As one of the fastest-growing areas in the global tourism industry, sustainable tourism has been increasingly more common throughout the world. Middle Eastern countries are no exception to this trend, and there are beautiful places in the Middle East that support sustainable tourism.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. Meaning that certain tourist attractions and destinations will be carefully taken care of to ensure they are around for years to come.
The following are the best places to visit in the Middle East for Sustainable Tourism.
The country of Jordan offers some of the best sustainable tourism in the middle east. In 1966, Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) was established and is devoted to the conservation of the nation’s natural resources. There are currently 10 nature reserves protected under the RSCN, and all of them have a 100% local employment policy that helps support local families. Jordan’s capital city, Amman, is in close proximity to two of these nature reserves, the Ajloun Forest Reserve and the Dibbeen Forest Reserve.
Amman is also only 30 miles north of Jerash, which is one of the best-preserved Roman sites to exist and makes for a great area to take photos and observe stunning ancient architecture. The Northern region of Jordan is home to the award winning Feynan Ecolodge which would make for the perfect place to stay while on a sustainable vacation.
As a popular tourist destination, the city of Marrakech is committed to green tourism and was awarded the ISO 14 011 certification for its sustainable tourism efforts. As a Moroccan city, Marrakech follows the Moroccan Sustainable Tourism Charter that features four principles of sustainable tourism.
Also, over 72 Moroccan accommodations have been awarded the prestigious Green Key for their environmental efforts and responsibility, 30 of which are located in Marrakech. Visitors of the city are encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint and explore the ancient city on foot or bicycle, and there are many local fair trade outlets where visitors can purchase locally produced souvenirs.
Masdar City, UAE
Masdar City is the ideal place for a sustainable vacation in the Middle East. As the first known eco-city in the world, it is the result of a planned project primarily funded by the Abu Dhabi government. Established in 2006, Masdar City was designed to become a sustainable urban community and is home to several shops, restaurants, hotels, and public green spaces.
The city obtains 100% of its energy from renewable sources and reduces its water consumption by using treated sewage for irrigation and recycling wastewater. Tourists won’t want to miss a visit to Masdar Park, which consists of 2,500 square metres of recreational space that features a music wall and art installations themed on sustainability. There is also the mesmerizing ‘Tree of Light’ that changes colour when touched and is made from recycled building materials.
Which one of these beautiful places in the middle east will you visit to experience sustainable tourism?
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