Conference will promote sustainability in the tourism industry

How can destinations manage resources for positive impacts?

How can destinations manage resources for positive impacts?

A Leeds conference will showcase the ways in which top names in the tourism industry are taking responsibility for sustainable practices.

The conference at Leeds Beckett University on Friday 25 September will take place at the Rose Bowl building in the city centre, from 9am to 7pm and will also be available through a free live webinar.

The event offers a full-day programme of speakers sharing their experiences of working responsibly, including: Helena Rey, Tourism Programme Officer at the United Nations Environment Programme; Vikki Harris, Head of Marketing at Welcome to Yorkshire; Caroline Meledo, Corporate Responsibility Manager for Hilton Europe Middle East and Africa; and Emma Harvey, Head of Sustainability at Virgin Atlantic Airways and former Senior Research Fellow in Tourism at Leeds Beckett.

The International Tourism Partnership’s head of programmes Fran Hughes will present on sustainability; how to work out what matters to your business. Other subjects on the programme include corporate responsibility, social, economic and environmental impacts, resource efficiency, sustainable production and consumption, metrics and management, reporting, and climate change.

Dr Xavier Font, Reader in Tourism at Leeds Beckett and co-organiser of the event, will speak on the ways that academics can support the private and public sectors in taking more responsibility for sustainability, drawing on the University’s recent work with several of the conference’s speakers, including the United Nations Environment Programme, Hilton Worldwide, Welcome to Yorkshire and Positive Impact.

Dr Font said, “It is essential that we all learn how to take responsibility for creating better places to live and better places to visit, whether we are in Yorkshire or the rainforest. This conference will give companies and destinations methods and inspirational examples to manage their resources so they can make a positive impact, helping us to collectively set new agendas for industry practice and research.”

Dr Davina Stanford, co-organiser of the event, added, “This conference marks the start of a new method of delivery for our MSc Responsible Tourism Management course. We have completely updated the course with new material for a more online delivery. The expectation is that this new method of delivery will make our course even more accessible to distance learning students who will now be able to study whether they are based in the UK or on the other side of the world.

“Our networks and alumni are very important to us. Once our students join our course then the majority stay closely in touch and continue to work with us. This is one of the things which makes our course unique. We intend to run a conference such as this every year, in order to give our current students and alumni the opportunity to come together
with members of the tourism and hospitality industry and exchange ideas and best practice.”

Following the workshops, there will be a networking event with drinks and a buffet dinner. The cost of the conference is £40 (£20 for Leeds Beckett students and alumni and free to Leeds Beckett staff) and tickets can be booked here. To attend the free webinar, please register here:

The programme is as follows:

Responsible tourism and hospitality management conference and webinar
Friday, 25th September, Cloth Hall Court, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds (UK).

9:00          Registration
9:30          Welcome. Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor, and David Hind, Head of School, Leeds Beckett University
10:00        Mainstreaming Sustainable Consumption and Production in tourism policies and strategies. Helena Rey, Tourism Programme Officer at United Nations Environment Programme
10:30        The environmental, social and economic impact of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. Vikki Harris, Head of Marketing, Welcome to Yorkshire
11:00        Coffee
11:30        Corporate reporting on biodiversity impacts and management. Giulia Carbone, Deputy Director Global Business and Biodiversity Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature
11:50        Sustainability; how to work out what matters to your business. Fran Hughes, Head of Programmes at International Tourism Partnership
12.10        Metrics and management systems for corporate responsibility management. Caroline Meledo, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Hilton Europe Middle East and Africa
12:30        Buffet lunch
13:30        Panel discussion: How can academia support the private and public sectors in taking responsibility to be more sustainable? Hosted by Dr Xavier Font, Leeds Beckett University
14:30        50 shades of green – how to use resource efficiency to spice up your brand. Dr Rebecca Hawkins, MD Responsible Hospitality Partnership
15:00        Human trafficking, risk management and the hospitality industry. Prof Alexandros Paraskevas, University of West London
15:30        Coffee
16:00        Sustainability reporting: ISO 20121 and the Global Reporting Initiative.  Fiona Pelham, MD of Sustainable Events Ltd and Positive Impact.
16:30        Climate change, carbon reduction and sustainable fuels. Emma Harvey, Head of Sustainability at Virgin Atlantic Airways
17:00        Networking drinks and buffet dinner (included in cost)
19:00        End


Leave a Reply