Round up of the World Travel Market 2012

World Travel Market WRTD opening 2012

Green Hotelier rounds up some of the best sustainable and responsible travel issues, debates and findings that came out of this year's World Travel Market (WTM).

Wednesday 8th November was 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

Here are the videos from some of the sessions on responsible and sustainable tourism that we were lucky enough to attend:

Tourism and Child Protection

Child protection has long been a major concern of many people working within the industry. In this session, experts discussed: What must the industry do take responsibility for children and young people – whether in the destination or amongst the holidaymakers?

Responsible Tourism Awards

The opening ceremony of World Responsible Tourism Day was followed by Virgin Holidays' Responsible Tourism Awards. Congratulations to the winners of the Best Accommodation for the Environment award, Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia and runners up Bohinj Park Eco Hotel and Maliba Mountain Lodge.


Wolfgang M. Neumann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group – an International Tourism Partnership member – took WTM World Responsible Tourism Day’s HOTseat this year. He was 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. Wolfgang managed to hold his own, despite some hard hitting questions from Stephen, including a discussion around minimum wage, growth versus sustainable operations and Rezidor's social commitments.

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 debated 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? Perhaps inevitably the debate heavily revolved around the aviation industry, with some interesting insights into sustainable innovation when it comes to fuels and engineering. Alongside this, Stephen Farrant from International Tourism Partnership managed to defend the hotel industry on the back of collaborative working groups and the new Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative and James Whittingham, Environment Manager at TUI Travel PLC, discussing overland travel. Despite a strong effort from industry, they struggled to win over many members of the audience.

For more videos from World Travel Market 2012 see their You Tube Channel

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