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Tourism professionals discuss sustainability & growth of alternative lodging at ATM Virtual

Tourism professionals discuss sustainability & growth of alternative lodging at ATM Virtual
Tourism professionals discuss sustainability & growth of alternative lodging at ATM Virtual
Written by Harry Johnson

Sustainability in travel and tourism is vitally important for the future of our industry, with growing concerns about the industry’s impact on the environment.

  • Sustainability expert Harold Goodwin leads discussion on responsible tourism
  • Colliers examine growth potential and challenges facing EWAA tourism
  • The Middle East Tourism Investment Summit will take place virtually tomorrow 27 May

Under the theme of ‘A new dawn for travel & tourism’, the Arabian Travel Market Virtual event continued on day two (Tuesday 25 May) and after the morning hotel and aviation sessions, the focus turned towards sustainability.    

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, remarked: “Sustainability in travel and tourism is vitally important for the future of our industry, with growing concerns about the industry’s impact on the environment. This is the issue of the hour. Hotels and destinations will have to balance short term financial recovery coming out of the pandemic, with a mid to longer term eco-friendly business strategy.”

During a virtual conversation with top industry sustainability professionals, moderator Harold Goodwin, who is Responsible Tourism Advisor to the World Travel Market, presented a session entitled Responsible Hospitality in a Perfect Storm.

During his opening comments, Goodwin sought opinion from the panel about the environmental challenges facing hotels over the next decade, especially when the pandemic, has hit hotels hard financially, with many still focused on survival.

In response, Eric Ricaurte, Founder and Chief Executive of hospitality consultancy Greenview, said: “By 2030 at the latest, hotels will be expected by their stakeholders to be net zero (emissions), 100% renewable energy. So, the problem at the moment is really coping with the pace of change to get there.”

According to Singapore-based Ricaurte, the key to keeping pace with say retrofits or renovations, will, in part be dictated not only by consumer demand but by potential new green regulations, “Hotels will need to plan ahead for new regulations, allocating enough reserves through their CAPEX budgets.”

On the issue of measuring their sustainability performance and being transparent about the results, Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications at Radisson Hotel Group commented: “All major hospitality companies have been tracking their (sustainable) performance and we’ve all been setting reduction targets.