Fresh initiatives, greater focus and an increasing awareness that responsible tourism should top the industry agenda has contributed to the success of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, in association with the UNWTO.
The next WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is on Wednesday 7 November at ExCeL London.
Responsible tourism events are planned for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6, 7 and 8 November, although the main attention will be on the actual day.
Now in its sixth year and building on 20 years of pioneering work to establish responsible tourism as an essential part of the industry’s strategic approach, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is going from strength to strength. The aim is to educate, motivate and inspire the industry to carry out year-round responsible tourism activity.
“We were always in this for the long haul and I’m delighted that responsible tourism is gradually gaining ground within every quarter of the industry”, said Fiona Jeffery OBE, chairman of World Travel Market.
An opening ceremony will be held on the morning of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day with keynote speeches, debates, seminars as well as the presentation of Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Awards, organised by responsibletravel.com in partnership with World Travel Market, Metro, the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) and Geographical.
Responsible tourism themes this year include: Wildlife and Conservation; Catering for People with Disabilities; Tourism and Child Protection; Responsible Tourism Progress; Activity Tourism; and Responsible Volunteering.
Companies, organisations and individuals throughout the world will also be highlighting the day with their own activities such as press conferences, trade fairs, clean-up operations, consumer promotions and competitions.
More than 100 companies have already applied to use the official 2012 WTM World Responsible Tourism Day logo on their marketing, sales and PR material and 70 have been approved so far. Official logo users receive valuable international profiling benefits.
WTM Speakers’ Corner
WTM Speakers’ Corner is a new free initiative offering delegates the opportunity to speak out, outline their own responsible tourism activity and even voice controversial opinions about the industry, environment and sustainability.
The two distinctive WTM Speakers’ Corners with their traditional ‘soapbox’ to stand on and microphone will be situated at ExCel’s popular cafes in the North and South of the venue. Each slot will be well publicised prior to World Travel Market in its global communications campaign as well as on the website and at ExCeL.
“WTM Speakers Corner meets the growing demand of delegates who wish to speak at one of the responsible tourism seminars or debates”, said Jeffery.
“Unfortunately, because the WTM WRTD programme has become so well supported, there are always more people willing to participate than places available.”
WTM Speakers’ Corner is named after the time-honoured tradition of allowing public free speech in the UK which has been copied in many other parts of the world. The most famous Speakers’ Corner is at London’s Hyde Park, where every weekend, crowds gather to hear speakers.
Spotlight Goes Monthly
Spotlight, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day’s own annual colour magazine is also spreading it’s ‘wings’.
Until now Spotlight has only been available once a year but it is now being launched online as a monthly feature with relevant pictures and videos.
The features, written by professional journalists with particular interest or past experience of an area or region, will be accompanied by stunning pictures and film.
The aim of Spotlight is to recognise the unsung champions of responsible tourism who quietly work away at responsible tourism without recognition. “While there’s undoubtedly amazing work being carried out throughout the world as we showcase in Spotlight, there’s still much more to be done”, added Jeffery.