Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A top-level official of a leading global professional services company said the UAE and specifically Dubai is continually moving towards achieving sustainable tourism because of determination and the well-coordinated implementation of well-directed policies by all stakeholders.
Accenture Products Lead-Middle East and Turkey managing director Norberto Cibien was among the speakers and interviewed from the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG)-organised “Panel Discussion on Sustainable Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities.”
He defined sustainable tourism as that which is “conscious about current and long-term economic, social and environmental impacts; the kind of tourism that makes optimal usage of environmental resources conserving natural heritage and preserving bio-diversity, that respects the social and cultural heritage of host communities and that contributes to the long-term economy of local industries that support tourism operations.”
Cibien, alongside fellow panellists, Modul University-Bachelor in Business Administration Programme director Dr Ana Stranjancevic, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve-Conservation manager Greg Simkins, and Sofitel Wafi Hotel general manager Omar Souab, agreed with EEG chairperson Habiba Mar’ashi that sustainable tourism has to be constantly discussed because while tourism has proved to be one of the major industry drivers anywhere in the world towards a country’s growth and progress, any mis-step is unfortunate.
One of these misfortunes is the disastrous climate change which has been permeating around the world.
They said sustainable tourism has become an important component since seven years back.
Interviewed, Cibien said the global standards of sustainable tourism which all governments must strive to adhere to, for the safety and security of everyone, are listed in the “Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals-Journey to 2030” of the United Nations (UN) World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme.
The publication “assesses the existing landscape and the actions taken by major tourism stakeholders—governments, the private sector and development agencies—to elevate the contribution of tourism to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Cibien mentioned the three global goals which “tourism can impact the most.” These are Life Below Water, Decent Work and Employment, and Responsible Consumption and Production.
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