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.The day is 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 10.30hrs 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 key issues of carbon offsetting, water, poverty reduction and destinations.