In a wide-ranging presentation to the Panrotas Foundation in SaoPaulo, Brazil, the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) president Geoffrey Lipman called for industry support for green growth, which he described as the “new 21st century global development paradigm”.
Professor Lipman said that ‘old green’ as a simple environment movement is long gone – ‘new green’ not only included economic and social needs, but that climate had become today’s big game changer, with a timeline of 2050 to kick our global carbon habit and fix global warming.
He added that “in that time, today’s seven billion people will become nine billion, with longer lives, better health and a massive increasing demand on scarce food and water resources”.
Lipman said the solution would take new inclusionary development and trade strategies that rely on renewable energy, massive digital collaboration, and biodiversity conservation.
That will be the core green growth challenge world leaders will confront at Rio+20 in June of this year.
Lipman said: “When I attended the 1992 Rio Earth Summit as the first President of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) we took the decision to make Agenda 21 and sustainable development part of the world’s biggest industry’s mainstreaming policies.
“Now we have new Green Growth dynamics, imperatives, and opportunities, and over the next decades, the travel and tourism value chain – or ‘travelism’ in next generation tweet speak - must become a core element of the paradigm shift, because we are the one economic sector that can harness mankind’s need for communication, trade, and mobility and transform it into green jobs and sustainable communities.”
He did not underestimate the challenge, but underscored the fact that we have four decades, if we start now, with huge opportunities for creativity and innovation, reminding the audience that an equivalent period of history saw empires come and go; global jet transport; 24/7 digital communications; and unimaginable science, medicine, agriculture, and lifestyle change.
Travelism does not have to make the change in isolation, but as part of a new leadership shift in world consumption, production, and investment patterns.
He commended the work of the major industry leadership organizations for starting new collaborations to address the mainstreaming challenge and introduced ICTP as a new kid on the block to provide a bottom of the pyramid destination-focused contribution, based on quality green growth.
ICTP will advocate for sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel, and fair coherent taxes – it will try to bring the irreverence of youth and the operational realities of destinations to the table.
Finally he said that ICTP will support new education platforms for green growth transformation, harnessing dramatic shifts in digital and distance learning systems, drawing attention to Green Growth 2050 as an evolving prototype.