Players in the tourism sector have been urged to play their part and position tourism at the heart of a clean energy economy.
With tourist arrivals in the country having reached the two million mark and continue to grow, more needs to be done in terms of adopting more efficient and sustainable energy solutions, said Kitso Mokaila, the former Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.
He said stakeholders have a responsibility to ensure that the tourism sector develops sustainability so that cultural and natural resources are not jeopardized, and continue as icons of tourism strategy. Tourism is well-placed to promote environmental sustainability, green growth and the struggle against climate change through its relationship with energy.
“Stakeholders in tourism development in the country must cooperate with government and join the international tourism community in promoting the principles of sustainable development and monitoring their use,” he said.
Mokaila said we are living in times where we cannot afford to ignore the effects of global warming to the environment.
“We, therefore, need to forge our thinking towards developing energy sources that will allow the earth to sustain balanced, healthy ecosystems and human life,” he said.
Mokaila emphasized the need to promote renewable and non damaging energy sources, such as solar and wind energy.
” Sustainable energy will allow tourism to continue to expand while mitigating its impact on the environment,” he said.
UNWTO findings show the return on investment in sustainable energy can be enormous, enabling tourism businesses to grow and create jobs. He said none of the Millennium Development Goals can be met without major improvements in the quality and quantity of energy services.
Clean energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts as it affects all aspects of development; social, economic and environmental.