World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi, the international conference and exhibition being held in the UAE capital this November, has won the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
“We in Abu Dhabi are building an industry to make a difference on a number of levels – economically, to our social fabric, and to the preservation of our cultural heritage and natural assets – in short, we are working not just for immediate benefits, but for the future. We are ensuring the efforts of today are sustained for the long-term, and this event will help ensure our initiatives are recognized and replicated across the public and private sectors in Abu Dhabi, regionally, and across the globe. We also recognize that we still have much to learn, and the presence of so many industry leaders will offer valuable insight to help us achieve our goals,” said Sheikh Sultan.
“We look forward also to discovering the latest sustainability techniques and methodologies, which we anticipate being promoted at the World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi exhibition – it will be a window to future practices,” he added.
Having chaired ADTA since its 2004 inception, Sheikh Sultan has promoted sustainability as a core value for the organization as it works to develop Abu Dhabi into a world-class destination, which has grown from receiving 960,000 hotel guests in 2004 to 1.54 million last year and to being recommended by Lonely Planet and Frommer’s in their respective Top Ten recommended destinations to visit in 2010. He also chairs the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, a World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi Gold Sponsor.
ADTA has established its own Environmental Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS), which has become a world-first in being the only one of its kind which embraces an entire tourism segment. Focusing initially on the hospitality sector, it calls on accommodation providers to design their own EHSMS systems with annual targets for water, energy, and waste-to-landfill savings.
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi is designed to give travel and tourism industry leaders and investors greater insights into sustainability within the sector and how it can be used to enhance business outcomes. It is being organized by the UAE’s Streamline Marketing Group (SMG).
“Sheikh Sultan will set the tone for an event, which we believe will have a tangible impact on the way tourism-related functions are managed in this region,” said Rick Theobald, event director, SMG. “Through his different roles encompassing government, tourism, investment, and development, Sheikh Sultan has helped shaped Abu Dhabi’s transformation into a leading tourism destination in an environmentally, socially, and culturally-aware manner.”