Tourism Taking Responsibility By Measuring & Communicating Sustainability Discussed At The Global Summit Of The WTTC
It is said that the economic impact of Travel & Tourism is increasing and that Governments and the wider community appreciates this sectors ability to crate jobs and economic wealth. The social benefits of the tourism industry are also widely acknowledged. But is the world ready to receive 1.8 Billon tourists? was the question asked by Stephen Sackur, the renowned and highly respected Hard Talk BBC journalist to a panel in a televised debate in front of a live audience at The Global Summit of the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) that was held this week in Madrid Spain.
Sitting on the panel were Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Professor John Spengler, the Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health & Human Habitation and also Director for the Centre of Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health and Darrel Wade, the CEO of PEAK Adventure Travel.
Professor Spengler opened the debate by stating facts and figures on the harm caused to the environment by the millions of travellers and Darrel Wade spoke about his company’s reorganisation to be environmentally as friendly as possible in holiday travels being offered by his company. Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles took time to explain that the Seychelles Government believed in being truthful to its core industry. “Tourism is the pillar of the Seychelles economy but we are conscious that without a sustainable approach to our tourism development we shall destroy what our visitors come to seychelles to experience” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Minister used the opportunity to explain that the islands were today embarking on a complete Land Use Plan that was being accompanied by a comprehensive Carrying capacity. He said that Seychelles Government wanted to be seen as good custodians of what they had been blessed with. Minister St.Ange did not miss the opportunity to spell out the key USPs of the Seychelles stating that the white sandy beaches and turquoise blue seas of the Seychelles were clean and clear because of no pollution and that Seychelles continued to provide unrivalled swimming 365 days of the year because of it geographical location.
Minister St.Ange defended the Governments side on this debate panel saying that the world was ready to receive 1.8 billion visitors but that their existed a need for political will to manage the situation. “We heard the King of Spain, the Spanish Minister, the Secretary General of the UNWTO and the President & CEO of the WTTC all speak of the virtues of the tourism industry. Tourism helps economies of the countries from the Community of Nations and tourism removes poverty. Can we stop the 1.8 billion tourists now or should be manage travel with honesty and transparency” said Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles.