WTM’s Responsible Tourism Programme Includes The Biggest Companies In The Industry

WTM’s Responsible Tourism Programme Includes The Biggest Companies In The Industry

World Travel Market 2014’s, the leading global event for the travel industry, Responsible Tourism Programme includes some of the biggest names in travel including Tui, Thomas Cook, Kuoni, Virgin Holidays and ABTA.

This year’s programme stretches across all four days of the event for the very first time, with Tuesday’s programme including some of the industry’s largest and most respected organisations.

Tuesday’s opening event, ‘Increasing the Local Economic Impact of Tourism’ sees Jane Ashton, Director of Group Sustainable Development at TUI Travel, joined by Jo Hendrickx, Sustainable Destinations Manager at Thomas Cook and Heidi van Der Watt, director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism in South Africa. Each of the panellists will describe how case studies from their own experiences have ensured opportunities for local suppliers and producers.

The following session features ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer, who is joined by Rebecca Hawkins, director of the Responsible Hospitality partnership and Rachel McCaffery, Head of Sustainable Tourism, The INTASAVE Partnership and CARIBSAVE. They will be discussing their experiences of ‘Reducing Energy and Water Consumption – Good for the Environment and Good for the bottom line’.

This emphasis on how practical sustainability makes companies more resilient and profitable runs through the day, with the next debate, ‘How can you use Responsible Tourism to increase sales’, gathering together three people ideally placed to provide the answers: Justin Francis, CEO of responsibletravel.com, Victoria Bacon, head of communications at ABTA, and Rachel O’Reilly, Head of Communications at Kuoni Travel UK.

In the afternoon, the issue of wildlife tourism’s relationship with and responsibility for captive wild animals, such as those found at dolphin shows and elephant rides is on the agenda. Mirieme Hill, Responsible Business Manager for Virgin Holidays and Simon Pickup, sustainable Tourism Manager at ABTA will be joined by representatives of two prominent NGOs working on behalf of captive animals.

The programme also tackles issues around accessibility and opportunity at a session titled: ‘Everyone Deserves a Holiday: Social Inclusion’, featuring Nicola David from Virgin Holidays, José Fernandes Franco, Director, Campo dos Sonhos in Brazil and Nikki White Head of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA. With the UN Declaration on Human Rights stating that everyone has a right to rest, leisure and to travel, the panel will explore what the industry can do to maximise holiday opportunities for people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

All of Tuesday’s Responsible Tourism sessions will take place in one room – South Gallery 19&20 – chosen to make it as easy as possible for people visiting the show to access from the main halls and listen to and challenge the experts gathered.

World Travel Market, Conference & Events Manager, Charlotte Sutton, said: “The number of big name companies taking part in the World Responsible Tourism Programme this year demonstrates how the issue is moving up the industry’s boardroom agenda.

“I am delighted Tui, Thomas Cook, Virgin Holiday and Kuoni are prepared to share their responsible tourism experience and expertise with the global industry at WTM. The programme is a must-attend event for all those interest in responsible tourism.”

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About World Travel Market

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.

WTM 2013 generated more than £2 billion of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.

WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a other portfolio’s of travel industry events including IBTM Events, the world’s leading showcases for the meetings and events industry and International Luxury Travel Market events.

In 2013, RE held more than 500 events in 40 countries bringing together more than six million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.

Reed Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.

Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.