RT Conversations at WTM – new for 2016

Every year at WTM London we have about 2000 participants across the various Responsible Tourism  events, it is a big success but we want to reach still more people and excite them about what they can achieve by using a Responsible Tourism approach.

We have reduced the number of Awards so that there is time for the winners to be interviewed on stage and for the audience to hear from them about what they have done and why.

This year we are building on our success last year in engaging a wide range of people in conversations on the Responsible Tourism stand – on the show floor and far more participative. The idea is to get the host(s) to get a conversation going, no set piece presentations – no death by PowerPoint: some video, some storytelling, images, conversation, controversy; a real chance to forge new business relationships, to inspire, educate and challenge.

All sessions on the Responsible Tourism  Responsible Tourism  Stand AF100

Monday

13:00-14:30 India: Enhancing the Tourist Experience

Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. 2017 is the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Development through Tourism. WTM is launching a new feature of WTM London, showcasing some of the ways in which tourists can engage positively with local communities purchasing local goods and services, contributing to the conservation of natural and cultural resources and valuing their community. Come along to meet leading local tour operators, their source market partners, members of local communities and national government and tourist board leaders.

14:45-15:45 Responsible Tourism Potential of the Republics of Central Asia

Come and meet representatives of the new and emerging sustainable tourism destinations and hear first-hand what they have to offer in sustainable and eco-tourism. Discover more about these fascinating countries and their culture, customs and historical sites as well as the genuine hospitality of the people. See their breath-taking scenery and  the potential they each have to offer to  tourists looking for an alternative tourism experience.

17:15-18:00 How can businesses report on their Responsible Tourism  Impact?

The UN Sustainable Development Goals apply to developed and developing economies alike. There are opportunities for businesses to use this framework to report on their positive impacts and to secure profile and market advantage. How can we most efficiently report on the contribution businesses make to the sustainable development through tourism?

Harold Goodwin & Jen Bobbin

Tuesday
13:00 – 13:45  Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Travel & Tourism

Last November Professor Kevin Anderson gave a graphic presentation on the scale of the challenge of climate change. Then came Paris and the intergovernmental agreement to reduce emissions so as to constrain the rise in the average global temperature to below 1.5°C. Climate change has continued to accelerate with new records being broken for the hottest month on record and many more extreme weather events. A hosted conversation, an opportunity to discuss what has been achieved since Paris, what has worked and what hasn’t an opportunity to share reflections on why more has not been achieved and to discuss possible solutions.

14:00-14:45  ‘How tourism can help the refugee crisis’.
2016 year has revealed even more about how Europe and the rest of the world is affected by the refugee crisis. Our tourism businesses are affected by these conflicts, and tourists are starting to make different choices about where they travel based on what destinations they consider to be safest. So what can tourism do to help the refugee crisis? What power do tourism organisations have to build resilience? And how do we protect local communities? Join the discussion to find out more.

15:30 – 16:30 How can we ensure the travel and tourism are accessible to all? 

What  is being done to make travel and tourism accessible for all and to discuss what more should and can be done.  Ensuring accessibility for all is about a lot more than wheelchair access. Why are not more tourism and accommodation providers ensuring that there is access for all?

Wednesday
10:15-11:00  Meet the 2016 Gold and Silver Winners
Tour opportunity to meet the Gold and Silver Winners of the World Responsible Tourism  Awards.

11:00 – 12:00 Responsible “Better” Volunteering Responsible Tourism Stand

Angela Benson has just completed a series of research seminars on responsible volunteering engaging the industry, academics and NGOs. Angela will be hosting a discussion about what should be included in a new British Standard on volunteering and a new International Standard. What needs to be addressed in order to ensure that the communities benefit, that children are not put at risk and to ensure that the expectations of volunteers are met or surpassed? What do we need to change in order to get better volunteering?

12:30-13:30 The Gorillas, Tourism and Poverty Reduction at Bwindi in Uganda  Responsible Tourism Stand

All round the world when land and habitat is protected for wildlife local communities lose out, more needs to be done to ensure that they too benefit from the tourism attracted by the resources they used to ‘own’. Conversations between international and local tour operators, lodge owners, the Ugandan Tourism Board and those working on the initiative to discuss how tourism in and around Bwindi can be shaped and improved so that local people, particularly the economically poorest, can benefit more from the tourists attracted by the opportunity to see the gorillas. There is more to Bwindi than the gorillas and great opportunities to extend length of stay in this part of Africa.

Come along and join the conversation if you have a tourism interest in Bwindi and the gorillas or if you are interested in the issue.

13:30-15:00 Enhancing the Tourist Experience in Africa Responsible Tourism Stand

Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. 2017 is the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Development through Tourism. WTM is launching a new feature of WTM London, showcasing some of the ways in which tourists can engage positively with local communities purchasing local goods and services, contributing to the conservation of natural and cultural resources and valuing their community. Come along to meet leading local tour operators, their source market partners, members of local communities and national government and tourist board leaders.

15:30 – 17:00 Guides – educators and cultural brokers Responsible Tourism Stand

We have brought together a group outstanding guides to talk about how they approach their challenging role of enabling tourists to have positive encounters with local communities, their culture and environment. How do they see their responsibility? What do they think makes a good guide? How do they ensure that encounters are respectful, that hosts and guests create great memories and that the tourists have a great experience? Some short talks, some video and a conversation.

Full details of each of the conversations will be on the WTM website – link 

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Harold Goodwin