Saturday, March 24, 2012


Water preservation a holidaymaker priority, claims Tui researchThe vast majority of holidaymakers believe that it is important to save water when on holiday. Research issued today by Tui Travel operators Thomson and First Choice to coincide with World Water Day shows that 98.5% of consumers see water preservation as a priority. The sister operators have donated more than £50,000 to water charity Just a Drop and have raised £160,000 for Pump Aid which builds pumps and toilets in sub-Saharan Africa. The donations are part of Thomson and First Choice’s Holidays Forever commitments to raise £1 million for charity every year.

 homson and First Choice are contractually obliging hotels they use to sign up to minimum sustainability standards. They aim to have more than 90% of hotels with Travelife environmental awards or similar by 2014. They are working with First Choice Holiday Villages, Thomson Sensatori and Thomson Couples hotels to reduce their carbon and water footprints. Thomson’s water and energy saving Waterpebble water usage monitoring device has been trialled at Sensatori Tenerife, with the operator giving holidyamakers their own gadgets to take home.

Group sustainable development director Jane Ashton said: “We are committed to improving the sustainability of our suppliers and working with our hotels to reduce their water footprint. “Raising money for charities which deliver vital and life-saving clean water supplies where they are needed will remain a key priority for us.” As part of the World Water Day celebrations, you could enter Travel Weekly’s competition to win a high-speed boat ride on the Thames for you and three friends.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fluorescent bulbs: Lighting up a greener future in UAE

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are the most readily available energy saving alternative to incandescent bulbs and come in different shapes and sizes. 
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) 
Dubai: Light bulbs that are not energy efficient will be banned across the country from mid-2013 as the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) expands its range of efficiency standards to cover more electrical equipment and appliances. The move will also affect washing machines and refrigerators. The new standards will require all light bulbs sold and used in the country to be eco-friendly as per the rating system, which will be announced early next year. Only the likes of compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED bulbs will fall into the approved category, under the ratings system currently being devised.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Training workshops for hoteliers, lodge operators organised in Arusha

The Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ), in partnership with the British High Commission and other stakeholders, has organised a series of training workshops for hoteliers and lodge operators in Tanzania. The workshops focus on responsible tourism and eco-certification schemes. Other stakeholders who support the programme include the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) with Travelife International, Hotel Association Tanzania and Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors.

The training programme, which will be held in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, is meant to establish a Tanzanian national certification scheme for hotels and lodges in line with international global sustainable council guidelines. Speaking at the launch of the first training workshop in Arusha yesterday, Damian Bell from the Honeyguide Foundation/RTTZ urged service providers to operate in a sustainable manner, taking into account environmental and community considerations. “This will provide the Tanzanian tourist industry with an enhanced competitive edge within the competitive global tourist market,” he said. “Strong, well-administered eco-certification schemes and an internationally compliant strategy will give Tanzanian lodges an advantage in attracting today’s more ethically-aware traveller.” 

He noted that the programme was tailored in a way that beneficiaries understood a wide-range of issues on responsible tourism, as well as on what international market trends. The training workshops aim at empowering chief executive officers, hotel managers, marketing and sales managers and operational managers in the tourist industry acquire requisite skills and knowledge of eco-tourism. RTTZ is about encouraging and promoting a more sustainable tourist industry in the country. It stands for protecting and caring for diverse cultures as well as its natural environment, whilst capitalising on business and economic sustainability. Bell further stated that RTTZ membership was open for all members of the tourist industry. 

“We welcome founding members to join and support the development of the association.” 

“This is a very important training workshop for the betterment of the tourist industry as it gives participants opportunities to explore the advantages of sustainable and responsible tourism management for their own befits and the sector as a whole,” one of the Arusha-based training participants said. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anfeh: Α little Greece in Lebanon

