UAE to launch ecotourism project to boost sustainable tourism
To make UAE a sustainable tourist destination, the nation has introduced the National Ecotourism Project which aims to make it a leading ecotourism destination. The launch was announced by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) as global travel and tourism phenomena which indicates the emergence of ecotourism, a trend widely embraced by tourists who seek to leave no ecological footprint behind while travelling.“Over the past few years, the pioneering vision and directives of the UAE leadership have enabled the country to consolidate its leading global status across diverse sectors, with travel and tourism at the forefront,” said Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE. In 2017, the UAE welcomed more than 15 million travellers, up by 6.5% from 2016. The country earned AED 188.8 billion in revenue from tourism in 2017. Al-Zeyoudi said, “The national ecotourism project is a result of the country’s commitment to preserving the environment, a commitment instilled in its people by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”This initiative will promote UAE’s eco-tourism attractions in three phases that focus on environmental, economic and social factors.MoCCAE confirmed that it is currently on the initial phase of the projects which includes the production of ample information and promotional footage available under the theme ‘The UAE’s Natural Wonders’ which will showcase the rich biodiversity present across the country’s 43 protected areas. The ministry has also decided to launch a dedicated website and app for tablets and smartphones to aware the travellers about the protected areas. In the next phase, the ministry will update the website and app with geographic locations and detailed information on eco-friendly flights, hotels, beaches and campsites.