an example within the hospitality industry. We ignite the passion of implementing green initiatives among others too,» added Kandil
Rezidor Hotel Group is the first international hotel group in the Middle East to achieve full environmental certification across all its hotels and brands.
Sarah Rooney, Responsible Business Manager, Rezidor Hotel Group said, «All our hotels in the Middle East became Green Key certified in just four months. It is a testament to our hard work and longstanding commitment to environmental practices and responsible business in general.»
The Green Key is a global eco-label for the leisure industry. Over half of the Rezidor Group’s hotels across the world are presently ecolabeled with the number growing rapidly. Rezidor is helping eco-labeling bodies expand their operations to new countries by piloting their criteria at Rezidor hotels.
Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, Jordan is the first in the kingdom to receive Green Globe certificates. «It is the visionary approach of our company, Zara (Holding) Ltd and eagerness of our employees. Considerable investments in alternative energy production and water and waste management were the key aspects to achieve the outstanding results,» stated Bruno Huber, Regional General Manager, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Jordan.
«Movenpick Hotels & Resorts aims for 20 per cent of its hotels, resorts and cruises to get Green Globe Certificates by 2011 end. We also aim to get all our properties stamped with Green Globe credentials within two years,» he added.
Khaled Al Mazrouei, Founding President of Green Aviation Logistics Group Middle East (GALG ME), General Manager of Fujairah International Airport and Chairman of Gulf Airports Services Association commented, «The increased globalisation of today’s business operations calls for a special highlight on the overall performance of distribution and supply networks where green logistics concepts merged with intelligent systems can lead to resource utilisation and reduced burden on the environment.»