The world’s first Global Solutions Hub, to help drive Sustainable Tourism, is launched
The world’s first Global Solutions Hub, to help drive Sustainable Tourism, is launched at MENA Climate Week in Saudi Arabia.
A new Global Solutions Hub to drive sustainable tourism around the world is being launched by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Global Solutions Hub will provide the toolkits and best practice case studies to help accelerate the travel and tourism sector’s transition to net zero, while protecting nature.
Unveiled at MENA Climate Week in Riyadh, which is organised by UNFCCC and Ministry of Energy, the Global Solutions Hub intends to partner with 100 universities and relevant, international organisations by 2030 so as to produce much-needed tools and solutions that will drive the industry towards full sustainability. These tools will help travelers and destinations, as well as substantial number of micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) which are at the heart of the travel and tourism sector but which often don’t have the resources to transition to net zero. A range of respected, academic institutions in the US, China, Asia, Latin America, Australasia and Europe are already working with STGC to deliver the vision of a more sustainable sector.
In 2019, the travel and tourism industry was responsible for 8.1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Without concerted, collaborative action, emissions in travel and tourism are expected to rise by 20% by 2030.
H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said: “Our Global Solutions Hub is committed to empowering small and medium-sized enterprises, destinations and travelers by providing them with valuable resources to make well-informed decisions. Our goal is to function as the premier knowledge hub, offering indispensable tools and solutions for key stakeholders, enabled by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center and the Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia. Through these efforts, our aim is to empower and support the travel and tourism sector to champion environmental solutions and foster prosperity.”
The Global Solutions Hub will also be exploring action areas including renewable energy, resource management, emissions reduction, as well as reducing food waste and other resources including water, while protecting nature and supporting local communities.
H.E. Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor of the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said: “If good solutions exist, we will use them; if solutions don’t exist, we will create them via the new Global Solutions Hub. It is designed to help stakeholders, who are the backbone of the travel and tourism industry, move at pace towards net zero. We are also delighted to be partnering with so many Universities and institutions, the best of the best, who will help us provide solutions for the generations to come.”
Today, during a ceremony at MENA Climate Week in Riyadh to mark the Hub’s launch, STGC received backing from several academics at global, high-profile academic institutions, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Les Roches, IE Madrid and NYU. These academics work with the Global Solutions Hub to deliver key solutions which will be disseminated across multiple markets, empowering key players in the travel and tourism industry to follow more sustainable practices.
The Global Solutions Hub today made available three critical toolkits focused on the use of solar thermal heaters, emissions reductions through sustainable food choices, and the cost savings of solar panels as a starting point for this effort. It plans to publish 25 toolkits in total over the next 36 months. STGC’s leadership is working with a number of partners to reach critical audiences in destination countries, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the UN Global Compact, the World Travel and Tourism Council, Skift, and many others.