Saturday 23 March 2019

Dubai highlights 'Sustainable Tourism' initiative at ATM

DUBAI, April 25, 2018

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is promoting its Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative at Arabian Travel Market, highlighting the range of events, activities and tools that have helped bring about significant changes in the way hotels in Dubai develop and run sustainability practices and processes.

The DST initiative aims to position Dubai as one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations, primarily through an ongoing programme dedicated to improving and encouraging conservation of the emirate’s resources and reducing the carbon footprint of Dubai’s tourism industry in line with Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy, issued by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

As part of DST, Dubai Tourism has successfully launched the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards, introduced 19 new standards to support effective resource management across various hotel classifications, and developed new tools including the Hospitality Sustainability Board Game and the Carbon Calculator, as well as the ‘12 Steps to Sustainability’ toolkit to help promote energy conservation, create energy efficient services, and encourage environmentally sustainable practices in the local tourism and hospitality sector.

Yousuf Lootah, executive director – Tourism Development and Investments, Dubai Tourism, said: “Our Dubai Sustainable Tourism initiative is truly a trendsetter and is inspired by the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. With Dubai’s hospitality industry set to expand and absorb increased visitor volumes in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, the initiative has an even more crucial role to play towards ensuring sustainable development of the city’s hospitality sector. During ATM we’re showcasing the activities and tools developed and the steps taken so far to craft a successful strategy for sustainable tourism in the region, an area that has come under renewed focus within the global tourism industry. Since every industry stakeholder has an interest in the  future of Dubai͛’s tourism success, the Dubai Sustainable Tourism initiative is also enabling and  cementing opportunities for partnerships across public and private sectors, allowing us to work together in achieving a cleaner, greener environment for Dubai."

Dubai Tourism is carrying out its sustainability initiative in collaboration with the following partners: Etihad ESCO, Dubai Carbon, Emirates Environmental Group, Emirates Wildlife Society – WWF and Emirates Green Building Council, as well as the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dewa and Dubai Municipality as strategic partners.

Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards: The annual awards demonstrate Dubai Tourism’s commitment to supporting the emirate’s sustainable tourism campaign. In collaboration with the United Nations, Dubai has created a unique ‘Carbon Abatement’ strategy that sets forth the city’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021, making it the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world. The main objectives of the awards are threefold: develop guidelines that enable the tourism industry to become more sustainable; create a network on sustainability and enable sharing of best practices; and recognise sustainability efforts and accomplishments within the industry. 151 hospitality establishments entered last year’s awards programme, and Dubai Tourism expects the number of entries to increase this year.

Sustainability standards: 19 new sustainability standards have been introduced to strengthen the process of collaboration in further enhancing the hospitality sector and the visitors’ experience. These newly introduced policies and industry standards are now part of the hotel establishments’ classification criteria and are being constantly reviewed and refined by hoteliers and industry experts with a view to making it practical and effective for all stakeholders. These standards are expected to pave the way for Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors to continue to introduce innovative standards.

Board game: To further raise awareness among hotels in Dubai of the importance of adopting eco-friendly practices, Dubai Tourism developed the Hospitality Sustainability Board Game, an innovative awareness tool and a key component of Dubai Sustainable Tourism that enables hotels and their employees to play a crucial role in driving green tourism practices. A total of 115 hotel establishments have played the Board Game so far during events and roadshows organised by Dubai Tourism, and more hotel establishments are encouraged to participate in this educational game. The Board Game helps professionals from Dubai hotels learn how to efficiently manage their resources by saving on electricity and water, and also helps participants understand which areas of the hotel activities are responsible for consumption, and how to optimise the efficiency of those areas.

Carbon Calculator: Dubai Sustainable Tourism, in partnership with Dubai Carbon, has developed the Carbon Calculator software to help hotels establish the baseline and benchmark among all hotels in Dubai and identify cost savings opportunities. Over 80 per cent of hotel establishments have registered in the carbon calculator.

‘12 Steps to Sustainability’: This web-based digital toolkit developed by Dubai Sustainable Tourism has been well received within the hospitality fraternity. The guidelines covering four areas - energy conservation, water conservation, waste management and best corporate practices -  provide practical information and spells out what measures need to be taken to help reduce a hotel's operational cost and improve sustainability practices and the guests’ experience. Hotels can download the interactive ‘12 Steps to Sustainability’ toolkit from the Dubai Sustainable Tourism website. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | tourism | hotels | ATM | sustainable | initiative |

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