World Travel Market is introducing a number of environmental initiatives
to reduce waste and energy and use reusable products. Organisers stress the developments are just an initial start to make the
event more environmentally friendly.
“Like so many in our industry, there is much more we can do to reduce man’s
footprint - and World Travel Market is no exception”, said Fiona Jeffery,
“I would not pretend for a moment that we are perfect or that there is more
that we can do in the years to come to make World Travel Market more
environmentally sound. But we have to start somewhere.
“We have to raise our hands above the parapet and take up the challenges
rather than just talk about them. That is what we are doing and we hope that
our exhibitors and visitors will join with us in this mammoth but vital
The environmental initiatives are part of World Travel Market’s continuing
focus on responsible tourism, which the event began 13 years ago. This year,
World Travel Market, in association with the UNWTO and supported by leading
international industry associations, such as the World Travel & Tourism
Council (WTTC) and the Pacific Asian Tourism Association (PATA), is
launching WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day, the first ever ambitious day
of action worldwide, on Wednesday 14 November.
World Travel Market exhibitors will be issued with three colour coded bags -
red, blue and green - to separate their waste into paper, glass, plastics
and food waste.
All waste will be taken to a recently installed on-site recycling centre at
ExCeL London which includes a sealed portable compactor for food waste
supported by a wormery which will compost the majority of food waste
generated. The womery is the first of its kind in the UK.
Additionally, all carpet tiles are reusable, cotton carrier bags will be
standard and all printed material is sourced from sustainable forests or
Exhibitors are also being encouraged to reduce the amount of printed
material they bring to the show, to use environmentally friendly materials
and to provide media kits on memory sticks.
Added Jeffery: “For every tonne of waste that is produced at an exhibition,
at least 20% is produced simply because of lack of proper planning about the
amount of resources required. Our objective is to reduce waste to the
totally unavoidable by using products which can be reused or recycled.”
Exhibitors are being advised to avoid using tropical hardwoods for furniture
and display fittings - unless they come from a sustainable, managed source.
“There are many small actions that collectively can make a difference”,
continued Jeffery. “For example, making sure that plants and shrubs on a
stand go to good homes afterwards, ensuring that key messages are on display
panels rather than overloading visitors with information sheets and using
carpet tiles that can be used again, rather than ordinary carpet.”