Expected to attract members of the travel industry from across the globe, the world's first summit dedicated to "green tourism" will be held next year in Abu Dhabi. The World Green Tourism Conference was introduced in London yesterday at the opening of the World Travel Market. The Abu Dhabi event, created in a bid to tackle the growing environmental challenges facing the travel industry, is being organised by the UAE's Streamline Marketing Group (SMG) in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
Dayne Lim, the product development director of the ADTA, told a news conference in London yesterday that the event reflected the core values of the Abu Dhabi Government's 2030 plan, which identified tourism as a key driver of economic diversification. "It also identifies environmental sustainability as an underlying fundamental of all we do," he said. The summit, part of a congress in December 2010 that will also embrace a green tourism exhibition, will highlight ecotourism initiatives and the solutions currently being applied in a bid to counter increasing concerns over the environmental damage being caused by travel and tourism.
Rich Theobald, from SMG, described the case for Abu Dhabi hosting the event as a "powerful" one. "It is the capital of the UAE, easily accessible from Europe and Asia, and has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the environment by establishing a core network of organisations to address the 'green' issue," he said. "The summit will also reinforce Abu Dhabi's very healthy reputation as a determined and tangible supporter of environmental protection. We anticipate in the long run that the congress will help establish Abu Dhabi as an international leader in responsible tourism and as a destination of choice for the environmentally aware traveller."
The conference is expected to attract about 200 delegates from around the world while the accompanying exhibition is expected to feature about 100 companies and be visited by 1,500 travel trade professionals. Mr Theobald said he hoped the event would help "effect change in business practices in the UAE and the Gulf region as a whole". email@example.com