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Mon 6 Nov 2006 04:00 AM

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Call to action for sustainable tourism

The Middle East’s hotel, construction and travel and tourism industries are being encouraged to share and foster examples of sustainable practices.

The Middle East’s hotel, construction and travel and tourism industries are being encouraged to share and foster examples of sustainable practices.

The International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) Tourism Partnership, which helps travel and tourism-related companies “make a valuable contribution to the cultures and countries in which they operate”, has highlighted the Middle East as one of the primary regions where examples of good practice are required in order to develop gen-eric guidelines for their peers worldwide.

“I hope that in the Middle East we can bring the industry together and look at ways to address the issue of climate change and energy and water wastage,” said Lyndall de Marco, director, IBLF Tourism Partnership.

“There are some wonderful examples of engineering and intelligent energy-saving facilities and what we would like very much is to work with the construction and development communities [in the region]. I would like to get property developers around a table and work out what can be done collectively.”

UK-based IBLF Tourism Partnership, which was established by the Prince of Wales, currently boasts 12 hotel chain members equating to 11,000 properties worldwide.

They include international groups such as Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Rezidor SAS, Starwood, Four Seasons, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, as well as Dubai-based luxury hotel group, Jumeirah. And, as ATN went to press, the organisation was poised to sign up its first airline, the identity of which is yet to be revealed.

Lyndall said she was keen for hotels and developers to share their ideas and methods so that a set of guidelines could be created to help the tourism industry address issues such as poverty alleviation and human rights and to build them into their company culture and framework.

The organisation recently published the Sustainable Hotel Siting, Design and Construction guidelines, which provide a point of reference for planners, investors, hotel owners and developers and were compiled using examples of best practice from IBLF members.

“Our aim is to look at what successful hotels are doing and to pass that knowledge on in a generic format,” said Lyndall.

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