CEO Randy Durband adresses the conference
Sustainable tourism conference in Africa's most sustainable destination outlines challenges and opportunities
This year's Global Sustainable Tourism Council summit, set in Maun, Botswana brought together international and domestic tourism including public sector, hotels, tour operators, academia, development agencies, NGOs, and consultants from all over the world to help make tourism more sustainable for the benefit of visitors, host destinations, the industry - and the Earth.
Tourism may be facing massive challenges in 2019 but these are also opportunities for destinations all over the world to host visitors in a way that delivers life changing experiences to both visitor and host communities alike.
After an opening by His Excellency, the Fourth President of the Republic of Botswana, Lieutenant General, Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama and a presentation by GSTC CEO Randy Durband
Luigi Cabrini, Global Sustainable Tourism Council Chairman, outlined the challenges at the very start of the conference - 1.8 billion international and 5 billion domestic ones; new population segments crossing the border for the first time; a destruction of the Natural World that threatens humanity; islands of plastic that threaten the sea; global warming that could reach a 3 degrees catastrophe but on the other hand tourism can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that can change the world for the better. See full speech here.
And the conference went on in that vein - helping businesses and destination managers to understand the challenges and opportunities that tourism presents and how the Global Sustainable Tourism Council - as an accreditation organisation - can help create a level playing field and foster responsible and sustainable tourism to benefit the world - visitors and host communities alike.
For businesses, the GSTC is driving ideas about preferential procurement on a B2B level to create and manage verified sustainable supply chains to make sure that each supplier is using good practice to deliver consistent high quality experiences for visitors and benefits to suppliers.
For destination management, GSTC is helping with effective planning and development to create sustainable experiences that rely less on massive push promotions and more on high quality visitor experience where word of mouth bring better, higher quality, more honest and more effective marketing where destinations spend more on product development and less on promotion with more beneficial effects!
Botswana, an icon of sustainable tourism in Africa and one of the world's top 100 sustainable destinations was chosen for its remarkable vision in fostering and supporting the development of tourism-based nature and wildlife conservation over agriculture thereby stewarding its massive and remarkable natural assets.
And opportunities were given to all delegates to experience at first hand the quality of Botswana's warm hospitality and the fabulous nature of its wildlife and extraordinary scenery.
Further information here: https://www.gstcouncil.org/gstc2018/program/
And next year the conference is set for another amazing sustainable destination - another top100 Sustainable Destination - the Azores.
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