UAE. Huge cost saving energy-efficient solutions need to be implemented throughout the Middle East’s tourism industry if it is to continue leading the way in global market growth, said an influential industry figure.
Louis Hakim, Chairman of Philips Middle East & VP of Royal Philips Electronics – the latest signing for next month’s World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi conference’s powerful speaker platform – believes the regional industry must seize emerging opportunities and that massive potential exists for destinations and operators to reduce carbon footprints, increase bottom lines and open up to an ever-increasing market segment of eco-conscience travellers.
“Green initiatives in the hospitality industry are developing as a core business strategy. Hotel guests keen to enjoy their travel and guest experience will increasingly seek out accommodation that enables them to minimise their carbon footprint,” said Hakim.
“The good news is that technological solutions to support this quest are readily available, and LED technology is one such response, offering high quality, low maintenance and environmentally-friendly lighting, with a low total cost of ownership. The hospitality industry as a whole is embracing growing demand for a carbon neutral experience by adopting such alternatives - and making sure guests know about them.”
According to Hakim, Philips - which is ensuring the World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi conference and exhibition is a fully carbon neutral event, via an offset programme it is undertaking - believes examples must be set to drive new technology adoption and cites Abu Dhabi as a regional pioneer.
“The emirate has made impressive strides on a governmental level to realise and implement green policies in the tourism industry, via the implementation of a sector-wide Environmental, Health & Safety Management System with energy conservation targets, a green hotel classification system, and high-profile initiatives such as World Green Tourism. These are ambitions shared by Philips and will be instrumental in driving the switch to energy-efficient solutions,” added Hakim.
Citing figures of potential savings, Hakim - who will lead the discussion panel ‘Turning Green: challenges of upgrading tourism facilities’ at World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi which runs from November 22-24 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) – said smart eco-technology solutions can deliver significant savings to hotel operators.
“By carrying out a full analysis of the current consumption of lamps and other electrical equipment, room-by-room and floor-by-floor, it is possible to sketch an accurate picture of where savings can be made - and which products can best help realise them. This can typically save a 200-bedroom hotel €30,000 each year based on 80% occupancy and energy costs of €0.15 per KWh. This represents a significant saving on operational expenses and yields additional RevPAR (revenue per available room),” he said.
“Currently, only 1% of buildings are equipped with controls to detect daylight or the presence of people, representing a huge opportunity for change.”
Philips has signed on as official Offset Partner of World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi which is being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, ADTA’s Chairman who will deliver the opening address. The event, which is co-hosted by the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi - will boast over 50 speakers including international sustainability pioneers, tourism ministers and heads of tourism bodies and UN representatives while the exhibition will feature national arenas from Japan, Thailand, Germany and the UK.
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi, a first-of-its-kind event for the Arabian Gulf, is the debut meetings industry initiative to emerge from ADTA’s Advantage Abu Dhabi incentive programme which catalyses and seeds new business tourism and meetings concepts. The event reflects the core values of the Abu Dhabi Government’s 2030 plan which clearly identifies tourism as a key economic diversification driver and environmental sustainability as an underlying fundamental of the emirate.
The event is a forum for key industry leaders and associations to discuss the environmental challenges facing the tourism industry, highlighting ‘green’ initiatives, technologies and solutions currently being integrated into mainstream industry practices.
For more information: www.worldgreentourism.com.