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For the first time this year at Arabian Travel Market, there is a Responsible Tourism Day and we are launching regional Responsible Tourism Awards for Arabia and MENA countries. These Awards will be part of the WTM, London family of awards and operate on the same basis as the other awards programmes. The Awards will be formally launched this year and presented for the first time at ATM in 2021.
The Responsible Tourism Day is April 22nd, Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970, with launching the modern environmental movement. Twenty million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the street, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. It led to landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Leadership on the environment has shifted over the last 50 years. America is no longer leading the way, although some cities are making big strides. On Responsible Tourism Day at the Arabian Travel Market in 2020, we want to explore and reveal the leadership now being evidenced in the Arab World and MENA countries.
10:30-11:15 Setting New Standards in Sustainable Development
As Saudi Arabia develops new sites for tourism development there is a rare opportunity to ensure from the outset that they are sustainable and that they will make a significant contribution to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. The Red Sea Project has developed a smart destination management system that will monitor the environmental impact of their operations, facilitate the management of visitor movement to avoid overtourism and provide high quality, personalised, guest experiences of the local culture and of the Red Sea, mountains and desert.
Moderator: Dr Harold Goodwin, WTM's Responsible Tourism Advisor
Jay Michael Rosen Head of Finance and Investments, The Red Sea Development Company TBC
Amaala & Neom??
11:30 – 12:15 The Opportunity of Growing and Decarbonising Travel and Tourism
In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris climate agreement into force. Progress at COP 25 was disappointing; there will be very high expectations of progress at COP26 in November 2020. There is a host of things that can be done to reduce emissions, through design, retrofitting, renewables, new technology, demand-side management and operational practices. How can the sector grow travel and tourism in a responsible and low carbon way as an economic diversification strategy, helping to transform economies away from hydrocarbons? The UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and others are developing its tourism industry as it reduces its reliance on the oil industry. There has been considerable progress in the region in reducing carbon emissions from accommodation, ground transportation and flights and there are some world-leading examples in the region.
12:30 – 13:15 Expo 2020, the 'World’s Greatest Show', places sustainability centre stage
Expo 2020 Dubai will be the world’s greatest showcase of human brilliance and achievement in terms of sustainability solutions. 200 pavilions from over 192 countries, corporations, educational establishments and multilateral organisations will be filled to the brim with innovations to advance sustainability, mobility and opportunity; and to foster new connections to create a better future for our planet and humanity. As a mega-event, sustainability is not only a theme that will be showcased by countries, but it is also a testbed for cutting edge solutions. Sustainability is deeply engrained in operations and design, and Expo is also funding sustainability solutions through Expo Live. Expo’s Sustainability Pavilion promises to be one of a kind. Expo has 25 million visitor touchpoints to educate and inspire about sustainable living. How will this be scalable and replicable globally? How has this been achieved?
Dina Mustafa, Head of Sustainability Operations, Expo 2020 Dubai TBC
New Zealand Commissioner General, Expo Live projects
Costa Rica, Sustainability Pavillion,
13:30 – 14:15 4IR: What can new technology contribute to achieving sustainable travel & tourism?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is arriving now. Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum defines it as being “characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.” We have three examples of how 4IR developments such as big data, AI, IoT and the cloud are contributing to making travel and tourism more sustainable? Which smart city solutions are enabling destinations to leapfrog towards more efficient resource use? How does 4IR this impact food production and water consumption?
Siemens Mindsphere at Expo 2020 TBC
UPS (Peter Harris); TBC
Emirates Flight Catering’s new vertical farm] TBC
Dubai Airports (digital Optimization of infrastructure) TBC
14:15 -14:45 Launch of the ATM Responsible Tourism Awards
The first Responsible Tourism Awards were presented at WTM, Lonon in 2004, there have been winners from Arabia and the MENA countries in the world awards but we are aware that there are many excellent initiatives in the region to which we would like to draw attention. The purpose of the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Awards is to celebrate examples of good practice which will inspire and challenge others to take more responsibility for managing tourism to make it more sustainable, to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive. This year we have invited previous winners to talk about why they entered the Awards and what it meant to them to win.