The growing importance of sustainable and responsible tourism will be acknowledged this week at the Third Annual Summit of the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development.
Commencing tomorrow in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, Destinations 2006 will bring together professionals, scholars, government ministers, students and entrepreneurs. There will be 53 countries represented in all and the aim is to share, promote and accelerate ideas about sustainable tourism.
The three-day event will prioritise biodiversity preservation and socioeconomic development as well as ideas that will help in generating "the conditions for world peace".
There will be dozens of presentations taking place and delegates will be given the opportunity to enhance their understanding of such pressing issues as tourism in protected areas.
As observed in the 2002 report 'Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Planning and Management', protected areas need tourism and tourism needs protected areas, but the relationship between the two is "complex and sometimes adversarial". The Brazilian summit this week will interrogate this issue further and look to promote the best practices to ensure protected areas are only strengthened by the presence of tourists.
Destinations 2006 like its predecessors will accentuate the importance of the next generation and the vital role that education must play in keeping tourism on the right path. Throughout the duration of the summit, young people from a number of different countries will work on a manifesto that outlines their views and concerns, while young, aspiring journalists will gain an insight into the role that the media can play in the world of sustainable tourism.
Sustainable tourism and eco-tourism have both become important constituents of the industry in the last decade and industry specialists expect that more and more people in the years to come will choose holidays that actually enhance rather than spoil the environment.
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