In Brief

Solar Panels at Soneva Fushi

Soneva boosts sustainable energy generation

Soneva is expanding its solar power developments at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives based on a $10 million funding provided by German-headquartered Aareal Bank, boosting the electricity generated from renewable energy to over 50 per cent at both resorts.

Plans are already underway to have solar panels implemented at strategic areas across Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani to maximize daily sunlight hours using photovoltaic (PV) and battery hybrid systems. Resort teams are also working towards greater operations integration–including the building of new substations–to optimize and balance energy production.

Once completed, Soneva Fushi will have installed a total of 2.1 megawatts peak (MWp) and battery storage of 2,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) to reach a combined PV penetration of approximately 55 per cent by mid-2023.


ATM launches sustainability accolades

The organisers behind Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 have implemented an ‘Exhibitor Environmental Checklist’ and introduced a brand-new ‘Most Sustainable Stand’ award as part of their commitment to ensuring the upcoming show is the most climate-conscious in its history. The 30th edition of ATM will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 1 to 4.

Developed by show organiser Reed Exhibitions (RX) in line with ATM 2023’s theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, the new checklist has been created with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind. It features practical advice for participants on how to manage waste, reduce CO2 emissions, as well as guidance on how to create greener promotional materials and exhibition stands.

By introducing a ‘Most Sustainable Stand’ category to the ATM 2023 Best Stand Awards, RX aims to highlight the importance of ‘thinking green’ when it comes to large-scale conferences and exhibitions. Entries will be judged based on factors, including supplier choice, material usage, operational efficiency, and even what happens to the stand once the show has concluded.


Melia named most sustainable hotel brand

Melia Hotels International, the leading hotel company in Spain, has achieved the highest rating in the global travel industry in the latest S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), an assessment of the performance in sustainability of companies in 2022. The result has been achieved in spite of a more stringent analysis which has caused decreases in the overall score of 25 per cent of the more than 10,000 companies analysed.

S&P Global’s CSA is the world’s most comprehensive and prestigious annual assessment of the sustainability performance of companies across all industries, focusing on economic, governance, social and environmental criteria, as well as on industry-specific criteria.

As of January 20, the new assessment places Melia at the top of the industry ranking, with an overall score of 74 points out of 100. Of the three dimensions included in the analysis, Melia obtained the highest score in the industry in the first two (Social, with 72 points, the same as obtained by Asset World Corporation, and Economic and Governance, with 81 points).


World Tourism Forum announces Earth Summit

The World Tourism Forum Institute has announced the launch of the Global Tourism Forum EARTH Summit (GTF EARTH).

GTF EARTH is an online summit. Its theme, “Travel, Protect, Respect,” conveys the message of greener earth through greener tourism. It will be launched on March 30, 2023.

Tourism is a crucial sector for many economies, but it can also significantly impact the environment and local communities.

The GTF Earth event will focus on ways to make tourism more sustainable, including topics:

• Minimizing the environmental footprint of tourism operations, which includes reducing carbon emissions, waste, and water usage

• Supporting local communities and preserving cultural heritage

• Using sustainable transportation options

• Promoting responsible wildlife tourism and protecting endangered species

• Encouraging travellers to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours and make informed decisions.