Sustainability focus for WTTC summit
Abu Dhabi, April 3, 2013
Tourism for tomorrow has to balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ and consider the consumption of resources and possible impacts on society and the wider world. That will be the message from top environmental experts at a key summit in Abu Dhabi next week.
More than 800 senior private and public executives from the travel and tourism industry will take part at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit on April 9 and 10.
The summit at the Jumeirah at Eithad Towers will include a keynote address from former US President Bill Clinton. Speakers include Daryl Hannah, American actress and activist; Jonathan Porritt, founder director, Forum for the Future; David de Rothschild, adventurer and environmentalist; Laura Turner Seydel, captain, Planet Foundation; Costas Christ, chairman of the judges, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards; and Dr Christoph Weber, CEO, Jatro.
They will be discussing what the industry can do to ensure it impacts natural and cultural environments in a positive way, provides benefits to all sectors of society, attracts and develops a skilled workforce to support growing demand, stimulates consumer demand for sustainable products and uses the latest technology to find innovative solutions to future challenges, said a statement.
David Scowsill, president and CEO of WTTC, said: There are many great examples of companies developing initiatives to respond to sustainability issues. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Economic crises and global uncertainty are creating pressures to focus on short-term concerns at the cost of a long-term approach to company success. Tourism for Tomorrow goes beyond the ‘green’ agenda and, instead, is a holistic vision for the sustainable development of travel and tourism into the future. The industry needs to raise the bar on the issue and set a clear path. Industry activities need to be centred around the four key principles of accountability, leadership, innovation, and collaboration. Our discussions at the summit will help to bring the industry together to speak with one voice and recognise a common outlook. Through collaboration, the industry can amplify its individual efforts by taking advantage of shared knowledge and industry efficiency”.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is hosting the Summit along with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, says a sustainable travel and tourism industry is at the heart of the emirate’s tourism strategy.
Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The quest for sustainability is part of the authority’s DNA and is evidenced by our industry-wide EHSMS programme which has seen significant reductions in water, power and waste savings across the destination’s hospitality sector, our Green Hotel guidelines and our ongoing efforts to foster tourism career opportunities for Emiratis via initiatives such as our Tourism Youth Summer Camp and the Abu Dhabi Ambassador programme.” – TradeArabia News Service
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