The World Travel Market

November 06, 2006 04:00 ET

World Travel Market: Moment of Truth-WTM's Chief Launches World Responsible Tourism Day of Action

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 06, 2006) -

ExCeL London Monday 6 November

World Travel Market has announced a major global tourism initiative which has the backing of the United Nations.

It launched WTM World Responsible Tourism Day this morning (Monday 6 November) and Fiona Jeffery, Managing Director said:"This is the world's most ambitious international day of industry action to help save the planet and change lives.

"It means the international travel industry can show en masse that it is actively making a difference in protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting local communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution."

The initiative, in association with the World Tourism Organization - a United Nations Agency - has already attracted many high profile supporters. This includes respected industry groups as well as Richard Branson and international environmentalist David Bellamy.

The launch by Jeffery and leading classical singer Katherine Jenkins took place at the event's official Opening Ceremony.

The first WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will be on Wednesday 14 November 2007 tying in with the event's annual dedicated day to responsible tourism.

Fiona Jeffery, World Travel Market's Managing Director said: "The international travel and tourism industry is already making an increasing contribution to responsible and sustainable tourism with many companies and organisations taking action. But more can and should be done.

"There's no industry in the world better placed to embrace a day that highlights the issues related to environment and corporate and social responsibility.

"Which is why I am launching WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, the first opportunity for travel and tourism to come together under a single unified goal.

"An opportunity that inspires, demonstrates - and leads by example.

"A chance to show the world that the moment has come to make a real difference; that will keep our beaches cleaner, preserve our stunning scenery, save wildlife and glory in our historic buildings and precious heritage.

"But it's not just about saving the planet. Although that in itself is a project of giant, unimaginable proportions.

"We have a responsibility too to help local people where ever they might be, provide them with shelter, jobs, clean water, food and education. Protect them from exploitation, corruption and deceit. Offer them the right to a decent and dignified standard of living where the next generation can flourish in the knowledge that those before them have taken a sensible, responsible and meaningful approach to the world in which we live.

"WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is unique, exciting - and the aims are dramatically simple.

"It's a chance for individuals, agents, operators, travel companies, destinations, attractions and governments to come together in a positive groundswell of true global co-operation that can - and will - make an impact."

"Action can be something quite modest or an initiative that involves hundreds, even thousands. From planting a tree to adopting a school or clinic in an area in which you are already involved; from a small office raising money in their lunch hour to building several protected wells to give deprived children clean water."

Supporters include the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

A WTM World Responsible Tourism Day logo has been created for use by companies and organizations participating in the event.

A WTM World Responsible Tourism Day Action Pack has been produced, either in hard form or electronically and linked to a dedicated website - www.wtmwrtd.com. This gives full details of how the industry can get involved.

A hotline service has also been set up to help and advise on +44 (0)1732 866121. Regular newsletters next year will keep the industry updated on the latest developments so that supporters can share in the knowledge of working together for one common and universal industry aim.

A comprehensive programme of events, workshops, seminars, debates will highlight action undertaken by the industry on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, Wednesday 14 November 2007 at next year's event.

WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, in association with the UNWTO, will take place in 2008 on 12 November and in 2009 on 11 November.

For further information on the above, key concepts and themes during World Travel Market, exhibitor activity and events, please refer
to www.wtmlondon.com.

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