World Travel Market 2014’s Responsible Tourism Program will include some of the biggest names in travel including Tui, Thomas Cook, Kuoni, Virgin Holidays and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
WTM 2014 will take place Monday 3 November to Thursday 6 November at ExCeL – London.
Tuesday’s opening event, “Increasing the Local Economic Impact of Tourism” sees Jane Ashton, director of Group Sustainable Development at TUI Travel, joined by Jo Hendrickx, sustainable destinations manager at Thomas Cook and Heidi van Der Watt, director of the International Center for Responsible Tourism in South Africa. Each of the panelists will describe how case studies from their own experiences have ensured opportunities for local suppliers and producers.
The following session features ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer, who is joined by Rebecca Hawkins, director of the Responsible Hospitality partnership and Rachel McCaffery, head of sustainable tourism, The INTASAVE Partnership and CARIBSAVE. They will be discussing their experiences of “Reducing Energy and Water Consumption – Good for the Environment and Good for the bottom line.”
This emphasis on how practical sustainability makes companies more resilient and profitable runs through the day, with the next debate, “How can you use Responsible Tourism to increase sales,” gathering together three people ideally placed to provide the answers: Justin Francis, CEO of responsibletravel.com; Victoria Bacon, head of communications at ABTA; and Rachel O’Reilly, head of communications at Kuoni Travel UK.
The program also tackles issues around accessibility and opportunity at a session titled: “Everyone Deserves a Holiday: Social Inclusion.” With the UN Declaration on Human Rights stating that everyone has a right to rest, leisure and to travel, the panel will explore what the industry can do to maximize holiday opportunities for people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
All of Tuesday’s Responsible Tourism sessions will take place in one room – South Gallery 19&20 – chosen to make it as easy as possible for people visiting the show to access from the main halls and listen to and challenge the experts gathered.