Travel and tourism organisations throughout the world are under increasing pressure from consumers and communities to work more responsibly. The World Travel Market, supported by the UNWTO, introduced the World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) last year for this very reason.
Costas Christ, one of the worlds most internationally acclaimed and respected sustainable tourism experts, recently became a member of WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Advisory Panel, an independent panel of experts who are helping to guide the WTM in developing this day.
“We are at a turning point in the history of modern travel, as more tourism businesses and destinations adopt sustainable tourism practices to help safeguard the cultural and natural heritage of our planet and deliver tangible benefits to local communities,” said Costas Christ. “WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day is an excellent global initiative that is helping to lead the way forward and I am delighted to be a part of it.”
Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market said, “We are delighted and honoured that Costas had agreed to help in the next crucial phase of development for the WTM WRTD programme.”
“Costas will bring a new dimension to the views of our advisory panel members,” she said. “He is a featured keynote speaker at many international conferences and also works as a travel and tourism consultant to companies, governments and organisations.”
Costas Christ is one of the pioneers of ecotourism and a founding member and former chairman of the board of The International Ecotourism Society.
His work has taken him to more than 100 countries including expeditions to some of the world’s most remote areas.
As the global travel editor and columnist for National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Christ also serves as the chairman of judges for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
WRTD aims to inspire, educate, challenge and stimulate travel companies and organisations large and small to take direct action to work more responsibly.
Other members of the advisory panel include Adama Bah, founder member of Gambia Tourism Concern and involved in the formation of the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism, Nicole Hنeusler, managing director, mascontour (tourism consulting and regional planning) in Berlin, Andrew Jones, guardian and founder Sanctuary Resorts, Mandip Singh, founder and managing director, Ibex Expeditions, and Sindiswa Nhlumayo, deputy director general for The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa.
World Responsible Tourism Day will be held on Wednesday November 12, 2008, with panel chair as professor Harold Goodwin, director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.
On Thursday November 13 from 11am to 14pm in the South Gallery Rooms 21 & 22 the WTM is hosting a conference on The Business Case for Responsible Tourism. A line-up of some of the world’s leading responsible tourism experts will talk to delegates about how to secure market advantage through responsible tourism and how to develop strategies to minimise risk and enhance a product as well as how to secure market advantage.