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Tourism should not shirk away from adopting green guidelines. The pandemic and the latest heat waves will force that change. Image Credit: UGMO

We have heard a lot of talk about how tourism has bounced back after an unprecedented couple of years. The interest in sustainable tourism has definitely increased since the beginning of the pandemic and was the tipping point for travellers to finally commit to their own sustainable journeys.

Since travel is becoming easier as the world opens up, the preference for a ‘green’ or a sustainable holiday is widespread among today’s tourists. The pandemic – and the heat waves in Europe - has shed light to us that what we do each day really impacts us and the world around.

Through various initiatives, the Dubai Government has taken some big measures to welcome sustainable tourism. In fact, a Dubai Sustainable Tourism Department was established to contribute to the broader clean energy and sustainable development targets Dubai is looking forward to achieve.

According to booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report - which polled more than 29,000 travellers across 30 countries – 73 per cent of US travellers think that sustainable travel is vital, with 46 per cent say the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably. The report also confirms that 42 per cent still believe that there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available, with 48 per cent admitting that they get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable.

Since accommodation is one of the key elements of tourism, we realized that travellers are still finding it challenging to find suitable sustainable-minded stays for their trips. There was this need to feel sustainability practices in the hospitality sector and we wanted to do our part within the holiday homes segment in Dubai.

We partnered with one of the leaders in sustainable development who has truly redefined the living experience with their iconic project, The Sustainable City, in Dubai. We became the first operator in the market to manage end-to-end sustainable holiday homes. With more than 50 short-term rental homes in the Sustainable City, guests now can enjoy a superior accommodation experience without having to leave a large carbon footprint. That comes from using renewable energy, local produce, and plastic-free care products. At the end of each stay, guests are emailed interesting insights about their stay and consumption of resources, helping them make certain changes in their lifestyles and a big difference on the carbon footprint they leave behind.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council claims that an eco-friendly journey implies minimizing the negative impacts and maximizing the positive ones. For example, reducing littering, damage to nature, over-tourism, and on the other hand enhancing the preservation of the natural landscape, as well as of the local culture.

As we transition to a more sustainable society, travellers will want to know what their accommodation providers are doing for the environment and the local community. We as accommodation providers must begin educating and sharing our efforts to our guests, who will surely will feel more comfortable from us doing so.