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WTM World Responsible Tourism Day

Today saw the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, Ed Fuller of Marriottt in the Hot Seat and two panels chaired by Stephen Sackur of BBC World and the ICRT WTMWRTD Reception….. and the presentation of thought provoking Hard Rain ? Our Headlong Collision with Nature.

The World Travel Market’s World Responsible Tourism Day goes from strength to strength, each year with Fiona Jeffery’s leadership the issues of Responsible Tourism are raised with the destinations, hoteliers, transport providers and operators; WTM offers a unique opportunity to raise the issues with the mainstream industry. We’ll go on doing it.

There were 80 ICRT alumni and friends at the ICRT Reception tonight, an opportunity to network and to reflect on the progress the Responsible Tourism Movement has made over the last year. Laura McGowan signed the MoU between the new ICRT Canada and the hub ICRT at Leeds Met and alumni caught up with former class mates and discussed the agenda for the 3rd International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (May2009) with Yashin Dujon and Kenrick Theus of ICRT Belize




This year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards were well received and reflected the engagement of some of the larger tour operators in taking responsibility for the impacts of their businesses and the sustainability of the industry. It was particularly pleasing that there was so much support for the awards to Jane Ashton of TUI and Diana McIntyre-Pike from Jamaica (see pages 34 & 35 of r:travel and page 19 of Spotlight.) For the first time this year there was a lunch for the winners and highly commendeds sponsored by BBC World ? they also covered the awards: video




Details of all the awards can be found at . Competition gets tougher every year, this year it was good to see the achievements of some of the larger companies being recognised, demonstrating that the Responsible Tourism Movement now includes large businesses as well as the smaller specialist businesses in the UK and in destinations on five continents who did so much to establish the approach. For details of the judging process see r:travel pp.94-5. 

The presentation Hard Rain ? Our Headlong Collision with Nature combining the prophetic music of Bob Dylan with the photographs of Mark Edwards caused those who saw it to reflect on man’s impact on our planet; and the scale of the challenge that confronts us if we are to ensure that the planet remains habitable for us, and the species with which we share the earth and its seas. The Hard Rain Project Photographs


The first Hot Seat with Stephen Sackur of BBC Hard Talk interviewing Ed Fuller of Marriott was entertaining and informative. The Hot Seat will become a regular feature of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. The two panels hosted by Stephen Sackur with hoteliers and tour operators were screened in the boulevard and raised many of the key issues around green house gas emissions, local economic development and water consumption challenging the panellists on their responsibility for sustainability.

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