The UN housing agency and Kenya have 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.
TFC Managing 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.