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Experts from across the globe meet to discuss sustainable tourism



The sixth International Conference on Sustainable Tourism took place from July 8 – 10 in Opatija, Croatia, where 32 scientists and experts presented their research on a multitude of topics around the challenges faced in tourism.

The conference has been taking place since 2004 and is run by the Wessex Institute of Technology, which is based in the UK.

The week long event was held in collaboration with the Complutense University of Madrid and the Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia. There were three main themes to the week: tourism and protected areas, rural and heritage tourism, and sustainable tourism development and strategies.

The conference allowed experts to discuss socio-economic and cultural aspects of tourism, with Professor Ulrike Probstl-Haider presenting the keynotes and talking about the sustainability of conference and business events.

There were a diverse range of presentations including the impact of ghost crab populations on South African beaches and the effects of climate change on Alpine winter tourism.

The Wessex Institute organises lots of conferences across the world including Sustainable City 2014 in September in Siena, Italy and Energy and Sustainability 2014 in December in Malaysia.

The conclusion from the presentations was tourism is an “effective developmental tool” and “through interpretation is understanding, through understanding is appreciation and through appreciation comes the desire to protect”.

In March this year, acting chief executive for the Travel Foundation, Salli Felton told Blue & Green Tomorrow how companies can help reduce customers’ carbon footprints and how mainstream tourism can be sustainable if managed well.

Blue & Green Tomorrow is holding a sustainable tourism debate on September 3 as part of its month-long celebration of sustainability. Speakers will debate, “Growth in tourism is undesirable: it is rarely economically, socially or environmentally ‘good’.” Tickets can be purchased here.

Photo: Wessex Institute

Further reading:

Museum of London to host Sustainable September Tourism Debate

Tickets on sale for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Sustainable September events

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Sustainable tourism industry needs third party certification

Video: Jane Ashton, Tui Travel, on the future of sustainable tourism