Presentations From Responsible Tourism Events At ITB Asia 2014

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On behalf of ITB Asia, Wild Asia would like to thank you for participating in the Responsible Tourism Clinics and Forum at ITB Asia 2014. We would also like to thank all our speakers who graciously spared their time to share their wealth of experience and knowledge with us. We had a stellar crowd at the Responsible Tourism Centre booth and many meaningful and passionate discussions took place. Let’s hope they translate into reality, making destinations better for tourists and local communities that depend on it.

If you missed the responsible tourism events, don’t fret. We have compiled the presentations below. Simply click on the title to view the slides. Wild Asia hopes that you glean from these amazing case studies and knowledge. Please contact rt@wildasia.org if you wish to be part of 2014′s Responsible Tourism events.

Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Best Practices

Speaker: Tony Charters, Principal, Tony Charters and Associates
It is easy to assume that only high tech solutions can be applied to achieve sustainability. This may be the case for economies that have very high labour costs and relatively cheap access to technology. In economies where labour costs are low and imported technology is very expensive there are alternative solutions to achieve sustainability and to provide memorable tourism experiences. This presentation will draw on case studies from across the globe and relate the findings that are relevant to the ASEAN region.

Eco Labels for Hotels: Why You Should Commit & What Benefits You Should Expect

Speaker: Nicolas Dubrocard, Associate Advisor, Wild Asia
Eco labels for hotels represent great challenges and lead to many questions, we will answer them during this presentation. We will highlight the advantages of a sustainable approach to face potential environmental crisis such as water shortage. We will discuss the guest new requirements in terms of environmental respect and the green market positioning. We will take into account the impact of competing for an eco label on the staff. We will browse the operating costs savings linked to a sound environmental management system. Finally we will introduce Wild Asia solutions to support your efforts to get an eco label.

Evolution of an Ecolodge: Lessons from the Gobi

Speaker: Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder & CEO, Nomadic Expeditions & the Three Camel Lodge
What makes a lodge “eco”? While” reduce, reuse and recycle” are fundamental aspects of environmentally friendly operations, a true ecolodge goes beyond the green footprint to embrace direct support for cultural and natural heritage, while delivering meaningful social and economic benefits to local people. This presentation tells the story of how Mongolia’s pioneer Three Camel Lodge became recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s 25 best lodges by developing a successful business model based upon sustainable tourism best practices.

How to Make Community-Based Tourism Work: Multi-stakeholder Success Stories From Thailand

Speaker: Dr Jutamas Jan Wisansing, Executive Director and Consultant, Perfect Link Consulting Group and Education Chair, Pacific Asia Tourism Associations (PATA) Thailand Chapter 

Stories from 13 selected communities from 6 designated areas for sustainable tourism development will be shared. These communities have been on the systematic process to manage the resource vulnerabilities and risks of being too overly popular, together with multi-stakeholders co-create community tourism products to meet market demand based on an appreciation of community local wisdoms. The clinic’s discussion will be focused on how to ensure CBTs are sustained on a long term basis – what’s the secret behind thriving CBTs?

Developing Community Tourism Businesses as part of the Tour Operator Supply Chain

Speaker: Adrienne Lee, Program Manager (Asia & Africa), Planeterra

This presentation is about incorporating sustainable practices that empower local communities into tour operator supply chains. The tour operator working directly with its foundation, is working directly with communities to empower underserved women and youth to access market-driven approaches to create sustainable businesses. There is often a resource gap between non-profit organizations and blended-social purpose businesses that are attempting to benefit the communities in which they work. Without a strong market, these non-profits or community tourism projects often fold and fail. However, when partnered with a for-profit operator, tourism businesses have one of the greatest reaches and spread to provide opportunity for marginalized communities, and allow social enterprises to scale, access knowledge transfer, and develop their first revenue generating programs.

Child Sex Tourism is a Risk for Asian Destinations and Companies

Speaker: Mike Nedelko, CRM & Marketing Manager, The Code

The Code would like to highlight the need for child protection as part of responsible and sustainable tourism and present it in the context of “crisis and risk management”. Even in Asian tourism sphere, the current initial thoughts of “crisis and risk management” may invoke precautions to prevent natural disasters that can impact tourism, such as tsunami and floods. However, there is also a real risk for a destination’s or a company’s brand and reputation when it comes to crimes of sexual exploitation of children or other crimes relating to children.

Sustainable Practices – Small Ways That Lead to Big Improvements & Cost Saving

Speaker: Ruben Cortes, Associate Director, Sustainable Building Initiative, Wild Asia
Sustainability is important for all tourism businesses, rural and urban. There has never been a better time to act for the benefit of your business and the “bottom line”. In this clinic session, Ruben will speak about some basic systems and ways that businesses can adopt to reduce negative impacts on the environment, reduce utility bills and ultimately benefit the business on the long run. The presentation will focus on proven steps that businesses can take in order to reduce their environmental impact in an affordable and effective way.

Burma’s Re-opening to the World: An Examination of Sustainable Tourism Development in the 21st Century

Speaker: Daniel Pliske, Sales and Marketing at Access China Tours
Now that Myanmar’s government has recently begun allowing travellers/tourists to freely enter the country, the formerly non-developed tourism industry is quickly becoming a major contributor to the nation’s economy. With these quickly increasing visitor numbers, tourism infrastructure development must focus on steady sustainability if it is to succeed as well as provide substantial benefits and opportunities for the country as a whole. The future of Myanmar’s tourism industry is dependent on sustainability practices and initiatives and therefore, must imitate its neighbor’s positive examples in order to preserve vast natural resources for future generations. Myanmar’s tourism development and future perceptions as an international tourist destination will have great implications for Southeast Asia as a whole, as they quickly become a key player in the regions tourism industry.

Creating Competitive Advantage through Responsible Tourism Practices

Speaker: Albert Teo, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours & Sukau Rainforest Lodge

In a highly competitive business environment, brands are required to push the envelope to create evergreen unique selling propositions (USP). Albert will present three case studies based on the award winning Borneo Eco Tours, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, and Borneo Ecotourism, Solutions and Technologies Society (BEST), a non-profit foundation. The strategies discussed are from lessons learnt after being in business for 23 years. They include triple bottom line concepts, specialized responsible tourism practices that improve operations synergy and leverage on business strengths. Albert will also discuss challenges faced and solutions applied when dealing with community projects

Tourism and Climate Change

Speaker: Joyce Yu, Global Alternative Tourism Network (GATN)

With its close connections to the environment and climate itself, tourism is considered to be a vulnerable and highly climate-sensitive economic sector. Climate affects a wide range of environmental resources that are essential attraction factors for tourism. Climate change will make destinations less attractive and jeopardize major sources of income. There are direct impacts like altered seasonal patterns or coastal erosion, loss of beach area and higher costs to protect and maintain waterfronts. Also there are indirect impacts of climate change like water shortages. Higher costs for risk management for touristic infrastructure might change the demand side of tourism markets or the visitor numbers. Furthermore, the awareness of tourists towards climate change and other environmental issues is likely to be a major driver of their future holiday choices. Operators that do not adapt to this emerging ‘climate aware’ market risk losing market share to more responsive competitors. This clinic will discuss the important relation between climate change and tourism, and will try to show some alternatives and help to promote a responsible and sustainable tourism, which bring not only benefits for the tourism industry but also to the people whose livelihood depends on tourism.

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