A Mindset Shift in the Travel and Tourism Industry

An article by Tablö Creative

Written by Sandra Rizkalla

With the ever growing popularity of the travel and tourism lifestyle, so has the impact on economies, the environment, and local communities. Destination management organizations (DMO) around the world are starting to shift to ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of their approach to guiding tourism policy, while protecting the well-being of local communities.

The role of destination management organizations is to facilitate the understanding of the full social and economic dimension of tourism. This includes monitoring the supply and demand of local businesses servicing the tourism industry, quantifying their production and consumption, while auditing the capital generated. The organizations also function as a liaison between the government, businesses and local communities providing the support required.

Like many other popular travel destinations, plastic pollution has been a rising issue for bedouins in Dahab. There are very few eco-friendly alternatives available for locals, which are mainly sourced from the city of Cairo. The community is constantly working towards implementing sustainable practices in local shops, restaurants and hotels. Businesses hire Bedouin children for cleanups, building marine gardens and up-cycling waste into art. Nadine explains:

"The community of Dahab is ripe and is willing to adapt towards a more sustainable lifestyle. What they were missing is proper support and resources to help make the changes stick. Eco-Dahab primarily provides support through education, auditing, monitoring and establishing best practices. We build common grounds between businesses, media, stakeholders, the government and [the] community.”

Sustainable Destination Management

We connected with Nadine Wahab, founder of Eco-Dahab, a sustainable DMO in Dahab, Egypt established in 2018. The organization takes a holistic approach to supporting local communities and protecting marine ecosystems by preventing plastic pollution by making alternatives available.

The town of Dahab is a little piece of paradise situated between the Sinai Peninsula mountains and the Red Sea. The different types of environments allow for a range of outdoor activities, such as; hiking in the mountains, rock climbing, sailing, kite flying, and scuba diving. Dahab offers the convenience of having access to local markets, restaurants, tourist attractions, while also offering the ability to isolate yourself enjoy nature.

Like many other popular travel destinations, plastic pollution has been a rising issue for Bedouins in Dahab. There are very few eco-friendly alternatives available for locals, which are mainly sourced from the city of Cairo. The community is constantly working towards implementing sustainable practices in local shops, restaurants and hotels. Businesses hire Bedouin children for cleanups, building marine gardens and up-cycling waste into art. Nadine explains: “The community of Dahab is ripe and is willing to adapt towards a more sustainable lifestyle. What they were missing is proper support and resources to help make the changes stick. Eco-Dahab primarily provides support through education, auditing, monitoring and establishing best practices. We build common grounds between businesses, media, stakeholders, the government and [the] community.”

Keep going...

Eco-Dahab is constantly working on developing their best practices. Here are some tips they shared with us to help people around the world be mindful of minimizing their footprint while traveling:

10 Tips to Eco-friendly traveling

  1. Bring your own refillable water bottles, fabric tote bags and reusable straws.
  2. Do a little research and support sustainable brands, restaurants and local businesses while on vacation.
  3. Reduce your carbon emission offset by traveling on foot, renting bicycles, taking public transportation, and using car share applications.
  4. Be mindful of bringing toxic sunscreen chemicals into the water.
  5. Resort to rentals instead of purchasing your own snorkeling gear, unless you will be using them again in the future
  6. Join beach or dive clean ups.
  7. Eat locally made delicacies, farmed foods and commit to not eating endangered fish.
  8. Take tours with a qualified local guides, certified dive centers and excursions.
  9. Educate yourself about the local wildlife and do not touch marine animals.
  10. Keep your booking confirmations paperless.

Contributing through social media

A great way to contribute towards the success of sustainable destination management organizations is to spread the word on social media. Public awareness is essential to their success! It is encouraged for people to use social media as a tool to spread tips towards eco-friendly traveling. Spreading the word on organizations like Eco-Dahab could also inspire other popular travel destinations to work towards establishing a more sustainable model. The ultimate goal is to create a global network to engage and transform communities.

Follow Eco-Dahab on Instagram @ecodahab

Connect with them on Facebook at @sustainabledahab

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