D-32 before the Sustainable Tourism Conference, discover the speakers!

Hotels, tour operators, public authorities, etc. will share their view on sustainable tourism

On the 8th of May 2017, the High Level Conference on Sustainable Tourism will take place in Valletta, Malta. The conference will gather experts to discuss key trends and opportunities within sustainable tourism and how the industry can implement it in practice.

The minister of tourism in Malta, Honorary Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, and the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella will open the event. The conference will then give the floor to different stakeholders who will present their view on the challenges of sustainable tourism. The line-up includes:

1st row (from left to right): Prof. Hans Bruyninckx, Ms. Lonneke de Kort, Mr. Paul Bugeja
2nd row: Karmenu Vella, Honorary Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, Ms. Lídice Felizola

  • Prof. Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, will present the work done by the agency to assess the environmental impacts of tourism, key indicators and the most urgent issues in Europe.
  • Mr. Angelos Loizou, Chairman of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, will present Cyprus’s tourism strategy and how they work with the industry to make Cyprus a sustainable tourism destination.
  • Mr. Renzo Iorio, Chief Operating Officer for the Mediterranean Region of AccorHotels, will introduce the measures taken by Accor to adapt to the changes of the sector.
  • Dr. Catherine Wilson, Technical Manager Certification Services at ABTA, the leading association of travel agents and tour operators, will share her opinion on the challenges of sustainable tourism and the role of tour operators.
  • Ms. Lonneke de Kort, Director and owner of BookDifferent, a website to book green hotels based on their carbon footprint and certifications, will discuss marketing challenges for sustainable tourism and the needs of consumers.

All speakers will then be invited to discuss their recommendations for the industry in a panel discussion.

Following these keynote presentations, Mr. Pierre Gaudillat, from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre will also present a toolbox on best environmental practices in Tourism that has been developed to further support accommodations.

The second part of the conference will be dedicated to the role of EMAS and EU Ecolabel in developing sustainable tourism, with the following speakers sharing their experience:

  • Ms. Lídice Felizola, Hotel Jardín Tecina, Spain (EMAS registered)
  • Mr. Miguel Tiago de Oliveira, Oceanario Lisboa, Portugal (EMAS registered)
  • Mr. Mario Morana, Hilton, Malta (EU Ecolabel)
  • Mr. Jari Korkalainen, Metsäkartano resort, Finland (EU Ecolabel)
  • Mr. Benjamin Souviraa, Camping Espace Blue Océan & L’Hôtel La Petite Couronne, France (EU Ecolabel)

They will provide details on how they implemented these tools and the impacts on their activities. To be noted, one oceanarium and hotels from different sizes will intervene!

Finally, the European Commission will remind the funding available for sustainable tourism, and the conference will be closed by Mr. Paul Bugeja, Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Tourism Authority.

2017 being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, as declared by the United Nations, this conference aims to encourage the spreading of sustainable tourism practices in Europe, with concrete feedback from committed stakeholders. We encourage every tourism professional to register. Please also visit the event website, to learn more about the speakers´ biographies, the conference schedule, location and… the ceremony of the EMAS Awards that will take place right after !