The World Travel and Tourism Council recognised Serena hotels as a finalist in the Global Tourism Business Awards recently held in Dubai.
The group was honoured for best practices in the industry out of 12 other finalists in the four categories of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Serena’s managing director, Mr Mahmud Janmohamed, noted that his group had been developing various projects to ensure the interests of the local communities were integrated in the company’s business ethics.
This was the eighth time the WTTC was holding the awards which have risen to be one of the coveted prizes in the industry.
Other categories recognised during the award ceremony were best Destination award, Conservation Award and Investor in People Award.
According to the chairman of judges, Costas Christ, the awards have grown over the years with more people paying attention to sustainable tourism.
“Twenty years ago sustainable tourism was just an idea, now it is entering the travel and tourism mainstream as more companies embrace new innovations demonstrating environmentally-friendly operations,” he said. The growth of sustainable tourism has mainly been driven by a commitment to safeguard the cultural and natural heritage of communities and various destinations.
Over the years, it has been hailed as a major channel to fight poverty as communities benefit from the sector.
Climate concerns have also led to an awareness of sustainable travel with tourists making environmentally conscious decisions when planning their holidays.
The sector is faced with the challenge of constantly providing this environmentally conscious service and at the same time using the sector to alleviate poverty especially in developing countries.
Finalists for the awards are judged according to the initiatives they have undertaken towards meeting this challenge.