Long distance swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh will deliver a keynote address to tourism professionals about global warming at this year’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2008).
Pugh, also known as ‘Aqua Al Gore’, is the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. He will speak on the devastating affects of global climate change at the conference on May 5.
This comes in the wake of news that Dubai hoteliers in particular are being asked to implement energy saving measures as many properties clock up 225 per cent more energy usage than their European counterparts.
Says Pugh, “We stand at a critical point in the history of the planet. Climate change is the greatest threat to life as we know it. It is serious and it's been caused by man. Luckily, the end has yet to be written and this is where we come in. The hotel investment sector can help.
“The steps which we take over the next few years will determine the future of the natural world and the sustainability of mankind.”
Conference co-organiser, MEED’s Edmund O’Sullivan said that the conference will feature a session on “green development” which will look at how to develop a hotel in an eco friendly way.
“If we start outlining simple steps now, it will not be long before industry leaders implement measures en masse. This is what we need to ensure strict environmental standards are met.”
He said AHIC was committed to ‘doing it’s bit’ to help reduce global warming and had teamed up with NativeEnergy, one of the world’s leading providers of quality carbon offsets. He added that although IPCC (United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) estimates that the region’s contribution towards global emissions to be less than six percent, the UAE alone is on the top 50 countries list for carbon emissions.
“Pugh is on a journey to fight against climate change and as a recognised international ambassador we believe that AHIC 2008 provides a great platform to communicate this crisis to the 1,000 plus hotel, travel and tourism industry,” O’Sullivan said.
WTO forecasts 68.5 million international arrivals to the Middle East by 2020 and all are potential contributors to carbon emission.
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