Άνφε: Μια μικρή Ελλάδα στο Λίβανο - Anfeh: Α little Greece in Lebanon

Anfeh is a Greek Orthodox town in the northern Lebanese coast, 65 kilometers north of Beirut and just 15 kilometers south of Tripoli. With a population of approximately 6,500 souls, Anfeh actually is one big village, and more specifically, a fishing village since a large proportion of its residents are fishermen.What strikes a visitor to Anfeh is that this large village is a reminiscent of Greece. Not only that almost all of its inhabitants belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. Not because the colours blue and white are seen everywhere. Not because the architecture of the houses and the central church of Saint Church, recall Greece, but above all these is that same relaxed atmosphere that prevails everywhere that makes you think you are on a Greek island. Anfeh, therefore seems to be built on a Greek island because everything here reminds one of Greece. A Greece of the 60's actually. A village on a Greek island before the advent of mass tourism with all its consecutive aftereffects. But what immediately attracts a Greek visitor to Anfeh, is not just the Greek character of the whole landscape, but the pure hearts of its hospitable inhabitants.Just as you arrive at the village, before even five minutes pass, the local people will start coming to meet you, they will start to invite you into their homes and offer you their hospitality, they will want to show you their churches - eight in number- to show you the archeological sites of their village. All this without any expecting anything back from you. Like Greece of the 60's as we mentioned.The inhabitants of Anfeh are not just good-hearted and hospitable people with very pure hearts, but they also have many other attributes that we have lost or never had. One of these attributes is the strong sense of solidarity among the villagers. Here the word individualism is an unknown word. In Anfeh everything is shared. Anfe is an Orthodox parish with all the sense of the word. Anfeh is an example for us all. The parish of Anfeh is the dream parish of every Orthodox priest. There is much for us to learn from the Greek Orthodox parish of Anfeh. Here, people don't go to church in order to addend service and then go home and maybe say one or two "good morning" to someone they know. In Anfeh the parish spirit is very vibrant and well developed. In Anfeh everything is shared as mentioned. The people cook together and eat together in a huge reception room (archontariki) located beside the main church of St. George, a much needed building that is absent from our own parishes. In Anfeh residents live as if the whole village is one big family. They clean their churches together, they adorn them together, and when Easter comes, they adorn the whole church with the beautiful flowers. They don't adorn only the iconostasis but literally the whole church-from the women's part on top, to every corner of the church.Every Sunday, on feast days, Easter, Christmas, during joys and sorrows, the inhabitants of the parish of Anfeh come together after church services, they don't just goe home, like us, but they come together in communion in their vast reception room. In Anfeh the word church has not lost its true meaning yet. In Anfeh the Orthodox faith and Tradition is an everyday experience of the people. In Anfeh, emits still, the true light of our faith.

EU promotes sustainable tourism in Cyprus

The villages of Kalopanagiotis, Kato Pyrgos, Agros and the region of Troodos Mountain have in recent years been selected by the European commission as European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) in an effort to boost sustainable tourism. According to a European Commission press release issued here today, about half of Europeans (51%) choose to enjoy their holidays at home rather than abroad. In Cyprus, 37% of Cypriots were planning to enjoy their holidays in Cyprus in 2011. This tendency is expected to continue and grow. Through the selection of destinations, EDEN aims to draw attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations. The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The recipients of the award are emerging, little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries. Accoding to EU Commissioner for Industry and Enterpreunership Antonia Tajani “EDEN points out sustainable holiday destinations, where tourism coexists in harmony with the local community and its environment”. Within a fast changing global economy, EDEN continues to promote the most inventive and creative tourism spots, he says, adding that at the same time, the local economy and particularly small enterprises will benefit. Therefore, he concludes, EDEN may contribute in the efforts to overcome the current economic crisis. The mountainous village of Kalopanagiotis with its traditional architecture, its spas and its green valley’s was the winner of the 2011 EDEN competition. In previous years the seaside village of Kato Pyrgos with its clean beaches, the mountainous village of Vouni with its rich history, the village of Agros with its roses and the entire region of the Troodos Mountain with its historic churches and great variety of local dishes were also awarded the title of European Destination of Excellence.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Amadeus-Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή: Στηρίζουν τον τουρισμό στην Ευρώπη

Υπέγραψαν Μνημόνιο Κατανόησης για «Low Season Tourism»

Η Amadeus, ο κορυφαίος τεχνολογικός συνεργάτης της ταξιδιωτικής και τουριστικής τεχνολογίας, ανακοίνωσε πρόσφατα ότι υπέγραψε Μνημόνιο Κατανόησης (MOU) με την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή για να συμμετάσχει στην πρωτοβουλία “Low Season Tourism”, η οποία αποσκοπεί στην αύξηση της ταξιδιωτικής κίνησης μεταξύ της Ευρώπης και άλλων περιοχών.

Το Μνημόνιο Κατανόησης υπογράφτηκε από τον κ. Antonio Tajani, Αντιπρόεδρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής και υπεύθυνο για τη βιομηχανία και την επιχειρηματικότητα και τον κ. Luis Maroto, Πρόεδρο και Διευθύνοντα Σύμβουλο του Ομίλου Amadeus.

Από τη συγκεκριμένη πρωτοβουλία πρόκειται να προκύψουν δράσεις που θα ενισχύσουν την ανταγωνιστικότητα του τουρισμού με την τόνωση της ταξιδιωτικής ροής μεταξύ Ευρώπης και χωρών της Νότιας Αμερικής. Αυτός ο στόχος θα επιτευχθεί με την προώθηση ταξιδιών κατά την περίοδο χαμηλής επισκεψιμότητας σε Ευρώπη και Νότια Αμερική, αξιοποιώντας τις διαθέσιμες θέσεις σε αεροπορικές εταιρείες και τα διαθέσιμα δωμάτια ξενοδοχείων, ωφελώντας τις τοπικές οικονομίες των προορισμών.

