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All together now – responsibly!
June 2007 116

So what are you doing to make the Middle East a greener, more sustainable place?
There’s much casual talk about responsible tourism these days with many fine words and honourable intentions - but does it and should it go any further?

As managing director of World Travel Market, I think it should. And yes, I’m prepared to stop talking and walk the walk!
Responsible tourism has to be at the very top of the industry agenda right now, which is why we have launched the first WTM World Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday, November 14 in London, in association with the World Tourism Organization, in their capacity as a United Nations agency.
The fast and furious pace of travel and tourism in the region, whether for leisure, business, culture, religious or health purposes is undeniable but I am equally convinced that there is much to be gained by operating a more responsible environment.
One that favours the market economy, private enterprise and free trade, that serves to maximise its bene-ficial eff-ects on the creation of wealth and employment for communities.
I am privileged to be a member of the judging panel for the Responsible Tourism Awards, presented at World Travel Market, which has highlighted some brilliant work.
But there is still much to be done.
Just think. If you, your colleagues, companies, organisations and governments joined together in one powerful signal of universal action, how much we can do together.
Not only would it help us to save our planet and provide a better world for our children and grandchildren, but would also meet the growing demands of consumers.
We are asking everyone to get involved, whether you are able to attend World Travel Market this year – or not. We need to reach out to everyone, to share our enterprise and dynamism, to help others to be inspired and committed.
So what can you do? Well, first stop is to log on to www. wtmwrtd.com and download the WTM World Responsible Tourism Day Action pack as well as view the stunning WRTD film. There’s a WTM WRTD Helpline too on +44 1732 866121 or email [email protected] where you can obtain further assistance. Once you and your colleagues have decided what action you will take for WTM’s WRTD, complete the questionnaire, also on the WRTD website, and apply to use the official logo.
Join me and the UNWTO on 14th November – and  let’s make a world of difference.

(Fiona Jeffery is managing director of World Travel Market)
This Travelling World
by Fiona Jeffery




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