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DTCM Organise Workshop On Green Tourism In GCC
(26 February 2012)
Dubai Committed To Environmentally Sustainable Tourism


 

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has organised a three-day workshop on Green Tourism in GCC to create further awareness among the key players of tourism industry about environmentally sustainable tourism and promote Green Tourism movement in the region.

Inaugurating the environmental tourism training workshop titled Green Tourism in GCC Countries- Between Hope and Reality at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa today, Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, DTCM Executive Director of Business Development and Media Relations, said tourism has been playing an increasingly important socio-economic role in the economies of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the recent years with Dubai maintaining a market leading position.

“Several other GCC states have also started giving more focus to tourism. There have been reasonable concerns about environmental issues due to the development of tourism industry in our region,” he remarked.

The senior management official said environmentally sustainable tourism was being pursued in Dubai in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism which leads to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be filled while maintaining cultural integrity, essentials ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.”

He said the DTCM has been active in enhancing the industry’s contribution to Green Tourism.

In 2009, the DTCM launched Dubai Green Tourism Award to encourage five, four and three star hotels reduce hotel carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The award submissions for this year were extended to include two-star hotels and standard hotel apartments. The department has shortlisted 23 hotel establishments for the 2011 awards programme. Hotels and hotel apartments are assessed for a wide range of environmental, economic and social issues, including energy saving, nature conservation and community involvement.

Ms. Shaikha Al Mutawa; Director of Business Development; chairperson of the green award highlighted that the training will allow participant acquire the knowhow on how to became an environmental sustainable business and referred to the DTCM green programs which helped reduce the consumption of electricity by 10 per cent in these establishments as against the targeted 7 percent. As for water consumption, the programme’s target was 12 per cent but the hotels managed to reach 17 per cent.

The workshop was being attended by officials from UNEP, UNESCO, hoteliers, environmentalists and media representatives from the GCC states.

In his remarks, Dr. Mohammed Alashkar said the workshop was an ideal platform for exchanging knowledge and experience in the tourism sector and the interaction would add valuable ecological information to the knowledge of the hoteliers and others.

He said the workshop has been designed for boosting the knowledge of those working in the tourism sector to ensure that Dubai and the GCC region continues to lead in the world as a sought-after tourism and business destination while supporting its economy and protecting the people and environment.

In his address, Prof. Dr. Said Mansour Mohamed El- Batouty, Consultant at United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), explained the definition of a Green Economy and provided insights to the participants about tourism in environmental economy, natural resource management in tourism economy and natural reserves and their role in preserving the environmental heritage.

Mr. Frederick Reinisch, General Manager, Jebel Ali Resort and Spa, shared the successful ‘Green Journey’ of the property in terms of preservation and promoting Green Tourism concepts.

On Wednesday, Prof. Dr. Said El Batouty will address the workshop about the Best Practices in GCC and Dubai and a Strategy for Sustainable Tourism in UAE in addition to presenting a case study on Eco Tour operator.

On Thursday, Dr. Samy Tayie, Member of UNESCO Group of Experts on Media Education, will speak about the planning of Social Campaigns, Concepts of Social Campaigns and Promoting Environmental Initiatives in Social Media.

Dr. Ghada Al Dejawi will conduct an Outdoor workshop on how to plan and prepare an environmental camp and environmental vacation.

 

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