Responsible Tourism at WTM London, November 2021

Responsible Tourism at WTM London, November 2021

WTM London 2021 is a blended event at ExCeL with in-person and group sessions and virtual participation.  The Responsible Tourism Programme is more diverse this year as we prepare for 2022, when we will reflect on and assess the progress made over the 20 years since the Cape Town Declaration in 2002. Next year Responsible Tourism will be at the heart of WTM London.

This year we have parts of the Responsible Tourism programme – many of the elements are new or significantly changed since last year. Please see the following:

  • The traditional panel discussions are focused this year on solutions, decarbonising our industry, contributing to conservation and the recovery of nature and destination resilience.
  • The presentation of the first WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards and the regional awards from India and the Rest of the World
  • New this year, a panel on Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism in the Travel Forward programme, the beginning of a new strand in the Responsible Tourism Movement.
  • The Platform for Change and a series of interviews with tourism leaders, available on-demand at WTM London and on the Platform for Change, which will be at the heart of the WTM London’s shows through 2022 and culminate in debate at WTM London in November 2022. As President Biden has pointed out, this is the critical decade and the Platform for Change presents tried-and-tested solutions many identified through the Responsible Tourism Awards since their launch in 2004.
  • Decarbonising Travel & Tourism. We have three on-demand panels discussing what solutions are available for aviation, the accommodation sector and our operators, ground handlers and transport providers.
  • Why Storytelling Matters in Tourism, which is a panel discussion available on demand
  • We are launching the 2022 WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards categories, which will open for applications and nominations on 1 December.

This year, you can register to attend WTM London either in-person or virtually. Please use this link to register for the in-person and virtual shows, and entry is free.

On 1 November, we have three panel discussions:

15:30-16:15 Monday, 1 November
Decarbonising the Travel and Tourism Sector

An expert industry panel will discuss the most efficient ways in which aviation, cruising, accommodation, and ground transport can reduce their emissions and meet the global targets to avoid damaging our planet. To learn more about this session, click here.

16:15-17:00 Monday, 1 November
How can the travel and tourism industry contribute more to conservation and nature recovery?
The relationship between travel and tourism and nature is changing, and not just because of the pandemic. Increasing domestic interest in nature-based opportunities is connecting with a growing wave of “rewilding” and nature recovery projects in many places that go well beyond national parks and reserves, linking truly innovative conservation success stories to innovation in the tourism sector. How widespread is this, and where is the potential to inject more of a focus on nature in more traditional destinations? Moreover, as the world wakes up to the urgency of the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises and attention turns to the response of the business community, how much more can and should the travel and tourism sector be doing? To learn more about this session, click here.

17:00-17:30 Monday, 1 November
“Building Back Better” for Destination Resilience
This year we are looking at a few of the new initiatives which have emerged from destinations determined to tackle over-tourism and to make tourism better for residents and visitors. Click to learn more about this session.

New this year are the Global WTM Responsible Tourism Awards being presented on the Global Stage and online on 1 November at 17:30. This year we have restructured the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards programme to enable us to present Global Awards. This year there are six categories and people have entered in four regions: Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of the World. Judging panels have selected the best from each region, and from those, the Global Winners were selected.

On 1 November, we are presenting the ones to watch, Silver and Gold winners from the India and Rest of the World regions and for the first time for the Global Responsible Tourism Awards in all six categories. The Africa and Latin America Awards will roll on and regional judging panels will select the regional Ones to Watch, Silver and Gold winners and they will be presented at WTM Latin America and WTM Africa next year.

The 2021 WTM Responsible Tourism Categories are:

  • Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
  • Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
  • Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID
  • Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  • Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  • Growing the Local Economic Benefit

You can attend the 2021 WTM India, Rest of the World and Global Responsible Tourism Awards in the Global Stage Theatre or attend virtually. Those being recognised — Gold, Silver and Ones to Watch — at WTM London on 1 November are the following:

