Green tourism: a new initiative to up-excellence in Dubai
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched a new initiative to improve the service standards and excellence in the green tourism industry. Together for a Green Enviroment was launched by the DTCM at a ceremony organised at the Le Meridien Dubai yesterday (June 5) to mark the World Environment Day.
The ceremony was attended by the DTCM Director General, Khalid A bin Sulayem, Sultan bin Mejren, director general of Dubai's Lands Department, senior managers and executives of the DTCM and other government departments, tourism industry stakeholders and strategic partners from the energy and environment sectors. The initiative is designed to promote the concept of green economy in the emirate through the organization of seminars and workshops for the tourism industry professionals and make them aware of the importance of sustainable tourism, to provide the best solutions and technologies, discuss environmental policies and study the best environmental practices.
Under the initiative, the department conducted three activities on Tuesday. The department hosted the second session of its Tourism Environmental Training under the Think Green Initiative titled 18-challenges of the Green Journey. The session will address the 18 challenges and recommend solutions raised by the participants during the first session held in February earlier this year. More than 175 participants who include hotels owners, directors, general managers, staffs from all the hotel establishments and tour operators attended this training to the experiences and achievements of green tourism.
The participants were divided in groups and each group will have to deal with challenges and recommend solutions. This activity allowed participants to see a reality scenario of how several eco-programmes just fails to take off due to resistance and how by acquiring the right skills they can make it happen. Among the challenges highlighted were lack of environmental knowledge, shortage of resources and facilities, lack of funding and investment returns to finance, lack of communication channels with some government departments and organizations concerned with the environment and lack of smart environmental technologies. In the second programme, a group of selected panel of experts from the government and private entities highlighted their thoughts about the environmental day and shared the recommendations that the first group made and gave their recommendations, some of which will require the government support.
The aim of the initiative is to develop events and activities that support the concept of sustainable tourism and reflects the interest of government departments in the preservation of the environment and to highlight their role and their social responsibility. The educational activities under the initiative is designed to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, and environmental conservation through a number of lectures and organizing events and distributing educational leaflets and the collection of recyclable materials and deliver them to the concerned authorities. Khalid bin Sulayem said the initiative aims to highlight Dubai's active role in the development of sustainable tourism and motivate people in general and tourism industry professionals to pay attention to the environment protection. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, DTCM executive director of Business Development and Media Relations and general supervisor of Dubai Green Tourism Award, said Together for Greener Environment was aimed at spreading environmental awareness and engaging the Government departments with several activities and competitions.
Through the Green Tourism initiative, the department has been successful in reducing CO2 in tourism industry by 20 percent and the target for the year 2012 is 30 percent. Dubai now have over 576 Green Teams in hotels and more than 1500 tourism industry professionals have been trained under this programme. Shaikha Al Mutawa, DTCM Director of Business Development and Chairperson of the Dubai Green Tourism Award Organizing Committee, said intelligent solutions and initiatives of short-and long-term will help strengthen and consolidate the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015.
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