SALALAH, June 18 – Oman’s sustainable tourism development received endorsement from ‘Green Globe International Standard for Sustainable Tourism’ at an award ceremony held recently in Salalah.
An affiliate member of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), the Green Globe works as a sustainability standard provider for travel and tourism and certifies the hospitality stakeholders’ performance on the basis of the best practices adopted by them.
Guido Bauer, CEO of Green Globe, recalled his association with Oman since 1987 when he visited the country for the first time on an official invitation. He was “amazed to see pace of development and high priority given to sustainability” when he came this time.
According to him, “Oman is natural and original. I recommend people, particularly tourists, that Oman is the place to go when they start thinking of exploring the Middle East.”
He laid emphasis on building the right hotels instead of building big hotels. “Even if you are building big hotels, you should be aware of sustainability factor. Only then will you be able to retain the originality.”
As an expert on tourism, Bauer said, “People want to see real Arabia instead of too many modifications in which originality is lost. That is why I recommend countries to maintain originality even if they are going for large-scale development.” Due to careful and sustainable development, according to Bauer, Oman has made a place for itself on the tourism map of the world.
“That is why Oman is emerging as a major choice among tourists.”
Guido Bauer insisted that today’s trend among tourists is culture. “Due to development of infrastructure and connectivity, tourists have many more choices. Here lies the opportunity for those who are adopting sustainable methods of development, protecting local art, culture and traditions to allow the visitors to get a feel of natural and original things.”
He called upon the hospitality sector to adopt the best sustainability practices as the travellers are increasingly choosing their accommodation and tourism partners based on their sustainable practices.
“It is imperative for the hospitality sector operators to keep updated on all aspects of sustainability, that is sustainable management, corporate social responsibility, cultural heritage as well as environment,” he said.
Creating a sustainability management plan is important to understand how to implement the best practices, he added.