World Travel Market London 2016, to be held from November 7-9, will commemorate two key responsible tourism anniversaries this year; 20 years of responsible tourism and 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Days.
This year’s program will explore how well the travel industry has embraced responsible tourism, celebrate best practices and ask if responsible tourism has come of age after 20 years, while also attempting to predict what the industry will look like in 2036.
The South African Government’s 1996 white paper; The Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa is widely heralded as the start of responsible tourism. The white paper looked at how the post-apartheid South Africa can benefit from tourism and proposes responsible tourism as the key guiding principle to build the sector. The paper puts responsible and sustainable tourism at the centre of its overall strategy, making sure both the country’s natural resources are protected and not over exploited or over commercialised while also making sure all its citizens benefit from an increase in tourists. It also puts an emphasis on tourists to respect the environment and culture of the country.
Furthermore in 2007 WTM London rebranded its Environmental Awareness Day to World Responsible Tourism Day, broadening the agenda of the day’s programme. WRTD, which will take place this year on Tuesday 8 November, is now the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world. Nearly 2,000 delegates attend the responsible tourism program at WTM London, organised by Manchester University Responsible Tourism Professor Harold Goodwin.
World Travel Market London is the leading global event for the travel industry, and is a three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press descend on London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.