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WTTC Summit to Balance Dramatic Tourism Growth and Climate Change Fears

Forecast 40m new tourists each year

The WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), which recently launched an international campaign and online forum to discuss climate change is to hold its annual summit in Lisbon next week. Top of its list of items for discussion is the "Growth Agenda". The organisation recently released figures forecasting over 4% growth for the foreseeable future - or 40million new tourists each year.

EcologyTravel & Tourism leaders, from both the public and private sector, will gather to reflect on the online dialogue and to discuss the issues at the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, May 11 and 12, 2007.

WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten said, "The risk of an energy crisis is forcing a re-think on consumption levels, efficiency, and alternatives. Know-how is being developed and already Travel & Tourism leaders are working on making a real difference, not only on the carbon footprint of their activities, but also the overall impact of Travel & Tourism on our natural environment. Rather than demonizing any industry or activity, the task now for individuals, corporations, communities and governments, is to cut through misconceptions and to work on realizing practical solutions for a sustainable future."

WTTC also announced that the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit will be a carbon neutral event. The offsetting scheme is being sponsored by Travelport and supported by Sustainable Travel International (STI). The offsets will fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Africa, Asia and Central America through STI and MyClimate who will reduce carbon emissions elsewhere.

"Travelport sponsorship of a carbon offsetting initiative at the upcoming Summit in Lisbon is reflective of the travel sector continued commitment to environmental responsibility," said Jeff Clarke, Travelport President and CEO. "As a leading company in the online and offline travel space, it our sincere hope that our industry will continue to lead developments to address environmental issues on a global scale."

STI President Brian Mullis added, "Demonstrating that unavoidable carbon impacts can be offset sends an important message to the industry and to travelers worldwide. Since the Global Travel & Tourism Summit will be the highest profile tourism-related event to become carbon neutral, wee hoping it will catalyze a movement wee spearheaded in helping the Travel & Tourism industry become carbon neutral."

Other issues to be discussed at the summit include "Igniting Markets of Growth", "Changing Gears" and "Can we deliver on our Promises", finally, a session entitled "A Rethink on the Brink" is to discuss the imminent dangers of climate change.

The summit will be covered in depth by who will be hosting webinars, an online forum and presenting TV coverage and interviews from the event.  

Valere Tjolle


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