A total of 150 travel operators and organizations have so far applied to participate in WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. That’s as many as were approved throughout the whole of last year.
Currently, applications are being processed to ensure they meet WTM World Responsible Tourism Day’s strict criteria. Once approved, successful applicants can use the official WTM WRTD logo for 2009 on its sales, marketing, and PR materials, as well as enjoy other business, publicity, and profiling opportunities.
For example, all those participating will be invited to the WTM WRTD networking reception on the day at ExCeL – London, which last year was attended by 300 people, as well as listings in the WTM catalogue and route planner.
In the UK, successful applicants include Derwent House in the Peak District; Ullswater Steamers; Safari Consultants Ltd; the educational and school trips company Travelbound; adventure operators, Imaginative Traveller; and Flying Forest, the CO2 emission offset charity.
Overseas, participants include from Europe: Black Mountain, Montenegro; Viator Travel, Dubrovnik; Travel2help.org; from Africa: Wildlife Tours; Great Plains Conservation; from the Americas: Mayaland Resorts, Mexico; Authentic Caribbean Holidays; International Centre for Responsible Tourism Canada (ICRT); and from Asia: Agri Tourism India; Ashex Tourism; and El Nido Resorts.
World Travel Market chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “This is a phenomenal result and demonstrates the power of responsible tourism, even in a difficult global economic climate.
“WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, now in its third year, is on Wednesday, November 11, but we are already seeing tremendous early interest from the worldwide travel and tourism industry to take part.
“We are keen to encourage companies from around the world to stage events, press conferences, fairs, presentations, workshops, giant picnics, and even a charity run to mark the actual day.
“It is one of the industry’s most ambitious developments ever; bringing together people from across the world into one cohesive, united movement, communicating an important signal to consumers that we mean to act, not just talk.”
WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will once again host the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, in partnership with online travel directory responsibletravel.com. In its recent survey of more than 900 tour operators, 53 percent of respondents have seen business increase since the recession started.
Chairman Jefffrey continued: “People are searching for original local experiences with almost all respondents believing that more authentic travel will be increasingly popular following [the] global recession.
“Consumers have shown the way forward, and it is now the turn of the travel industry to provide a clear response.” Jeffery has pioneered sustainable tourism and environmental issues for the past 15 years.
“WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, in association with the UNWTO and supported by all the leading international industry associations, is part of that sea change,” Jeffery concluded.
A program of presentations, debates, and seminars, featuring international responsible tourism experts is planned on WTM Responsible Tourism Day. Following the successful conference on The Business Case for Responsible Tourism last year, a further one-day conference on the same subject will be held on, Thursday, November 12.
For more information or to apply for a WTM World Responsible Tourism logo, log on to www.wtmwrtd.com or contact Araminta Sugden on the WRTD hotline telephone +44 (0) 1892 535943.