WTM World Responsible Tourism Day Puts Industry Action in the Spotlight
Polar explorer Pen Hadow, the first person to sledge alone from Canada to the North Geographic Pole without any resupplies, is set to put WTM World Responsible Tourism Day in the spotlight when he officially launches the day of action at World Travel Market on Wednesday 14 November 2007.
The major global initiative, in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), “is a unique opportunity for governments, the travel industry, local communities and travellers to show that it is practical contributions that count, not just talk”, says Fiona Jeffery, World Travel Market’s Managing Director.
“We are delighted that Pen Hadow is joining us on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. His commitment to responsible tourism, particularly in the polar regions, makes him an ideal person to highlight this important day of action.
“It is a day that will show that the international travel industry can actively make a difference in protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting local communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution.
“There’s no industry in the world better placed to embrace a day that highlights the issues related to environment and corporate and social responsibility.”
Pen Hadow comments: “I am very keen to be involved in the launch of WTM Responsible Tourism Day because of its sheer potential. Whether it is at a corporate or personal level, the travel and tourism industry can scale back the negative impact it has and accentuate the positives. The day at World Travel Market is a global initiative and can make a real difference.
“It’s no good everyone sitting around a table and just saying the environment is important in a general way. That is the least we can do. We are on the first step of a journey; a big endeavour that is of inestimable value for generations ahead.
“I very much hope those attending the opening of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will appreciate my perspective as an explorer who has seen so much at first hand.”
Following the opening speeches by Pen Hadow and Fiona Jeffery, the day continues with the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by responsibletravel.com, hosted by World Travel Market and supported by the The Times and Geographical Magazine. In its fourth year, the Awards attract hundreds of international entries and has become one of the world’s most coveted and respected responsible tourism Awards
The afternoon sees a comprehensive programme of panel discussions, with some of the leading players in the responsible tourism sector tackling four key issues - water, poverty reduction, carbon offsetting and how destinations are putting words into action with examples of responsible best practice.
The day concludes with a World Travel Market hosted networking event where the industry can, at an informal reception, discuss the hot topics from the day, meet Award winners and continue to do business.
The full programme of events is as follows:
10.30 – 10.45 Launch of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day by polar explorer Pen Hadow
10.45 – 11.45 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards in association with responsibletravel.com, World Travel Market, The Times and Geographic Magazine
12.00 – 1300 Panel 1
Carbon Neutral: Saviour of Scam?
13.30 – 14.30 Panel 2
Why a Shortage of Drinking Water is Such an Industry Issue
15.00 – 1600 Panel 3
Poverty Reduction – Mainstream Concern or Token Gestures?
1600 – 17.30 Panel 4
Responsible Tourism – Making a Real Difference in Destinations around the World
17.30 – 18.30 WTM World Responsible Tourism Day Networking Reception
All events take place in the WTM Conference Set, Platinum 4, Level 3 and are free of charge. Seats will be allocated on a first come fist served basis.
For further information on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day visit
Fiona Jeffery concludes: “World Travel Market has been at the forefront of discussion and debate on all aspects of environmental awareness and responsible tourism for the past thirteen years. This year’s programme and day of industry action illustrates the importance exhibitors and visitors to World Travel Market place on responsible travel and sustainable tourism.”
For more information on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day log onto www.wtmwrtd.com. This gives full details of how the industry can get fully involved and how to apply for the WTM World Responsible Tourism Day logo. Additionally a hotline service has also been set up to help advise on +44 (0)1732 866121.
WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will take place in 2008 on 12 November and in 2009 on 11 November.
Polar explorer, Pen Hadow who will launch WTM World Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday 14 November 2007.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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25 September 2007 For further information please contact Simon Greenbury on +44 (0)208 441 3773; +44 (0)7798 650220 or firstname.lastname@example.org