DTCM unveils new eco initiative
Dubai, March 21, 2009
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has enrolled several prominent 5 star properties under its environmental programme which aims to reduce hotel carbon emissions by 20 per cent in two years.
The DTCM reaffirmed the benefits of its performance-based and goal-driven initiative for sustainable tourism at the recently concluded ITB travel trade fair in Berlin.
'ITB provided an ideal platform for us to highlight to Dubai hospitality professionals, just how important green issues are to overseas tour operators.'
'This was also apparent by the enthusiastic feedback we received from European travel industry professionals. By participating in this initiative hotels will not only protect our environment and benefit from lower utility costs, they will be seen as good corporate citizens at home and abroad,” said Shaikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa director environmental committee CO2 Reduction Programme.
“The travel industry is incredibly value-driven at the moment with rates being a major factor of the decision making process. By embracing sustainability initiatives, Dubai hotels can gain a competitive edge, that would undoubtedly have a positive impact on like-minded tour operators,” she added.
A detailed roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aimed at progressing the initiative for sustainable tourism, will be communicated to all of Dubai’s hotels and hotel-apartments shortly, Shaikha said.
Some of the hotels which have signed-up so far include, Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah, Movenpick Hotel and The One & Only Royal Mirage.
Dubai hotels generally still lag behind their counterparts in Europe, where the average hotel produces 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum. In Dubai that figure is 6,500 tonnes and the size of the carbon footprint produced by all hotels in Dubai, is well over 500 million kilos a year. That is equivalent to 60,000 round-trip flights between Dubai and London.
According to Markus Oberlin, general manager of Farnek Avireal Middle East, the response from DTCM participants at ITB was tremendously encouraging.
“Some hotel managers were initially concerned about the costs. In truth by installing energy saving modules for example the return on investment is less than two years.”
“Given the challenges the industry is facing this year, supporting sustainability by reducing energy and the associated costs must be a priority for all stakeholders, it is a sound business proposition which is kind to the environment as well,” Oberlin added.