ABU DHABI, U.A.E.—A world leading expert on responsible tourism is urging key industry stakeholders to accept responsibility for advancing a sustainable agenda and is joining a growing lobby which will press the case at next month’s World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi. Professor Harold Goodwin, director of the U.K.’s International Centre for Responsible Tourism says the Abu Dhabi conference, which will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from November 22 to 24, could be a platform for change.
“For too long the major stakeholders have failed to take responsibility for their impacts and for making their businesses more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” said Prof. Goodwin. “Sustainable development, sustainable tourism, sustainability have all too often been dismissed as someone else’s responsibility—there has been a failure to act. Businesses have argued that it is for others to solve the problems.”
Prof. Goodwin will address a special World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi session devoted to “Taking Responsibility for Making Tourism Sustainable” where he will be joined by: Nikki White, head of destinations and sustainability, the Association of British Travel Agents; Roddy Gordon, v.p. sales and marketing, Tamani Hotels and Resorts, UAE and Faith Taylor, v.p. sustainability and innovation, Wyndham Worldwide, USA. The session will be chaired by Lelei LeLaulu, co-chairman of Hawaii’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Centre.
Case Studies to be Presented
“While the industry will be urged on to stronger action at World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi, delegates will also hear case studies of how sustainable initiatives can be translated into economic reality,” said Rick Theobald, event director, Streamline Marketing Group (SMG), which is organizing the event.
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi’s speaker platform also boasts Gopinath Parayil, the 36-year-old founder and chief executive of India’s leading responsible travel company, The Blue Yonder, and Bruce Poon Tip, founder of Gap Adventures, the world’s largest adventure travel company, both of whom will outline how pioneering sustainability can deliver significant socio-economic results.
“In Abu Dhabi it is encouraging to see the government accepting that change is needed and that they are working with the industry to make the essential changes if tourism is to contribute to sustainable development in the next 20 years,” Goodwin added.
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi is being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), who will deliver the event’s opening address.
Event Reflects Values of 2030 Plan
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi—a first-of-its-kind event for the Arabian Gulf—is the first meetings industry initiative to emerge from ADTA’s Advantage Abu Dhabi incentive program which catalyzes and seeds new business tourism and meetings concepts. The event reflects the core values of the Abu Dhabi Government’s 2030 plan which clearly identifies tourism as a key economic diversification driver and environmental sustainability as an underlying fundamental of the emirate. The event, a conference with a supporting exhibition, is a forum for key industry leaders and associations to discuss the environmental challenges facing the tourism industry, highlighting green initiatives, technologies and solutions currently being integrated into mainstream industry practices.
World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi is the first global event in the Arabian Gulf dedicated to the investment and development of sustainable tourism. It will bring together regional and international tourism authorities, urban city planners, hotels and resorts, property developers, airlines, key associations, tour operators, green products suppliers, museums and heritage sites organizations, and universities involved in sustainable tourism.
For more information, go to www.worldgreentourism.com.