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Travel Industry Shows Commitment For "World's Most Ambitious Day of Action"

Travel Industry Shows Commitment For "World's Most Ambitious Day of Action" (Forimmediaterelease.net) WTM World Responsible Tourism Day – making the world a more responsible place to live to and to travel

Wednesday 14 November 2007 marks an important day in the 28 years of World Travel Market. It is the official launch date of the first ever WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, a major global initiative in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and supported by leading associations such as the World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) and Pacific Asian Tourism Association (PATA).

To celebrate this initiative and to highlight the key issues affecting the industry, World Travel Market has created a comprehensive, all day programme with the emphasis firmly on action rather than words.

As Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market says: “There is no industry in the world better placed to embrace a day that highlights the importance of protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting local communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution.

“Responsible Tourism has been a focal point at World Travel Market for over thirteen years. WTM World Responsible Tourism Day continues our reputation of acting as a catalyst for debate on all issues relating to responsible tourism.”

The Day commences at 10.30 with The official launch of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day with Polar Explorer Pen Hadow who believes that the initiative can “make a real difference.” He wholeheartedly approves of the day of action commenting that “It is no good everyone sitting around a table and just saying that 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.”

The day continues at 10.45hrs with the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards organised by responsibletravel.com, and supported by World Travel Market, The Times and Geographic Magazine. In its fourth year, the highly coveted and respected Awards celebrate the excellent responsible tourism initiatives being undertaken around the world, and has attracted over 1,500 entries.

This is followed by the most comprehensive programme of panel discussions the event has ever organised covering the themes of carbon offsetting, water, poverty reduction and destinations.


12.00 – 1300 Carbon Neutral: Saviour of Scam?
Chaired by BBC’s Stephen Sackur
Panellists:
Dr Shaun Russell, Director Wales Environmental Research Hub, Environmental Centre Wales
Hugo Kimber, CEO, The Carbon Consultancy
Stefan Gossling, Associate Professor Research Co-ordinator, Centre for Sustainable and Geotourism, Western Norway Institute


13.30 – 14.30 Why a Shortage of Drinking Water is Such an Industry Issue
Chaired by BBC’s Stephen Sackur
Panellists:
John Blashford Snell, explorer
Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at the International Centre of Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University
Oliver Kopsch, Founder DecRen Water Consult (DWC)
Vithal Kamat, Chairman and Managing Director, Orchid Hotels

15.00 – 1600 Poverty Reduction – Mainstream Concern or Token Gestures?
Chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at the International Centre of Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University
Panellists:
Nicole Haeusler, Managing Director, Masconter
Adama Bah, Founder, Gambia is Good
Eugenio Yunis, UNWTO Director of Programme and Coordination
Bruno Leunen, Managing Director, Destination Unlimited


1600 – 17.30 Responsible Tourism – Making a Real Difference in Destinations around the World
Chaired by BBC’s Stephen Sackur
Panellists:
Hon Prof Jumanne Maghembe, Minister for National Resources and Tourism, Tanzania
Abbas Azzouzi, CEO, Moroccan National Tourist Office
Rosmarie Thomas, Travel Foundation Tobago
Sindiswa Nhlumayo, Acting Deputy General (Tourism), Department Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa Charles Secrett, Special Advisor on Environment and Sustainability to Mayor of London and Visit London
Yanni Vilchez, SNV (representing Nicaragua)


The day’s events will close with a WTM World Responsible Tourism Day hosted reception at 17.30hrs in Platinum Suite 3, Level 3, where the industry can discuss the hot topics of the day, meet Award winners, network and continue to do business.

All WTM Responsible Tourism Day events take place on the WTM Conference Set, Platinum Suite 4, Level 3.

World Travel Market is encouraging exhibitors and visitors at the event to submit their opinions regarding what the environment and WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day means to them on a pledge board on the Just a Drop stand in the in the Central Boulevard.

WTM World Responsible Tourism Day has also received worldwide support from those using the specially designed logo to show their support not just of the day but of the principles of the 2002 Cape Town Declaration.

Over 100 companies, associations, tourist boards and charities have been approved to use the WTM Responsible Tourism logo as they recognise the importance of highlighting their own responsible tourism initiatives to a wider audience.

A special WTM World Responsible Tourism day publication ‘Spotlight’ will be available on the Day highlighting best responsible tourism practice and case histories from around the world.

Additionally, World Travel Market has set up an advisory panel featuring eight leading international experts in the responsible tourism sector, headed by Harold Goodwin, Professor Responsible Tourism Management, International Centre of Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University.

One of the key aims of the advisory panel is to look at how WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will develop into an annual, recognised international day of action.

The event has introduced a number of environmental initiatives to reduce waste and energy and use reusable products. These include the issuing of three colour coded bags to separate waste into paper, glass, plastics and food waste; reusable carpet tiles, cotton bags and all printed material sourced from sustainable forests or recycled paper. All waste will be taken to a recently installed on-site recycling centre at ExCeL which includes a sealed portable, compactor for waste food supported by a wormery, the first of its kind in the UK.

Fiona Jeffery concludes: “WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is a major initiative for the event. It is not just a one off. It is a day that we are confident will expand over the years, showing the world what the international travel industry can achieve in making the world a more responsible place to live and travel.”

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading organiser of exhibitions and conferences. Reed brings together over 90,000 suppliers and more than 5.5 million buyers from around the world every year generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 33 fully staffed offices.

Reed’s portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, including:
aerospace and defense, building and construction, design, electronics, energy, oil and gas, entertainment, food and hospitality, gifts, healthcare, IT/telecoms, jewellery, manufacturing, marketing and business services, pharmaceuticals, property, publishing, sport and recreation, transport and logistics and travel.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE 100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider, with revenues in excess of £4.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion) (2004).

Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 17 events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives&Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, Mediterranean Travel Fair, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break, China Incentive, Business Travel&Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM), Latin American&Caribbean Incentive&Meetings Exhibition (LACIME), Gulf Incentive Business Travel&Meetings (GIBTM) and Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM).

For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ website on www.reedtravelexhibitions.com

For further information please contact Simon Greenbury on +44 (0)208 441 3773; +44 (0)7798 650220 or simon@janelarcombecommunications.com

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