Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), told delegates from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar that while the projections showed that they will remain one of the fastest-growing regions for tourists in the world for some time to come, they should put in place strong green growth strategies now to get lasting benefits.
He said that green growth does not mean instantaneous change to a low-carbon, resource-efficient, inclusionary-development pattern, but a progressive shift from the traditional “grow first, ask questions later” mindset.
He added that the dynamics of growth and the global public interest in the case of Myanmar, are an additional factor that make capacity management a major issue and sustainability a key starting point for policy.
Lipman said that the book he planned to launch at the Rio+20 Earth Summit next week, “Green Growth and Travelism - Letters from Leaders,” contained useful policy guidance on transformation from some of the most important decision-makers inside and outside the sector. He said that ICTP - whose mission is to promote green growth and quality with destinations - is committed to working with Pacific Asia Travel Mart (PATA) and the Mekong Tourism Organization to bring its messages to the region, particularly into education and training systems.
Finally, he recalled the exchange with Aung San Suu Kyi at the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Bangkok and stressed the importance of specifically incorporating gender equality into this agenda.