Oil disaster must prompt industry to greater efforts, says WTM chief
Thursday 3, June 2010
As travel and tourism considers the disastrous impact of the oil slick creeping relentlessly towards the Gulf Coast, it demonstrates just how exposed the industry is to the actions of mankind, Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market said this week.
Launching WTM World Responsible Tourism Day 2010, held in association with the UNWTO, Jeffery explained:” While most of us are powerless to stop such terrible catastrophes potentially wiping out hundreds of wildlife species, it illustrates more vividly than any words the importance of everyone working in travel and tourism making a contribution to responsible tourism where ever they are in the world.
“This is the crucial and increasingly urgent message behind WTM World Responsible Tourism Day”, said Jeffery, pioneer of responsible tourism for the past 16 years.
The world’s most ambitious movement to educate, motivate and inspire the international industry to work towards a more sustainable planet will focus on the actual day – Wednesday 10 November. Thousands of delegates in London and others across the world will mark the day of action with special events, press conferences, trade fairs, sporting fixtures and family entertainment.
“It’s a universal issue which brings us together in a way that nothing else can”, she said.
“The global size of wildlife tourism, for example, is estimated to be around 12 million trips a year, involving almost every out-of-town destination from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Florida to New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and Scotland.
“Interest in wildlife continues to grow and forecasters say it will increase another ten per cent in the next decade.”
Yet, said Jeffery, one in four mammals and one in eight birds are in danger of disappearing. Species are becoming extinct a thousand times faster than we would expect naturally.”
WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is an opportunity to show consumers, governments, companies and organistions just what can be done to make a positive contribution.
A jam-packed schedule of speeches, debates, interviews, presentations and workshops featuring some of the industry’s most respected private and public sector leaders and global environmental experts is planned. Although there will also be responsible tourism events throughout World Travel Market week, the main events programnme will be on the Wednesday.
The programme includes an Opening Ceremony and presentation of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by responsibletravel.com and partnered by Metro Newspaper, Geographical and World Travel Market.
A CEO from a major multi-national company will be in the Hot Seat facing Stephen Sackur, presenter of BBC World’s flagship news and current affairs programme HARDtalk.
Keynote debates include Destinations and Climate Change when Government Ministers of countries facing possible serious social and economic challenges will examine what can be done to address the problems. Tourism Business and Climate Change will study what business strategies hotels and airlines should adopt to change the industry’s heavy reliance on water and fossil fuels.
Other responsible tourism topics during the week (8 - 11 November) include bio-diversity, management of sacred sites and sustainable excursions.
WTM WRTD Logo Users
Launch of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day also signals the start of a campaign for companies to apply for approval to use the 2010 WTM WRTD logo. Last year, 150 travel operators and organizations worldwide used the logo on marketing and sales materials as well as gained other publicity and profiling benefits.
Participants will be invited to the WTM WRTD networking reception which last year was attended by more than 300 people, as well as listings in the WTM catalogue, WTM WRTD website and WTM Route Planner. Exhibitors at World Travel Market will also be displaying the logo.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.