World Green Tourism speaker states Mid-East governments can play key role in pushing sustainable tourism
October 03, 2011
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Prof. Geoffrey Lipman to share green growth vision at World Green Tourism conference in Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, 2 Oct. 2011 (WAM): The level of government commitment in the Middle East is key to overcoming the region's biggest sustainable tourism challenges, says Professor Geoffrey Lipman, a world authority on green tourism.
Prof. Lipman, Advisor to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the World Economic Forum (Aviation and Tourism), said that for the Middle East to improve its standings as a responsible destination, A533;green growth' is key and that travel and tourism can act as a positive driver.
"At a local, regional, and national level, green growth has to become the key development strategy and travel and tourism has to be factored in as a major positive change agent," said Lipman. "Travel and tourism is a sector of the Middle East economy that does an enormous amount of good for society - socio-economically and in bringing happiness, jobs trade and development." Lipman, who is also director of greenearth.travel - a strategic change network, will share his vision of green growth and travel and tourism when he addresses the second World Green Tourism conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from December 5-7.
"The travel industry in the Middle East is increasingly conscious of the importance of sustainability strategies, citing strong commitment of the region's airlines to reductions in carbon outputs," added Lipman. "Our sector can and will be a leader, with the backing of governments in the implementation of new green growth strategies - we are all in this together.
"The evident starting point is the commitments that governments themselves are making. That means understanding and contributing to sustainable destinations, sustainable mobility, and sustainable lifestyles. The GCC states in particular can play a key role in this through their economic and aviation strength, community, and lifestyle focus, as well as thought leadership." In addressing the major challenges the Middle East faces in developing sustainable tourism, Lipman says that sorting the strategic from the tactical aspects of planning and implementation needs to be addressed.
"Strategy revolves around developing realistic roadmaps and game-plans, whereas tactical involves aligning the different forms of sustainable tourism - green, eco, responsible, slow, pro poor and a myriad of others - to these evolving frameworks," continued Lipman.
"World Green Tourism can definitely help chart the right direction. It can be very significant because green growth is the key international strategic issue and because the Gulf is a catalytic region as a world transportation hub and an economic powerhouse." Organised by Streamline Marketing Group, World Green Tourism, the first commercial conference and exhibition specifically for the sustainable tourism sector, is hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
Also among the 29 high profile conference speakers are Hon. Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, the Minister of Tourism, Malaysia and the Vice President of Malaysian Chinese Association, and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, Environment Advisor for the Ajman Government, and widely known as 'The Green Sheikh'.