On Sunday, Tourism Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas will deliver a keynote speech to delegates. Earlier this week, the sustainable tourism forum met for the first time to outline strategic plans for the development of sustainable tourism in Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to tackle climate change.
The minister will refer to the objectives set out in the sustainable tourism framework, outlining its thrust and the work that he hopes the forum will undertake to inform future Welsh Assembly Government policy on sustainable tourism. He said:
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today and the Welsh Assembly Government is determined to play its part in tackling it. Tourism perhaps more than any other industry relies upon the integrity of the natural environment. In Wales, beautiful landscapes and coastlines are the very foundation of tourism and yet there are balances to be sought so that tourists do not erode the quality of the natural environment that brings them here.
Safeguarding the quality of the natural and built environment will always be a key priority in the development of tourism. Sustainable tourism however is more than ‘being green.’ Unlike eco or green tourism, sustainable tourism addresses social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. To be sustainable, tourism will have to consider the needs and quality of life of local communities, enhance and respect culture and local traditions, contribute to local economic prosperity as well as minimise damage to the environment.
Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and the UK National Trust Chairman, Sir William Proby, also head a line-up of top UK speakers at the sixth annual Wales Tourism conference. The line-up also includes Christopher Rodrigues, the Chairman of Visit Britain.
This is some event. It will have some of the top thinkers on these issues on hand to help the Welsh industry to take in the latest climate change developments and look at the commercial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that they provide,
Said WTA Chairman, Julian Burrell.
2 November 2007