Costas Christ, one of the worlds’s most internationally acclaimed and respected sustainable tourism experts, has been appointed a member of WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Advisory Panel. The independent expert panel is helping to guide World Travel Market in the development of World Responsible Tourism Day, now in its second successful year.
“We are at a turning point in the history of modern travel, as more tourism businesses and destinations adopt sustainable tourism practices to help safeguard the cultural and natural heritage of our planet and deliver tangible benefits to local communities,” said Costas Christ. “WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day is an excellent global initiative that is helping to lead the way forward, and I am delighted to be a part of it.”
The next WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is on Wednesday November 12, 2008 and aims to inspire, educate, challenge and stimulate travel companies and organizations large and small to take direct action, regardless of whether they attend World Travel Market in London. The initiative was launched in association with the UNWTO and is now supported by the leading industry associations.
Costas Christ’s work has taken him to more than 100 countries across six continents, including expeditions to some of the world’s most remote wilderness areas and archeological sites – home to indigenous cultures, endangered species and the make or break world of basic survival for millions of people.
As the Global Travel editor and columnist for National Geographic Adventure Magazine Costas also serves as the chairman of Judges for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Costas is one of the pioneers of ecotourism and a founding member and former chairman of the board of The International Ecotourism Society.
As senior director for Ecotourism at Conservation International, Costas supervised tourism projects supporting poverty alleviation and the protection of biodiversity across the globe.
Costas currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Conservation Foundation, and the Executive Board of Sustainable Travel International. He is chairman of the Adventures in Travel Expo Conferences in North America and Ambassador-at-Large for the Spirit of Big Five Foundation. In 2008, Costas was honored as Visionary of the Year by the International Restaurant and Hotel Awards.
Frequently writing articles, many have appeared in respected publications, including the Sunday Times in London, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Costas Christ appears regularly on television and radio, including CNN International, BBC, ABC Good Morning America, NBC Today Show, Travel Channel and National Public Radio.
Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market commented, “We are delighted and honored that Costas had agreed to help in the next crucial phase of development for the WTM WRTD Program.”
“Costas will bring a new dimension to the views of our Advisory Panel members,” she said. “He is a featured keynote speaker at many international conferences and also works as a travel and tourism consultant to companies, governments and organizations.”
Costas joins other members of the advisory panel:
• Adama Bah – Founder member of Gambia Tourism Concern and a major player in the formation of ASSET (Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism)
• Nicole Haeusler – Managing Director, mas I con tour and Associate of the ICRT at Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Applied Sciences in Eberswalde near Berlin has extensive experience in Asia and South America
• Andrew Jones – Guardian Sanctuary Resorts and Foundation of International Responsible and Sustainable Tourism
• Mandip Singh – Founder and Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions
• Sindiswa Nhlumayo – Deputy Director General for The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa
The panel is chaired by Prof. Harold Goodwin, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.
For more information about WTM WRTD visit www.wtmwrtd.com.