In Brief


Virgin goes head-to-head with BA
THE airline sector will take centre stage at WTM with two ‘head-to-head’ interviews as Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Mike Forster, BAA strategy director, are interviewed on the WTM Conference Set November 12 by air transport consultant John Strickland from 1pm.

Leaders back responsibility
BOTH Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson and environmentalist Professor David Bellamy are among the leading industry figures who have thrown their weight behind WTM’s first day of global action, set to take place on November 14. This follows a focus on environmental issues over the past 14 years at the event. The day is supported by leading organisations such as the UNWTO, WTTC and PATA. It will be opened by Pen Hadow, an international environmentalist and explorer who was the first person to sledge solo from Canada to the North Pole without any re-supplies.

WTM seeks waste reduction
WTM is introducing several environmental initiatives to reduce waste and improve energy standards at this year's exhibition at ExCeL London. It will also opt for reusable products. Exhibitors will be issued with colour coded bags to separate paper, glass, plastics and food waste. Everything will be taken to a recently installed on-site recycling centre that includes a sealed portable compactor for food waste supported by a wormery, the first of its kind in the UK. All carpet tiles laid will be reusable, cotton carrier bags will be standard and paper for printed material will be sourced from sustainable forests or recycled.

A drop makes all the difference
How can the international travel and tourism industry stand by and watch 5,000 children die every day because they are denied clean water? Fiona Jeffery, WTM chairman and founder of the water-aid charity Just a Drop said that the situation remains desperate in many parts of the world, even though the cost of installing a protected well can be as little as £3,000 ($6,156). The charity aims to raise much needed funds for water and sanitation projects worldwide. Jeffery is encouraging as many of the 5,500 exhibitors as possible from 202 representative countries and regions to raise money during WTM, either on their stands or at the hundreds of scheduled exhibitor events throughout the week.