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Online Global Photo Competition - "Our Climate Solutions"

Online Global Photo Competition - "Our Climate Solutions" (Forimmediaterelease.net) Madrid/Paris, France, 16 June 2008 – UNWTO launches its 2008 Photo Competition around this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) theme: “Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change”. This competition is part of the year-long campaign highlighting the call for action towards a climate neutral planet.

“This online photo competition will showcase climate solutions in tourism – business and leisure travel – from around the world. Examples include communities, companies and individuals –visiting or visited - acting to help respond to climate change as tourism stakeholders. Whether they are airlines testing new fuel, hotels installing solar energy, villages educating guests on good practice or tourists offsetting their impacts”, says UNWTO Assistant- Secretary General and Spokesperson Geoffrey Lipman.

For complete information about rules and guidelines, as well as to register and submit photographs electronically, go to www.unwto.org/wtd/photocompetition/en/photo_competition.php:

* The deadline for receipt of entries is 30 November 2008.
* Prizes will include a trip to Machupichu in Peru – the Host Nation for World Tourism Day and cameras for runners up.
* Winners will be notified before 30 December 2008.
* Winning photos will be displayed on UNWTO’s website and at major Trade Fairs in 2009.

Climate Change and Tourism

The tourism sector, like the rest of the economy, needs to rapidly respond to climate change if it is to develop in a truly sustainable manner – reducing its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intelligently and responding expeditiously to the impacts on its own operations.

UNWTO encourages all tourism stakeholders to implement the Davos Declaration Process on Climate Change and Tourism www.unwto.org/climate/support/en/support.php , which identifies directions to:

* mitigate GHG emissions from the sector, derived especially from transport and accommodation activities;
* adapt tourism businesses and destinations to changing climate conditions;
* apply existing and new technologies to improve energy efficiency; and
* secure financial resources to assist regions and countries in need.

It also calls for differentiated response to ensure socio-economic progress for developing countries, support for clean technology transfer and avoidance of discrimination against vital components of the sector like aviation.

World Tourism Day 2008 www.unwto.org/wtd/ will underscore innovation and public/private sector collaboration to respond to the climate challenge. It will also incorporate a series of national “Climate Solutions Think Tanks” around the world, as well as a follow up Tourism Ministerial level event during World Travel Market in November 2008. Peru is this year’s host country for the official celebrations.

World Tourism Day is celebrated every year on 27 September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contributions the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

Assistant Secretary General & Spokesperson: Professor Geoffrey Lipman Media Officer: Marcelo Risi T: +34 91-567-8178 /8100 - F: +34 91-567-8218 - comm@UNWTO.org - www.unwto.org/index.php

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