Tourism experts urge 80pc cut in carbon footprint

DUBAI — Experts and analysts unanimously urged an 80 per cent reduction in the travel and tourism industry’s carbon footprint by 2025.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 23 Apr 2008, 9:27 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:56 PM

The call was given at the two-day eighth Global Travel and Tourism Summit which concluded yesterday.

The summit was held under the patronage and inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday at the Madinat Jumeirah.

Sonu Shivdasani, founder, chairman and CEO of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, said, “Our industry is making considerable investments to drive sustainability, but there is more than we can do to lead by example. We need to set ambitious targets to effectively mitigate the negative impact of our emissions. Unless we aim big, we have no chance of hitting our targets.”

Sustainability remained the core theme on the concluding day of the summit with experts and industry leaders suggesting the current travel and tourism business model could not be sustained unless new perspectives and innovative approaches are immediately adopted.

Experts also emphasised the need for a more conscious and strategic commitment to identifying innovative ways for tackling the complex challenges confronting the travel and tourism sector.

Gerald Lawless, executive chairman of the Jumeirah Group, underlined human resources as a critical issue. He said, “Tourism has always been a labour-intensive industry, accounting for 10 per cent of the world’s employment. It is important, therefore, that the industry’s expansion remains attractive to new human capital.

“We can increase the quality and calibre of the labour force only through providing concerted education and industry-specific training.”

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president and CEO of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said, “We need to explain the sector’s position to the world as a major employment-generating component of the economy.”

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