Green Hotelier’s top picks for the World Travel Market

World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day

On Monday 6th November the World Travel Market (WTM) will return to the London Excel Center, bringing with it plenty of discussion and debate around the sustainable and responsible agenda.

Wednesday 8th November will be World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD), which WTM set up with support from the UNWTO  to deliver the following objectives:

  • help drive change by educating more responsible behaviour with the travel and tourism industry and travelling public
  • explore the issues of how countries and destinations are made more sustainable including case studies of best practices
  • educate the marketplace and debate key environmental related issues to push the agenda and be a catalyst for change
  • harness the influence of World Travel Market as an international business forum to encourage the industry to drive the responsible tourism agenda forward

This year’s programme is packed with everything from debates about carbon emissions to whether the hotel industry does enough for the disabled community. To ensure you make the most of your time, we’ve compiled a list of the events particularly relevant to anyone concerned with sustainable and responsible issues in the hotel industry.

Tuesday 6th November

12:30, South Gallery Rooms 21 & 22: Tourism and Child Protection

Child protection has long been a major concern of many people working within the industry. In this session, experts in the field discuss: What must the industry do take responsibility for children and young people - whether in the destination or amongst the holidaymakers? The panel will explore how the industry can more effectively address the challenge of protecting children.

Chairperson: Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management, Leeds Metropolitan University
Speakers include: Marina Diotallevi, Programme Manager - Ethics & Social Dimensions of Tourism World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Claire Ellaway, Director, WCE Group Operations, Stephen Farrant, Director, International Tourism Partnership and Youth Career Initiative, Michael Horton, Chairman & Founder, ConCERT Cambodia, and Julie Naylor, Head of Customer Relations, Thomas Cook

15:30, South Gallery Rooms 25 & 26: Progress in Responsible Tourism

Rio+20, the landmark United Nations conference on sustainable development, took place in June 2012 and next week WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will be looking back at progress since 1992. Speakers will examine the sustainability contribution by industry and destinations, identifying current priorities.

Chairperson: Martin Brackenbury, Director, Classic Collection Holidays
Speakers include Jane Ashton, Head of Sustainable Development, TUI Travel plc, Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management, Leeds Metropolitan University, and Shaun Vorster, Special Adviser to the Minister of Tourism, South Africa.

Wednesday 7th November

12:00, Platinum Suite 3 & 4: WRTD HOTseat

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group – an International Tourism Partnership member – is to take WTM World Responsible Tourism Day’s HOTseat. He will be interviewed by Stephen Sackur, BBC World’s presenter of HARDtalk, the flagship news and current affairs programme about ‘Think Planet!’ an ambitious new group-wide initiative to save energy at more than 330 hotels in 70 countries. The Think Planet programme aims to reduce consumption of 25% by 2016 in all Rezidor hotels across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Austrian born Wolfgang Neumann joined Rezidor in May 2011, bringing a wealth of international hospitality expertise and knowledge to the company. Previously, he spent more than 20 years with Hilton International. He has helped to lay the foundations for Think Planet and has been driving the project on the Executive Committee and at Board level since its launch in January 2012.

15:30, South Gallery Rooms 21 & 22: The Debate: Is the travel and tourism industry taking responsibility for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions?

Following the success of last year’s debate on who benefits from tourism, this year two teams will debate whether the industry is doing enough to reduce the carbon pollution caused by transport and accommodation or is it necessary for government to regulate the world’s largest industry?

Chairperson: Prof Harold Goodwin, Responsible Tourism Management,  Leeds Metropolitan University
Leading the case FOR the industry: Matt Gorman, Chair, Sustainable Aviation
Witnesses include Jonathon Counsell, Environment Director, British Airways, Stephen Farrant, Director, International Tourism Partnership, and James Whittingham, Environment Manager at TUI Travel PLC 

Leading the case AGAINST the industry: Paul Peeters, Associate Professor Sustainable Transport & tourism of CSTT, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences
Witnesses include Scott Cohen, Surrey University, and Dr Janet Dickinson, Bournemouth University

Thursday 9th November

11.00, South Gallery Rooms 19 & 20: Is the industry doing enough to cater for people with disabilities? 

Last year WTM looked at the 'Business Case For Taking Responsibility For Ensuring Access For All', this year they want to take a look at whether the industry is doing enough. How much progress has the industry made? Is it taking it responsibility seriously? What more need to be done? Is more regulation the answer?

Philippe Rossiter, CEO, Institute of Hospitality
Speakers include Magnus Berrglund, Scandic Accessibility Ambassador, Lynne Kirby, Managing Director, Enable Holidays, Andrew Stembridge, General Manager, Chewton Glen, and David Stratton, Spikemarketing

If you are interested in meeting with Green Hotelier on Wednesday 8th November at the World Travel Market then please get in touch using the contact form here.

For more information see WTM WRTD 2012 events schedule

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