Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) called on its partners from the public and private sector, including hotels and tourism institutions, to take part in the Earth Hour, a global event organised by World Wildlife Fund (WFF) to raise awareness about climate change.

On Saturday 28 March 2015 at 8:30 pm, QTA is encouraging its stakeholders to participate by turning off their lights for one hour. During the event, all non-essential lights will be switched off or dimmed in the building of the aforementioned establishments, while hotels will be prompted to urge their guests to turn off or dim the lights in their rooms or hotel apartments.

Earth Hour is annually organised worldwide to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change as well as the need to ration electricity consumption and minimise carbon emissions to protect Earth from climate change effects. Organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature, Earth Hour was initiated as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown into an international movement. In 2014, thousands of cities from more than 128 countries participated in the event.

QTA’s Director of Public Relations and Communication, Saif Al Kuwari, said:

In recent years, the world has witnessed increased interest about the need to preserve the environment and minimise the impact of CO2 emissions on the planet, and limit their harmful effects on various fields, particularly the tourism sector. By taking part in this activity, we want to emphasise the importance of rationing energy consumption and achieving the environmental objectives of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. The strategy calls for increasing the tourism industry’s ability to protect natural resources and wildlife in Qatar, as well as to ensure the environmental sustainability of tourism projects.’

By taking part in the annual event, QTA seeks to highlight the tourism sector’s commitment to saving energy and preserving the environment as well as raising public awareness about the need to protect the environment.

Thought its social media websites, QTA has called on everyone to take part in the Earth Hour by shooting a 10-second video to capture the moment of turning off lights or dimming them in the various institutions and hotels in Qatar. QTA has announced that it will produce a short video on the activity to document the moment of switching off lights in establishments and tourist institutions participating in the Earth Hour.

QTA is working in partnership with stakeholders in public and private sectors and the civil society to plan, organise and promote a sustainable tourism sector that would contribute to Qatar’s future and promotes it as an world-class hub with deep cultural roots.

QTA has committed itself to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, aimed to enhance the tourism sector’s performance thus developing to efficiently contribute to the national economy. The code stresses the need for tourist establishments across the globe to observe international environmental standards, especially that nature and the environment are key elements in hotel and tourism projects.