Η πρωτοβουλία προϋποθέτει τη συνεργασία με αεροπορικές εταιρείες που είναι έτοιμες να προσφέρουν σχετικές εκπτώσεις στην τιμή του εισιτηρίου και ταξιδιωτικά γραφεία που είναι σε θέση να οργανώσουν ταξιδιωτικά πακέτα αυτού του είδους, καθώς επίσης και τη συνεργασία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, η οποία θα διευκολύνει και θα συγχρηματοδοτήσει ενέργειες επικοινωνίας, καθώς και την συμμετοχή χωρών της Νότιας Αμερικής, όπως η Βραζιλία, Αργεντινή και Χιλή.

Η συμβολή της Amadeus σε αυτό το έργο θα επικεντρωθεί σε δύο τομείς: στην παροχή των τεχνολογικών εργαλείων και λύσεων που χρειάζονται για τη λειτουργία του συγκεκριμένου προγράμματος και την παρακολούθηση των αποτελεσμάτων, καθώς επίσης και στην παροχή υποστήριξης στην Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή για την εδραίωση επαφών με σχετικούς εταίρους στη Νότια Αμερική και στη συμμετοχή σε κοινές προωθητικές ενέργειες.

Στο πρόγραμμα σε αυτή τη φάση συμμετέχουν:

Οι κυβερνήσεις Γαλλίας, Ιταλίας, Λιθουανίας και Ισπανίας,
Αεροπορικές εταιρείες όπως οι Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa και TAP Air Portugal (συζητήσεις και με άλλες εταιρείες που ενδιαφέρονται),
Ο Ευρωπαϊκός Σύνδεσμος Tour Operator (ETOA) και ο Ευρωπαϊκός Σύνδεσμος Τουριστικών Γραφείων και Πρακτόρων(ECTAA).

Green hotels will attract environmentally conscious guests


HOTELS must go "green" to attract environmentally conscious overseas guests, says the InterContinental Adelaide's general manager.

James Allen said tourists, particularly from overseas, were more environmentally conscious than ever and sought to stay in such hotels.
"On my last trip to Japan, it was specifically asked of me if our hotels were environmentally friendly," he said.
"The fact that that market is seriously thinking of staying in hotels which are demonstrating sustainability is significant and would really help put Adelaide on the map in terms of a desirable destination," he said.
For the past three months, the InterContinental Adelaide has recycled all of its waste.
Mr Allen said hotels took the green dollar seriously and were all trying to be the most environmentally friendly to attract clients and save money.
He said he was looking to incorporate surrounding businesses in a plan to establish roof-top gardens complete with bee hives.
Hotels Association of South Australia general manager Ian Horne said the green dollar was a big issue for hotels.
"Consumers look kindly on a clean and green hotel so, from a marketing perspective and from a business model perspective, it just makes good sense," he said.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In the next 2 years, greener hotels will dot Egypt’s Mediterranean coast

Tourists will soon have the option of staying at more environmentally friendly hotels on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
Over the next two years, 30 hotels in Alexandria and another 25 hotels in Marsa Matrouh will become grounds for implementing environmentally conscientious mechanisms with the intent to make these hotels eligible to receive an eco-label from the European Union.
The project, launched last month, is part of the European Neighborhood Policy initiative, and its implementation in Egypt will be overseen by the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe in cooperation with the Environment Ministry, the Tourism Ministry and the governorates of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh.
The need to introduce environmentally conscious practices to hotels arises from the fact that the hotel industry stands as a major consumer of resources and products. The selected hotels will be converted into environmentally friendly establishments by changing the way they are managed and the nature of services provided.
“This project aims to introduce changes such as a rationing system for water consumption, while also introducing clean energy sources to include solar and wind energy, alongside with the recycling of waste,” said Hossam Allam, the center’s regional program manager.
Personnel working in the hotels will oversee the introduced changes to make sure they are implemented.  
Once these changes come into effect, the hotels should become eligible to receive an eco-label, indicating they have been upgraded and now conform to an international set of environmental specifications.
An eco-label would certify that a hotel has made important environmental improvements to its structure to minimize the impact it has on the environment. The criteria followed internationally to obtain this label usually includes putting in place a hotel management system that is ecologically sustainable, is proven to contribute to the conservation of its surrounding environment, includes the provision of environmental training programs and has an economic return to the local community.
Allam explains that “receiving an eco-label will positively affect tourism seeing that it will attract a growing number of clientele who are environmentally conscientious while increasing their competitiveness in the market.”
The project has received positive reactions, though some concerns remain.
Speaking to Egypt Independent, tourism planner Amir Gohar highlights the need for implementing more wide-ranging projects to effect a palpable change.
“We have inherited these countless un-sustainable hotels due to years of mismanagement and a lack of vision. Though such a project represents a good starting point, for the future we need to implement projects that fall within a comprehensive policy framework for sustainable development as opposed to just being sector specific.”
by Hoda Baraka