In an interview with Hotelier Middle East, Green Globe CEO Guido Bauer has confirmed that Middle East hotels are increasing sustainable practices at three times the rate of any other global destination.
The first Green Globe hotel in the Middle East certified in 2009 and this numbers has already grown to 77 hotels. Bauer predicts that in the first quarter of 2015, that number will surpass 100.
“In Europe they’ve already been doing it for a long time but in the Middle East it’s a different level of ‘yes I want to learn’ – everyone in the Middle East wants to shine in every category,” said Bauer.
The Middle East now accounts for 15% of the 500 Green Globe hotels certified in 96 countries globally, a percentage expected to increase rapidly by 2020.
“I think that by 2020, 30% of all Green Globe certified hotels will be in the Middle East,” commented Bauer.
“Hopefully within the next six years we will see that the Middle East is the leader in sustainability. I think that will happen with the determination I see right here.
“People here know exactly where the shortcomings are in sustainability and they are talking about it and it is only a matter that the right person hears that and they can make change because here in the Middle East that’s what it’s known for.
“If you speak to the right person, and put the right proposal forward they will change things. Not tomorrow, right now,” he asserted.
Currently, two out of five of the highest rated Green Globe hotels globally are located in the Middle East – Moevenpick resort & Dead Sea and Moevenpick Cairo Media City.
Green Globe predicts a growing trend in demand for green meetings in the region and the company has recently introduced new indicators for this with the launch of its Standard 1.7 in September. This is the seventh time the criteria has been updated since 2006.
The company has also recently launched a cloud-based auditing system, to be rolled out over the next three to six months to existing and new members, eliminating the need for paper at any stage in the certification process.
Green Globe is a global certification for sustainable tourism operational and includes 41 criteria and 441 indicators.
A full interview with Green Globe CEO Guido Bauer will appear in the November print issue of Hotelier Middle East.