NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN housing agency and Kenya on Wednesday
signed a deal to promote environmentally sustainable tourism in
the east African country.
UN Human Settlement
Program (UN-Habitat) Chief of the Urban Energy Unit Dr Vincent
Kitio told a media briefing in Nairobi that under the agreement,
the UN body will offer technical advice to the Tourism Finance
Corporation (TFC) on the designs for new hotels as well as on
ways of retrofitting existing hotels in Kenya.
“The aim is to
promote energy efficiency in hotel design so as to ensure the
hospitality sector is environmentally sustainable,” Kitio said.
A key facet of the
agreement will see TFC’s technical staff empowered with tools
and measures to help them implement and design environmentally
sound buildings that consume less energy, and conserve water and
also manage waste.
Kitio said that
electricity cost is a factor that greatly impacts on
profitability of hotels and other facility.
“This high cost can
be reduced if Kenya adopts renewable energy that is cheaper than
conventional sources of energy,” he said.
“Green energy can
help make the hospitality sector more efficient and
environmentally sustainable,” he added.
Director Jonah Orumoi said that the partnership with UN-Habitat
will transform the hospitality industry in Kenya.
Orumoi said that the
collaboration will enable Kenya’s hospitality sector to embrace
environmentally sustainable practices.
“It will also help
to make Kenya have facilities that are recognized
internationally as being green,” Orumoi said. He added that the
need for an integrated approach to sustainable development in
the tourism sector is urgent.
“Investors in the
tourism sector must factor in environmental and social
considerations into every business decision,” he noted.