Responsible Tourism is on the global industry agenda – and at WTM Africa 2019, we have a series of dedicated events, including a two-day Business Case for Responsible Tourism conference, to cater for one of the most important debates in the travel world.
Two back-to-back panel discussions take place in the Conference Theatre on Wednesday 10 April from 14:30. The first examines the topic: “How can Travel and Tourism best reduce the carbon emissions of our industry?”. The panel, moderated by WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor Dr Harold Goodwin, includes Calvin Boia (Marketing & Brand Manager: Verde Hotels); Rene Laks (Managing Director, Sub Saharan Africa: Solarus); Andrea Nicholas (Managing Director: Green Tourism, UK) and Lorraine Jenks (Founder CEO Hotelstuff/Greenstuff).
The second, entitled: “What should the tourism sector be doing to effectively promote wildlife conservation?” is once more moderated by Dr Goodwin. And includes Kruger National Park Managing Executive Glenn Phillips; Former Fair Trade Tourism Managing Director Jane Edge and Endangered Wildlife Trust Head of Conservation Harriet Davies-Mostert.
The African Responsible Tourism Awards will follow this debate, from 16:45-17:30, in the Conference Theatre. The Awards are an Africa-wide search and seek to celebrate the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences – those which contribute toward preserving, respecting and benefitting both destinations and local people. For 2019, the public have been able to nominate tourism businesses & organisations they feel are deserving of awards, while tourism organisations can also enter themselves. Dr Harold Goodwin says that the opportunity to hear from African Responsible Tourism Awards winning-businesses is one not to be missed. “There are four panels addressing the business case, all with different examples. There are also panels on carbon emissions and how they can be reduced, with speakers from industry – and a panel on wildlife conservation with speakers from National Parks and Conservation.
The two-day Business Case for Responsible Tourism event runs from 09:00-11:30 on both Thursday 11 and Friday 12 April. Exploring the impact that Responsible Tourism can have on the bottom line, simply by doing better business, a range of businesses from across the African continent will take attendees through their respective responsible business approaches and detail how the switch has contributed to their business. Past winners and the newly-announced 2019 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards winners will be sharing their responsible business journeys as part of the programme.
Megan Oberholzer, Travel Tourism & Sports Portfolio General Manager at Reed Exhibitions says that the industry has been working hard to embrace their role within the parameters of responsibility for the environments in which they operate – but there’s always more work to be done. “The Business Case for Responsible Tourism conference is an opportunity for role-players in the continental industry to convene and share ideas,”she says. “It’s going to offer an unprecedented opportunity for #WTMA19 to drive positive change in the way visitors explore our great continent”.
WTM Africa 2019 offers an abundance of opportunities to help grow your business, understand the role it plays in the tourism ecosystem and deliver opportunities to be a more responsible participant in the global tourism economy.