More than 100 government Tourism Ministers and senior aides will meet at World Travel Market this year to examine the impact of the current economic meltdown. They will look at its impact on the pressing global industry issues of poverty reduction, sustainability and climate change.

World Travel Market’s Ministers’ Summit on Tuesday, November 11 at ExCeL London, part of WTM’s Ministers’ Program, is in partnership with the UNWTO. The half-day meeting will be broadcast into a separate room for delegates to watch, as well as on screens in ExCeL’s Central Boulevard.

“This is one of the vital issues for the industry in these turbulent times,” said Fiona Jeffery, chairman, World Travel Market. “Faced with the economic uncertainty, tourism must seriously look at how these reservations will affect the industry while making sure not to loose sight of its commitment to provide solutions to global challenges, particularly global warming, sustainable development and poverty.”

Ministers from both UNWTO Member States and non-Member States will be welcomed.

UNWTO spokesperson Geoffrey Lipman said, “The short-term economic perception has turned downward. However, global efforts to address poverty and climate imperatives within a 30-year framework of change continue to progress.

“These efforts must be understood and embraced by the tourism industry along with its role as an undisputed economic growth engine for rich and poor nations alike, as a force for social and cultural cohesion and as a vehicle for environmental stewardship, particularly in emerging and least-developed markets.”

What’s on the Agenda

Ministers and their aides will be discussing subjects that are vital to the entire industry. They include:

– Mitigating GHG emissions from tourism, especially within transport and accommodation
– Adapting tourism businesses and destinations to changing climate conditions
– Applying existing and new technologies to improve energy efficiency
– Secure financial resources to assist regions and countries in need

Hard Rain

The summit will be followed by a Ministers’ Lunch sponsored by National Geographic and Sky News. In the afternoon, Ministers will be invited to a special showing of ‘Hard Rain,’ a harrowing but beautiful presentation on environmental issues, to be held at 14:00 hrs. on Tuesday, November 11 at WTM’s Conference Set, Platinum Suite 4, Level 3. All delegates will be free to attend.

Mark Edwards’ dramatic presentation, which has enjoyed rave reviews worldwide, is a series of unforgettable graphic images set to the words and music of Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.’ One of the world’s most widely-published environmental photographers, Edwards has made ‘Hard Rain’ a lifetime’s work.
Mark Edwards will also officially open WTM World Responsible Tourism Day at 10:30 hrs. on Wednesday, November 12 and will once again stage the full Hard Rain presentation at 16:30 hrs. on Wednesday, November 12.