The Ministry of Tourism is negotiating with the German company TUI to require Egyptian hotels to obtain a green star, symbolising enhanced standards of energy conservation and cleanliness, and to grant eco-green hotels booking proprieties.
The ministry has also decided to postpone applying the solar energy initiative.
Energy advisor at the Ministry of Tourism Emad Hassan said that the ministry has negotiated with TUI Group to stress that Egyptian hotels work to obtain green star certification in the upcoming period.
Hassan told Daily News Egypt that hotels and resorts that wish to obtain the eco-green certification could contact hotels that are already affiliated with the TUI Group. He pointed out that TUI welcomed the initiative and agreed to cooperate.
He added that the ministry would soon hold a meeting with representatives of the company to put the final form of the agreement into effect this month.
Hassan pointed out that the ministry adopts concepts of green tourism, which aims at optimising the use of natural resources such as energy, water, and waste management, seeking to preserve the inherited natural wealth to increase the sector’s ecological contribution by adopting less harmful development practices, which adversely affect the surrounding communities’ tourism markets.
The ministry will grant hotels that apply the practices of green tourism the green star certification, so they can distinguish eco-green hotels from the others, he explained, adding that the certification was locally designed according to the Egyptian hotels sector and has been internationally recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Hassan explained that the ministry is currently seeking to raise the name of the Egyptian tourism sector in international fields that focus on ecologically sensible and sustainable tourism.
He disclosed that tourists, especially those from Europe, are looking for hotels that have a green star to stay in them.
The ministry will agree with other companies other than TUI to grant hotels that have obtained the certificate booking priorities on websites like Booking.com.
76 hotels in over 11 different districts throughout Egypt have currently obtained a green tourism star. Travco and Orascom are the largest companies currently seeking to obtain certification.
He said that the ministry provides financial and technical incentives for hotels seeking to use solar technology through contributing to the required investments in accordance with hotels’ occupancy rates. This also serves to support the hotel sector as it deals with current challenges in the market.
In terms of the initiative of renewable energy use in hotels, Hassan said that the decline in tourism has led to postponing the implementation of the initiative. It is expected to start before the end of 2016.
The Ministry of Tourism contracted with the Ministry of Electricity on implementing a pioneer project in six to 10 hotels. The project aims to develop an investment model to stimulate the hotels use of solar energy to heat water and generate electricity from photovoltaic cells.
The protocols text stated that the Ministry of Tourism will be assisted by the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) as an essential partner with regard to preparing conditions, technical specifications, conducting technical review, and field visits to solar heating systems until the end of instalation.
The Ministry of Tourism tasks include providing the NREA with all data available for hotels’ projects participating at this stage, coordinating and supervising the required field visits, and coordinating between the authority and hotel facilities and service providers— to ensure achieving the projects target goals.