In a promising development for Saudi Arabia's environmentalists, there is a burgeoning trend of green hotels gaining favor among the nation's hospitality and tourism industry. Numerous investors are presently redirecting their focus towards projects that prioritize sustainability in an effort to draw in clients and increase their profits.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has joined the growing movement towards bolstering the green sector, embracing an eco-friendly approach to hospitality and supporting colossal environmentally conscious ventures. These green hotels are recognized as certified environmentally friendly establishments. To secure this certification, hotels must adhere to the Sustainable Development Goals and implement eco-friendly practices, encompassing the use of biodegradable materials and the provision of energy-efficient accommodations.
Abdulaziz Al-Mizani, Head of Sustainability at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, commends Saudi Arabia's strides in fulfilling the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a global imperative. Saudi Arabia integrates these goals into its tourism expansion strategy, adhering to international sustainability standards established by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, underlining their commitment to sustainability.
Another positive move is the creation of the Sustainable Tourism Global Center, which aims to enhance the tourism sector while aligning it with Saudi Arabia's ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2060. The center serves as a hub for governments, international organizations, academia, financial bodies, and industry groups, all working together to reduce the tourism sector's significant 8 percent contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and transition toward net-zero emissions.
Al-Mizani highlights the Saudi government's central role as the primary investor in the Kingdom's tourism and hospitality sector, driven by its strong commitment to sustainability. Initiatives backed by the Public Investment Fund that are in line with the green hotel concept include Red Sea Global, NEOM, the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and other semi-government enterprises.
Al-Mizani also underlines the imperative steps for hotels aiming to transition into eco-friendly establishments, including the elimination of plastic products, the provision of green transportation options, the promotion of paperless practices or a substantial reduction in paper usage, enhancements in energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, and the implementation of a food waste reduction strategy.
Lastly, Al-Mizani emphasizes the importance of business owners actively supporting and encouraging tourists and guests to engage in Saudi Arabia's sustainability initiatives. The commitment to building green hotels, he asserts, represents a long-term dedication towards clean energy and a healthier environment for current and future generations to thrive in.