The traditional concept of tourism is now radically changing as many countries are gradually and earnestly promoting and investing in sustainable travel.
But what is sustainable tourism, and why is there such a big hype among countries eager to attract tourists to their natural and untouched habitats?
According to the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”
To underline the importance of sustainable tourism, the UNWTO is holding its 116th session in Jeddah from June 7-8. The main theme naturally is sustainable tourism.
The host country Saudi Arabia will surely highlight its achievement in enhancing and promoting sustainable tourism with special emphasis on the Kingdom’s pride — The Red Sea Development Co.
TRSDC plans to open three hotels this year and add 13 more by the end of 2023. The ambitious projects aim to create 120,000 jobs and add SR30 billion to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, according to the company. Brands already on board include St Regis, Six Senses and more ultra-luxury hotel concepts focusing on sustainability.
“Sustainability will set us apart… The Red Sea concept is all about building and working with nature,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, in an interview with Arab News. “Coral reef systems are there. For us, the goal is how to deliver what we need without impacting the environment. My visitors will get to truly immerse themselves in nature.”
AMAALA, under TRSDC’s directive, will also open eco-friendly resorts with an added focus on wellness. The project’s first phase, which includes nine resorts, aims to be complete by the end of 2024.
This is an excerpt from an article by Shafquat Ali, originally published by Arab News.