Is there a way for tourists to experience the planet’s ecological wonders without permanently damaging those very resources? This fundamental question was the focus of the recent forum, “The Growth of the International Travel Economy and Protection of the Environment” at the Harvard University Extension School, where Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Director of greenearth.travel, stressed the need for the Travelism (Travel & Tourism) sector to move beyond the comfort zone and truly embark on the green growth transformation journey, as reported by eturbonews.com.
This event brought together expert, high-level practitioners in the field of tourism―from government, private sector and non-profit―to discuss the relationship between the environment and tourism, and what can be done to better protect our planet.
Tourism needs to be transformed around green growth
In his remarks, Professor Lipman said, “It will need new strategies, management and structures―beyond model projects, champions, certification, awards, indicators, aspirational goals and the like. The DNA of the travel value chain will have to be re-jigged with green growth at the core.”
Professor Lipman’s address identified the emergence of new collaborative frameworks, driven by the speed of change and the spread of digital connectivity. He outlined key policy directions to tackle tomorrow’s resources and population-driven challenges. He also presented a Community Focused Investment Framework and emphasized the need to give particular attention to small islands and emerging states―the ones most vulnerable to, and in many cases, the most dependent on, travel and tourism.
Professor Lipman specifically highlighted two entities dedicated to a global green growth solution: the Green Growth and Travelism Institute (GGTI), a non-profit international university R&D network, and the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), a grassroots Travel & Tourism coalition of global destinations and their stakeholders. Professor Lipman also discussed the highly impactful, transformational change that can come from efforts to shape constructive community action.
The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. ICTP engages communities to share green opportunities, including tools and resources, access to funding, education and marketing support.
ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, fair coherent taxation and investments for jobs. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals (eight goals to be met by all the world’s countries by 2015, from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS), the UN World Tourism Organization‘s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (a fundamental frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism), and a range of programs that support these initiatives.