Travel boss issues warning on need for sustainable tourism practices
Posted: Tue 9 Feb, 2010 5:10 PM
Nepal is set to witness a fivefold growth in adventure tourism over the next three years, according to UK-based Peter Burrell (picture left), MD of Exodus Travel. He told delegates attending the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference in Kathmandu that more consumers now choosing adventure, ethical and environmental holidays. But this increased demand will place additional pressures on destinations to adopt sustainable tourism practices.
“Consumers want to see that tourism is a force for good and they want proof that the benefits are reaching the local communities. If we don’t embrace these practices we will all suffer,” he said.
US-based Kathleen Dragon (picture right), representing the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), told the conference that this specialist sector was doing better than most in weathering the economic recession. A recent ATTA survey of more than 250 international tour operators (representing over two million customers) indicated that inventories will increase this year on the back of above-average financial performances in 2009. “These companies will help to define the future and substance of travel,” she said. “It’s a driver of economic development where it’s often needed most.”
The conference opened yesterday (2 February) with upbeat messages from Nepal Tourism Board CEO Prachanda Shrestha and PATA chief Greg Duffell. Today’s programme includes sessions on ‘zero waste challenges’ and ‘responsible tourism – making business sense’. The Mart opens in the grounds of the Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel later today (Wednesday). Attending the Kathmandu event are 174 delegates from 25 destinations. Updates online at: www.pata.org
Next week’s PATA webinar will deliver feedback on the event in Kathmandu. Tune in at 15.00hrs Bangkok time on Wednesday February 10th. To register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/237027314