'Green' focus at WTM debate


A debate on environmentally responsible tourism will be the highlight of the Environmental Awareness Day at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London later this year.

The debate on "Responsible Tourism - Whose Job Is It Anyway?" will be sponsored by Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

British journalist and television personality John Stapleton will host the debate on November 14 at the Central Feature Area at WTM which is being held from November 12-15.

"Stapleton will roam the aisles encouraging a lively, open and controversial discussion," organisers said.

The debate will involve WWF, the Tour Operators Initiative For Sustainable Development supported by the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep), Green Globe 21, and representatives from tour operators, national tourist offices and specialist environmental companies.

"Sponsoring the environmental awareness debate complements WWF's broader engagement with tourism," said Justin Woolford, WWF-UK's tourism policy officer.

"As the world's largest, but also most diverse industry, the question of where 'responsibility' for environmental and social impact lies, as well as what to do about them, is key to the business survival of everyone involved."

For the fourth year running, in conjunction with Green Globe 21 - the worldwide certification programme for companies, communities and consumers - exhibitors have the opportunity to show their commitment to good environmental practices by applying for the World Travel Market Green Tick.

These are awarded to companies who adhere to WTM's 10-point policy declaration for good environmental practice.

Meanwhile, professional services group KPMG will sponsor two key industry events at WTM.

On November 13, the WTM spotlight will turn to the latest buzzword for the industry - effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with a "Who Cares?" debate chaired by Oliver Tant, Partner in the Travel Practice KPMG.

The Discovery lecture the next day will see international business expert, Dr Fons Trompenaars, outlining his views on the dynamics of change in the travel and tourism industry.