St.Ange was speaking Tuesday at the public launch of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) during London’s World Travel Market in London. He announced that the first ICTP Congress will be held in Seychelles in early 2012.
He was joined by other founding members of the coalition. Among them leaders from Johannesburg, Hawaii, Reunion, Grenada, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe, who echoed his views. Lindiwe Mahlangu, CEO of Johannesburg Tourism, stated: “Johannesburg is playing a leading role in the global low-carbon cities initiative, and ICTP will help spread this good practice.” Tourism leader Pascal Viroleau, Head of the La Reunion Tourism Board, stressed the importance of smaller nations and territories working together.
Givemore Chidzidzi of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said he is pleased to have joined ICPT as a founding member. Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation of the Rwanda Development Board, thinks ICTP is a perfect match for Rwanda to showcase its commitment to sustainable tourism. Tourism veterans, including Joean-Claude Baumgarten, Vice Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); Louis D’Amore, Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT); Vijay Poonoosamy from Ethiad Airlines; and representatives from Trip Advisor and the Global Media were found among the audience. Affiliated member, CEO Byron Henderson of the .travel registry, urged members to carry the .travel domain as a branding tool.
Professor Geoffrey Lipman, ICTP President, added: “ICTP’s core activity is sustainable development. Our sector can contribute positively as the world seeks to adjust course at Rio +20 next year. Our members intend to be leaders in the shift to a green growth future and the search for improved gross national happiness. They all believe in providing quality tourism experiences that are good for the planet and its people and which follow a long-term, low-carbon pathway.”
At its launch, the ICTP President honored long-time campaigner Louis D’Amore as an ICTP “Industry Visionary” for his outstanding work advancing travel and tourism as an instrument for peace and development.
ICTP Chairman Juergen Thomas Steinmetz said he is convinced that ICTP can help to bring countries and regions together to make an important contribution to the travel industry and the world. He said: “ICTP is a travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality and green growth. It engages communities and their stakeholders, and advocates sustainable growth of aviation, streamlined travel formalities, and fair coherent taxation, and ICTP tools include media outreach and marketing opportunities.”