The part played by Seychelles in the Rio+20 book that was launched at the Rio+20 conference explores why the industry is misperceived and how it can take its rightful leadership place in the transformation to the new green economy. Seychelles is today the only country that has dedicated over 50 percent of its total land area to protected national parks.
“Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders” is the first hard-hitting publication to look practically into these issues by taking the views of 46 government, industry, and civil society thought leaders on challenges, opportunities, and solutions. First, the authors explore green growth as the new geopolitical paradigm to respond to the big social, economic, environmental, and climate challenges of today, and the population-driven resource challenges of tomorrow.
They then analyze how “travelism” - the travel and tourism value chain – along with transport, hospitality, and the various industries that support the inexorable urge to move around this planet, can more effectively contribute to a positive long-term societal transformation. Taking this viewpoint, the “Letters from Leaders” book provides real evidence of the actions, viewpoints, and hopes of those at the frontline.
With a foreword from Maurice Strong, architect of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and Agenda 21, it includes contributions by thought leaders from inside and outside the sector such as Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley (Prime Minister of Bhutan), Thomas Enders (CEO of EADS), Tony Tyler (Director General&CEO, IATA), Taleb Rifai (Secretary General, UNWTO), Richard Branson (Chairman, Virgin Group), Shanzhong Zhu (Vice Chairman, CNTA), Akbar Al Baker (CEO, Qatar Airways), Marthinus Van Schalkwyk (Minister of Tourism, South Africa), Gerald Lawless (Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group), James Hogan (President&CEO Etihad Airways), Patricia Francis (Executive Director ITC), David P. Scowsill (President&CEO, WTTC), Giovanni Bisignani (Chairman, WEF Global Agenda Council), Supachai Panitchpakdi (Secretary-General, UNCTAD), and a host of others.
Research for the book was undertaken at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, and Oxford Brookes University, UK.
The Seychelles commitment comes out in the book and also in a full-page editorial in the “TODAY” newspaper in the Seychelles, which has looked at the importance of that book.
The book was edited by Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP); Terry DeLacy; Shaun Vorster; Rebecca Hawkins; and Min Jiang and carries six pages on Seychelles Sustainability Framework written by Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism&Culture. Seychelles is known as a tourism destination where the protection of its environment remains key to its development. The bio of the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism&Culture starts the Seychelles section in the book, “Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders.”