4 days ago
I had an opportunity to attend the first day of the Ecotourism and Sustainable Conference North America last week. The event was held in Tampa, Fla. at the Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida. It was the first North America conference for the International Ecotourism Society. Approximately 100 attended the first day of the event. About 30 or so could not make it because of weather-caused flight cancellations. The conference featured speakers who provided a global perspective on the environmental challenges we all face while also featuring case studies on specific properties or projects. Dr. David Randle, Program Director, Sustainable Tourism Concentration, USF Patel College of Global Sustainability, was one of the first presenters on day one. He addressed global environmental challenges as well as those local to Florida, a state that was expected to draw 100 million tourists in 2015. The fastest growing industry in the world is tourism, Randle said, and sustainable tourism is the fastest growing sector.