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SDCE cover v05 01 Seminar2The United Nations has named 2017 the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.” More than one billion international tourists are traveling around the world each year and this number is expected to increase significantly by 2020, driven largely by China’s growing middle class as well as the cruise industry. The tourism sector for many economies is growing at exponential rates and represents substantial economic value for a many of Asia-Pacific economies.

The tourism industry has become a major source of revenue for many of the region’s economies but also has become an increasing concern regarding environmental protection. Given the growing number of visitors and the infrastructure expansion necessary to support these tourists, many of the attractive and valuable environmental/ cultural features are at risk. Over time, without proper planning and education, these tangible and intangible assets may become degraded, losing their original form, causing the tourism industry to suffer and eventually become unsustainable. Short-term gains may be realized at the expense of long-term revenue opportunities.

Sustainable tourism can help boost employment and economic growth for local communities and indigenous peoples by engaging them in various tourism activities, and in some cases, alleviate poverty. Moreover, sustainable tourism that integrates the concept of the circular economy promotes the conservation of natural resources and reduction of tourism-related carbon footprint. This can also be expanded and integrated into other sustainability programs associated with micro-industries, micro-financing, and sustainability practices for other industries that are interdependent with tourism. Sustainable tourism also promotes education and first-hand understanding for and preservation of local cultural heritage and diversity.

The seminar on sustainable and responsible tourism will address how a vital economic activity, especially for developing economies, can grow sustainably without contributing to the degradation, decline and potential demise of the ecological-cultural value base itself. Participants will explore the strategic and tactical integration of circular economic factors into tourism which can contribute to increasing the economic, social, and environmental benefits.

The second seminar will be hosted by the local government of French Polynesia in November 2017. The UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) will also take part as a supporting organization.

SEMINAR 2: SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
PAPEETE, FRENCH POLYNESIA | NOVEMBER 20-21, 2017
PROGRAM AGENDA

OPENING REMARKS: Minister for Tourism, French Polynesia; Pascal Lamy, Chair, FPTPEC

SESSION 1: Tourism, Economic Development, and International Cooperation
• How is the concept of circular economy applied to tourism?
• Regional tourism outlook and forecasts for Asia-Pacific economies
• Tourism as a source of inclusive development
• Supply chain management in tourism industry: transport, accommodation, hospitality, tour guide, recreational activities, site conservation, etc.

SESSION 2: Tourism and Environmental Protection
• Competing land use rights impacting sustainable and responsible tourism
• Development of eco-construction and eco-buildings for tourism
• Climate change and resiliency strategies for sustainable tourism
• Management of clean transportation in coastal and recreational sites

SESSION 3: Island Economies
• Mitigation of negative effects of tourism on environmental and cultural features of islands
• Benefits from tourism and hospitality industries on island economies, e.g., attract foreign direct investments, necessitate infrastructure development
• Ensuring compatibility of tourism activities with conservation of cultural and ecological heritage sites

SESSION 4: Working with Local Communities
• Local employment, economic development, investment and tourism-dollar capture
• Training, education and advancement opportunities for local people
• Engaging indigenous peoples
• Conservation and education, corporate social responsibility programs

SESSION 5: Next-Generation Tourism
• Youth and tourism
• Restoration tourism
• New trends
• Luxury tourism and luxury hospitality
• Alternative forms of tourism: ecotourism, education tourism, medical tourism, volun-tourism

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