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Big tourism chance for small states

Lipman says Mauritius can be a model Green Growth destination

In a keynote address on "Green Growth and Travelism ­ Big Chance for Small States" Professor Geoffrey Lipman said that small Island developing states could leverage their situation to become models of a new low carbon, fairer and caring society with travel and tourism a major driver. In the presence of the President of Mauritius, the Ministers of Tertiary Education and of Tourism & Hospitality, he outlined the opportunities and the challenges to the high level academic audience at the Advances in Hospitality/Tourism Management Conference hosted by the University of Mauritius.

"We are at a turning point in the 21st century Agenda set out in the Rio Earth Summit nearly 25 years ago" Lipman said, "with a myriad of interrelated global, regional, national and local  strategies moving towards major Heads of State Summits in the next 18 months. Landmark decisions on Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Targets will be made and Developing States have much to gain from them in terms of policy, finance, climate adaptation. He added that the very fact that they are small and developing, with a strong travelism potential, gave an added opportunity to capitalise.

"Mauritius, with its great beauty, renowned creole culture and incredible hospitality is at the leading edge of this change and has the good governance to augment its visionary "Ile Durable" Strategy and really deliver on the promise. To do so however requires a range of policy and implementation measures that put green on the same page as growth and use the Travelism sector as a change champion." Amongst these, he profiled the measurement and management of social and environmental impacts, resilience to climate change, increase in impact investment and above all human capacity building.

Lipman also repeated his call for a Travelism Summit to pick up, recalibrate and advance the Davos Declaration process championed by UNWTO. "The last Summit in this decade long series was more than 5 years ago and so much has changed in terms of policy and action inside and outside the sector. "We urgently need to move the process forward if we don't want to be marginalised" Lipman said.

He continued: "The benefits of green growth will be delivered and enjoyed by the next generations who already have a more receptive mindset. The task for policymakers is to create the enabling frameworks and the directions for change and for educators to adapt the learning systems and to teach."

He outlined a new kind of creative coalition in which ICTP is advancing this thinking. "We started to frame the ideas in two books on Green Growth and Travelism. ­The first, Letters from Leaders, containing visionary thoughts from top industry government and civil society decision makers was launched at the Rio+20 Summit. The second, Concepts, Policy and Practice, with a more academic perspective was released last month.

'We've created the Maurice Strong University Network, linking 10 Institutions around the world , with a goal of 100 by 2020 and a commitment to local and distance learning at low cost. And we have a first Summer School in this framework, on Climate Change led by the University of Hasselt this August.  We've also developed community focussed "Green Growth 2050 Roadmaps" at Victoria University, using big data driven scenarios, multi-stakeholders visioning and think tank based strategies ­ with a leading edge platform for impact investment." he said

Valere Tjolle

@ValereTjolle [email protected]

 

 
 

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