How can the most sought after human economic activity on the planet transform itself for a cleaner, greener, fairer future?
That was the basic question posed to 46 thought leaders - inside and outside the Travel & Tourism sector, from around the world, in the lead up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Leaders who manufacture aircraft, campaign for civil society, explore futures, head governments, ministries and international agencies, shape transport, trade, development and capacity building policies, run airlines, hotels, trains, cruise ships, convention centers and national parks, provide internet information as well as the software that runs it, teach , train and the like.
Their attention was focused on the challenges that society faces, as well as the industry itself and on solutions.
The result is a wide range of far reaching transformational ideas that point to a brighter future in which Travelism - the entire travel and tourism value chain, of communities, companies and consumers - plays a constructive role in the shift to a world based on Green Growth patterns - low carbon, more conservation, resource efficient and inclusionary. This book is the first to provide real evidence of the actions, viewpoints and hopes of those at the frontline.
Some of the authors’ comments:
Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Summit, to whom the book is dedicated, said "The travel industry needs an enlightened and radically reinvigorated agenda for green growth transformation. Building on its progress to date, but with real and continuing action, targets, measurement and a new mind-set that links economic, climate, social and environmental response."
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan "...I would argue that an economy is not an economy if, at the very least, it does not promote sustainability,.....: Instead of simply pursuing growth for its own sake, too often at the expense of our fragile earth, the new economy will respect planetary boundaries, ensure fair distribution of our limited resources, and use those resources with care and efficiency, to serve human happiness and the wellbeing of all life."
Thomas Enders, Chief Executive of EADS, declares "It’s simple. To secure a green growth economy we need to put the focus back on technology and the education required to deliver it. Technology holds the key, but there is no innovation without education and while the baby-boomers are heading for the golf course, we’re not filling the gap behind them. That’s where our efforts for a green economy have to start."
Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and the Carbon War Room says "I believe the airline industry can move from being a polluting industry to one of the cleanest industries in the world within 10 years. Unlike other industries, it only has 1800 fuel pumps to fuel the world’s aircraft and therefore once clean fuels are ready for delivery, it is easy to transform the whole industry".
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Tourism Minister of South Africa ....I am a firm believer in the need to break out of silo-based thinking about tourism and aviation. These two sectors have, for historical reasons, been institutionalized and regulated in silos. Yet, they both face many cross-cutting policy challenges, which require coordinated action between different government line functions, United Nations agencies and industry bodies."
Tony Tyler Director General & CEO IATA " Aviation is a force for good in our world. Every aircraft that takes off carries with it almost infinite possibilities, connecting people, facilitating trade, supporting journeys of discovery and linking cultures to name just a few. The green economy is founded on technological solutions to our most pressing challenges. Disseminating technology and ideas with great speed is what aviation does best..
Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO ".... It is exactly now, amid growing economic concerns that we need to call for the right policies, the adequate investment and the proper business practices that can make tourism one of the most effective tools to generate a fairer and more inclusive growth.
Other contributors had equally telling observations
Akbar Al Baker (CEO Qatar Airways) Gerald Lawless (Executive Chairman Jumeirah Group) James Hogan (President & CEO Etihad Airways) Patricia Francis (Executive Director ITC) David P. Scowsill (President & CEO WTTC) Giovanni Bisignani (Chairman WEF Global Agenda Council) Supachai Panitchpakdi (Secretary-General, UNCTAD) Raymond Benjamin,(Secretary General, ICAO) Gloria Guevara, (Secretary Tourism, Mexico) Shanzhong Zhu (Vice Chairman CNTA) Reto Wittwer (President & CEO Kempinski) Madan Bezberuah Former Secretary Tourism India Alain St Ange (Minister of Tourism Seychelles) Gordon Wilson (President & CEO Travelport) Angela Gittens (Director General ACI) Chris Lyle (Chair Air Transport Economics) Felix Dodds (Executive Director Stakeholder Forum) Edwin D. Fuller (Former President International Marriott) Daniel Scott (Professor Climate Change Waterloo University. Dawid DeViliers (Chair UNWTO Ethics Committee) Francis McCosker (MD International Organizations, Microsoft) Jeanine Pires (Former President Embratur) Ghassan Aidi (President IHRA) Manfredi Lefebvre (Chair Silversea Cruises) Lucian Cernat (Chief Trade Economist EU) Harold Goodwin (Professor Responsible Tourism Leeds Metropolitan University) Mike Ambrose (Director General ERAA) Peter Harbison (Executive Chair CAPA) Randy Powell (President & CEO Armstrong Group) Ignace Schops (Director Regional Landscape Kempen & Maasland: IUCN Goldman Award) Sonu Shivdasani (Founder Six Senses, Chair Soneva) Ian Yoeman (Associate Professor Victoria University Wellington) Rick Antonson (President Tourism Vancouver) Don Hawkins (Professor George Washington University) Tony Charters (Founding Director Ecotourism Australia) Vanessa Scott (Director Strattons Hotel) Geoff Buckley (Former MD Tourism Australia) Valere Tjolle (Principal TotemTourism.com) Brian King (Professor Victoria University) & Chris Buckingham (CEO Destination Melbourne) Karen Kotowski (CEO Convention Industry Council)
Professor Geoffrey Lipman who headed the research team at Victoria University Australia and Oxford Brookes UK commented "With this rich compendium of ideas, we have tried to start an out of the box response to the challenge that Maurice Strong laid out for this pivotal socio-economic driver and contributor to human happiness" He added " we are confident that positive thought leadership, highlighting innovation and transmitted over new learning / social media frameworks can help Travelism in its long term Green Growth transformation."
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