Hotels in Qatar have joined hands to pursue a new green agenda. The initiative is being led by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) through its Green Hotel Interest Group.
QGBC hosted a diverse range of stakeholders recently for an interactive workshop entitled 'Breaking down barriers to enhance sustainability in the hotel and tourism sector.'
Participants included the Qatar Tourism Authority ( QTA ), WS Atkins, AECOM and some of the city's leading hotels. Attendees shared presentations and held roundtable discussions on key areas of waste, utilities, design and refurbishment, operational issues, and other issues.
A range of sustainable measures in hotel design, construction and operation were discussed. It was agreed that hoteliers could assist in improving Qatar's environmental performance in a number of ways, such as offering bottled water only upon request, improving recycling schemes, and installing efficient HVAC ventilation systems.
Steven Humphrey, chair of the QGBC Green Hotels Interest Group and head of Programme Cost Consultancy Qatar AECOM, said: "The participation in the workshop is evidence that the tourism sector in Qatar is eager to institute programs and contribute to initiatives that save water, conserve energy and reduce waste – while saving money – to help protect our precious environment."
QTA delivered a presentation on the valuable role hotels can play in making national tourism more sustainable. The organization has an existing national-level co-operation agreement with the UN World Tourism Organization that aims to develop a holistic approach to sustainable development in the tourism sector, with the local hotel industry at its center.
The topic of sustainability in relation to the FIFA World Cup 2022 was raised by Dr Neil Kirkpatrick of WS Atkins & Partners Overseas – Qatar. He said: "As the FIFA World Cup 2022 aims to be carbon neutral, the design and operations of hotels and tourism facilities can help significantly by reducing their operational carbon footprint."