WTM: Abu Dhabi to host eco-tourism conference
Abu Dhabi is set to position itself as the champion of environmental issues by hosting a new international eco-tourism conference in 2010.
The World Green Tourism Congress will be the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf and will take place from December 6-8, 2010 at a venue to be confirmed.
It is the first meetings industry initiative to emerge from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s (ADTA) and Advantage Abu Dhabi (AAD) incentive programme which launched earlier this year to drive new business tourism and meetings concepts.
Speaking at WTM, ADTA’s product development director Dayne Lim said the aim of the conference was not to create a new type of travel regarded as eco-tourism, but to discuss how current forms could be made sustainable through tourism practices.
He said the Grand Prix, which was recently held in the emirate, could be a sustainable event if tourists used environmentally friendly hotels and methods of transport to attend.
He added: “With the (conference) event aiming to influence the integration of eco-tourism principles into the operations and policies of tourism industry players, it has huge syneries with the authority’s overall vision of becoming an outstanding, globally recognised and sustainable destination of distinction.”
Rich Theobald from the UAE’s Streamline Marketing Group, which will organise the event with the ADTA, said leading international speakers would be invited from as far as America to debate issues including carbon offsetting, and “drill down” in discussions about whether such initiatives were the best way to forward or whether there were better alternatives.
He said he anticpated in its first year the conference attracting 200 delegates, 100 exhibitors and 1,500 visitor professionals.
He added that Abu Dhabi had been selected as the host destination because of its existing eco credentials, its state-of-the-art airport and transport links.