Saudi Arabia, known for its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes, is now making waves in the tourism industry with its commitment to sustainability and the rise of green hotels. As the country aims to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil, the development of eco-friendly tourism has become a top priority.
The Importance of Green Hotels in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in the tourism and hospitality industry, recognizing the potential of ecotourism as a sustainable and profitable sector. Green hotels, also known as environmentally friendly or eco-hotels, play a crucial role in this development. These hotels are certified for their commitment to sustainable practices, including the use of renewable energy, waste reduction, and the preservation of local ecosystems.
Sustainable Development Goals and Saudi Arabia’s Commitment
Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in aligning its tourism industry with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. These goals aim to address global challenges such as climate change. As part of its commitment, the Kingdom has adopted international sustainability standards in travel and tourism, as set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
The Government’s Role in Promoting Sustainability
The Saudi government is the largest investor in tourism and hospitality in the country, making green hotels an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s sustainability DNA. The Public Investment Fund’s projects, including Red Sea Global, NEOM, and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, are aligned with the concept of green hotels. These initiatives not only attract international tourists but also create job opportunities and drive economic growth.
The Sustainable Tourism Global Center
To further enhance the tourism industry and align it with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060, Saudi Arabia has established the Sustainable Tourism Global Center. This center serves as a platform for governments, international organizations, academic bodies, financing institutions, and industry associations to collaborate on reducing the tourism sector’s contribution to global greenhouse gases and moving towards net-zero emissions.