World Travel Market is aiming to smash the myth that responsible tourism cannot contribute to the bottom line.
A groundbreaking, one-day conference, “The Business Case for Responsible Tourism,” will be held on Thursday, November 12 at ExCeL London, bringing together some of the world’s most respected and experienced responsible tourism specialists.
The conference will be chaired by Prof. Harold Goodwin, the world’s only responsible tourism professor, director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK and advisor to World Travel Market.
He said: “Many businesses are working towards incorporating sustainability into the core of their products. Quite often these products are the result of a well-thought sustainability concept, and yet the entrepreneurs behind it fail to reach the marketplace, because they lack marketing expertise and knowledge of the tourism industry’s distribution channels.
“Tourism companies, particularly small firms from developing countries, suffer from poor targeting, market segmentation and positioning, low consumer product knowledge, and consumer risk perception.
“However, I am pleased to say that many successful companies, large and small, are clearly demonstrating that responsible tourism can and is an important part of a successful sales and marketing strategy.”
Justin Francis, managing director and co-founder of responsibletravel.com will show how his radical approach has proved that it is possible to be a profitable business at the same time as being an ethical business.
Catherine Mack, national journalist on responsible tourism will talk about how a reputation for being sustainable adds value to your brand, as well as attracting growing media interest.
Gregg Anderson, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager for UK and Europe, will outline how the role of sustainable tourism boosted the highly-respected and acclaimed “100 Percent Pure New Zealand” marketing strategy.
Dr. Xavier Font, director of studies at the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University UK, will speak about web marketing. He is currently completing research for the International Finance Corporation on World Hotel Link, proactively seeking out, listing, and promoting accommodation and other services, which support sustainable objectives.
Andy Cooper, director of government and external affairs, Thomas Cook, will talk about the contribution which responsible tourism makes to maintenance of brand value, developing investor relations and securing investment and the carbon reduction agenda.
Fiona Jeffery, World Travel Market’s chairman and a pioneer of responsible tourism over the past 16 years, said: “This conference tackles responsible tourism in quite a different manner. Its remit is particularly relevant in these challenging economic times.”