Considering that over 14 million tourists flock to Egypt during peak seasons, tourism is a robust and ever-expanding industry in the country. This is especially true for the hotel business, which boasts 225,000 rooms currently available and 208,000 more currently being constructed. Stats like that indicate that these hotels have a significant impact on Egypt’s economy. But it isn’t just the economy that these hotels impact: it’s also the environment.
And now, there is big news in the tourism sector that is clearly a win for sustainable travel. But for those who have never heard of sustainable travel and have no clue what it means, allow me to get you up to speed. Sustainable travel is the practice of making a conscious effort to reduce your ecological impact on the places that you visit in order to conserve the environment.
In addition to individual efforts, certain hotels have gotten on board to do their part to promote sustainability, and that is where the big news comes in: Green Star Hotels in Egypt recently earned certification through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Mauro Marrocu, who serves as the chief executive officer, shared his thoughts on this and stated, “Achieving this certification is confirmation of Egypt’s tourism sector’s commitment to long-lasting and credible programs and gives hotels and resorts in the country another reason to work collaboratively towards sustainability.” Marrocu went on to say, “We are looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Green Star Hotels and congratulate them on this very important and meaningful achievement.”
The criteria of GSTC stands alone as a global guideline for establishing benchmarks in sustainability, and Green Star Hotels has followed through with their commitment to use GSTC criteria as a universal reference. By following suit with the model utilized by Green Star Hotels, hotels across Egypt will be able to work as a team, compiling their resources and boosting efficiency of operations. Making simple changes, like reducing water consumption and using solid wood furniture instead of synthetic, chemical-filled furniture, will ensure that Egypt’s natural beauty will be protected.
Green Star Hotels strives for excellence in sustainability through the objectives that they aim to address, which include:
- Advances in the performance of tourist destinations with regards to the environment
- Marine life conservation and measures to promote biodiversity
- Decreased rates of water and energy consumption
- Efficient handling of waste and sewage
- Heightened awareness among hotel workers and guests regarding the importance of taking action for environmental protection
With all the efforts to promote sustainability in today’s society, why is the certification of Green Star Hotels such a big deal? Project director for Green Star Hotel, Barbara Fritz, explains that, “We have been working hard for seven years to develop, set up, and promote the Green Star Hotel Certification program as a national standard for the Egyptian tourist accommodation sector based but faced many difficulties and quite political eventful times. Now that we are internationally recognized, we think that a major first step is done to develop Egypt’s tourism industry towards more sustainability together with the rest of the international tourism market and the support of GSTC.”
The advances in sustainable travel in Egypt couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. As awareness of sustainability grows and more people become concerned with protecting the environment, Egypt could very well see a rise in its number of visitors. Now, people can vacation there and truly enjoy it without having to worry about causing ecological damage. Because really, who wants a guilt trip when traveling should be fun and relaxing?