·         Accor Australia Indigenous Program
·         Accor Global
·         Akelada Hotel, Leaving No One Behind, Thailand
·         Aymanam, Kerala, INDIA
·         Barcelona, CheckBarcelona
·         Better Places & FairAway, Netherlands & Germany
·         Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba: Beyond Carbon Neutrality
·         Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Maldives, Divestream
·         Community Homestay Network, Nepal
·         Crescent Rating, SINGAPORE
·         Diamond Resorts Europe
·         E-volunteering Cambodia
·         Exodus, Community Kickstart Project, UK
·         Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
·         Geotourist & Historic Environment Scotland, UK
·         German National Tourist Board, ‘Feel Good’ campaign, GERMANY
·         Govardhan Village, Maharashtra, INDIA
·         Hydrao: Smart Shower Heads
·         Insight Vacations, Make Travel Matter
·         Invis Multimedia, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
·         Laamaseelu Masveriya, Six Senses
·         Lakesong, Kumarakom, Kerala
·         Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Rural Tourism Programme, INDIA
·         Marine Dynamics, South Africa
·         MEJDI Travel Civil Rights and Red/Blue Tours, USA
·         Much Better Adventures, UK
·         No Footprints, Mumbai, INDIA
·         Park Royal Collection, Marine Bay, Singapore
·         R.O.S.E Kanda, Bageshwar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
·         Safe Tourism Destinations for Women, Madhya Pradesh, INDIA
·         Sarawak Tourism Board, Virtual Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival
·         SEAFUEL Atlantic Area
·         Sita Travel, INDIA
·         Six Senses, Laamu, Maldives, INDIAN OCEAN
·         Tiger Trails Jungle Lodges, Chichghat Conservancy, Maharastra,  INDIA
·         TUI Care Foundation, Global Corona Relief Fund
·         Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, INDIA
·         V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.   AFRICA
·         Village Ways, Mumbai, Maharashtra, INDIA
·         Wanderful Anti-Oppression Toolkit
·         Women With Wheels Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Indore, INDIA

10:30 Tuesday, 2 November: Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism

The tourism industry — travel, hospitality and attractions — has developed a bewildering range of tech solutions. New technology alone will not achieve the change we need to see in our industry; we need to generate behavioural change amongst our staff and our clients. For this panel, we have chosen experienced experts who can look behind the brochures and the sales pitch to share what they have learned about what works, what doesn’t and why?  Click to learn more about this session. Travel Forward – Session Details – Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism – 2nd Nov (wtm.com)

Conversations with Tourism Leaders about progress in Responsible Tourism and the Platform for Change
This session will be part of the WTM London program.

Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
Fossil fuel is why aviation is travel and tourism’s Achilles heel. Is hydrogen the answer? The panellists discuss how aviation can quickly transition to zero-carbon flying, and debate issues such as carbon offsetting and sustainable aviation fuel – and the more radical alternative: hydrogen. Click to watch this on-demand session.

Reducing carbon emissions in the accommodation sector showcases the best practices in reducing emissions in designing and building new hotels and retrofitting existing properties – and ask: are zero-emissions hotels possible? Watch this on-demand session here.

Reducing carbon emissions: tour operators, ground handlers and transport providers, panellists talk about how they have taken carbon out of their operations. Click to watch this on-demand session.

Why Storytelling Matters in Tourism
As tourism demand strengthens across the globe and destinations compete for the attention of travellers seeking experiences that inform, educate and transform — storytelling in tourism has moved beyond an art form to become an important technique to convey and interpret experiences to engage the traveller with the experience. Whilst storytelling can be used in any tourism environment, there is an increasing opportunity for community tourism to expand the scope of storytelling.  Indigenous communities are fast embracing storytelling as a tool to allow travellers to deep dive into the culture and heritage – connecting with the language, dialect, traditions, customs, gastronomy and art. Why does storytelling matter in tourism?  How have communities increased their competitiveness and brand identity through storytelling? How can you improve storytelling, enhance the visitor experience, empower communities and increase earnings for them? This session will be part of the WTM London programme.

The 2022 WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards categories, which will open for applications and nominations on 1 December  

Twenty years on from the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, WTM London in November 2022 is an opportunity to showcase the destinations and businesses which have taken responsibility and made tourism better.

The 2022 Awards will open for nominations and entries on 1 December. There will be ten categories in 2022, which is unusual:

  1. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
  2. Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
  3. Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID
  4. Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  5. Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  6. Growing the Local Economic Benefit
  7. Access for the differently-abled as travellers, employees and holidaymakers
  8. Increasing tourism’s contribution to natural heritage and biodiversity
  9. Conserving water and improving water security and supply for neighbours
  10. Contributing to cultural heritage

Those whose entries in Africa and Latin America are rolling into 2022 will be able to update their submission. The Africa and Latin America Awards will be presented at the WTM Latin America and WTM Africa shows in April 2022; the Gold winners will be entered into the 2022 Global Awards along with those from India and the Rest of the World to be presented at WTM London in November 2022.

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Harold is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracted 4000 participants in 2020 and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and chairs the panels of judges for the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family, Africa, India and Latin America. Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.

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