Every year, hundreds of millions of people switch off for Earth Hour as a symbolic gesture of solidarity to protect the planet. This year on March 26, invited by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), the organizers of Earth Hour, the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board (STPB) took part in the global movement, joining hands with multiple tourism organizations to #ShapeOurFuture and promote sustainable tourism in Sanya, the popular resort city located on the southern tip of China’s Hainan Island.
Under the slogan “Shape Our Future”, Earth Hour 2022 marked a critical turning point in the world’s climate emergency and was a pivotal opportunity to ensure the environment is at the top of the global agenda.
“We only have one home, so we cannot ask for anything from it. Unsustainable travel and consumer behaviors can cause irreversible damage to the ecosystems that we depend on. As global citizens, all of us have a responsibility to take care of the environment and preserve its beauty for future generations. We hope to build Sanya into a tropical coastal resort focused on sustainable tourism development through the protection of marine ecology and the environment, the expansion of intergenerational research and education, and the growth of our health and leisure offering,” said Albert Yip, director general of the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board
Sanya boasts unique advantages for sustainable tourism thanks to its beautiful backdrop and abundance of natural resources. Air and water quality in Sanya are far above China’s national average and the region has a high forest cover, so tourists can enjoy a pristine paradise at every turn. Plus, with popular jogging and cycling routes in the city, well-protected beaches and crystal-clear waters with exceptional visibility, Sanya promotes clean, eco-friendly outdoor activities that don’t harm the environment.
Beyond its sunshine, beaches and luxury hotels, Sanya offers plenty of activities to enable travelers to discover the local surroundings and learn about environmental conservation. Sanya takes care to preserve its rich local history for visitors to discover, including the indigenous Li and Miao culture, and raise awareness of marine conservation with fun family activities such as coral propagation.
In addition, policies have been introduced to protect endangered wildlife and the ecology of the island, including prohibiting the digging and sale of coral-derived products. The STPB is also actively seeking new opportunities to raise awareness for sustainable tourism and preserve its beauty for future generations, in through Earth Hour 2022.
Since launching in 2007, Earth Hour has evolved to become the biggest movement to protect the planet and unites people in over 7,000 cities worldwide. Beyond switching off, Earth Hour is an opportunity for collective action through on-ground events that bring the community together.
As part of Earth Hour 2022, a number of local tourism operators in Sanya did their part for the environment by switching off and hosting events in honor of Mother Earth. Hoteliers such as the Sheraton Sanya Resort invited guests to switch off with a candlelit concert in the lobby bar, while the Intercontinental Sanya Haitang Bay Resort organized a Glowing Mermaid Show at the Intercontinental Aquarium. Numerous iconic tourist hotspots, including Sanya Haichang Dream Ocean City and CNSC Sanya International Duty Free Plaza, also switched off to show solidarity and raise awareness of environmental conservation amongst travelers.
SOURCE: Sanya Tourism Promotion Board