The year of 2015 is set to be a milestone for sustainability as governments are increasingly called upon to adopt the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda. Tourism has the potential to contribute directly and indirectly to the Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly, Tourism is seen to be able to play a key role in adopting and implementing sustainable use and management of natural resources, through environment-friendly practices and solutions. Hotels and Food and Beverage business (F&B) are one of the most important components of the tourism sector. Large number of visitors and guests visit hotels and F&B businesses, and waste is automatically generated. Qatar's tourism sector is amongst the fastest growing globally, and the number of tourists that Qatar aims to attract by the year 2030 is projected to reach seven million. The growth in the sector equally means a similar (and natural) increase in the waste generated. Handling solid waste has remained one of the main problems that directly affect the environment. Mismanagement of waste endangers the health of populations especially ones residing near landfills. The problem this research identified was the lack of data and information much needed for policy recommendation addressing recycling of different materials including Food Waste in the hotel industry in Qatar. This study was primarily set up to achieve two folded goal. First, it aims at exploring the current practices within the Hotel Industry in Qatar regarding recycling of waste materials including food. Second, it examines the effect of awareness on Food Waste reduction. To achieve these goals, first, a survey questionnaire was designed to gather the information from a number of 111 hotels (including designated hotel-apartments). Second, an experiment was designed to measure the effect of awareness-cards on Food Waste reduction through comparing the findings from the control and the experiment groups. The survey was conducted during the months of June, July and August, 2015, while the Food Waste experiment took place during the month of Ramadan, 2015. Some of the findings related the two research objectives are presented in the following graphs:

The Graph above clearly indicates the average amount of food-waste (FW) generated per guest per day throughout the experiment period of 20 days. The first day of the experiment for the Control Group, i.e. without awareness cards, the average amount of food waste started at 0.6 Kgs per person (i.e. guest), but reduced through the experiment period. For the experiment group when awareness cards were provided on tables the food waste remained very consistent at around 0.2 Kgs per guest. The overall results showed overwhelmingly that awareness, once generated has an immediate, clear and positive influence on customer behaviour, and in this case reduced the average food waste. The experiment measured total food-waste during the 20 days within this restaurant at 1,335 Kgs. Several important points constituted the conclusion and recommendations drawn from the results and analysis of both efforts. The summary highlights the vital importance and need for investments across all aspects of material recycling, which should be encouraged at a government level, and extended to SMEs, to develop local businesses within the recycling sector in Qatar. More efficiency is also required between F&B organisers and charities, and great incentives should be put in place for those participating in recycling efforts, and conversely penalties should be implemented for those organisations not actively pursuing “reduction” strategies to waste. Food cost reduction, without impact on food quality or perceived value, could be conservatively reduced by about 50% through spreading awareness of the impacts of Food Waste on the environment.


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