COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco - PART 2

Márcio Favilla, Executive Director of UNWTO

Márcio Favilla, Executive Director of UNWTO

“The problem is not how big we grow. It’s about how we grow.

During day 2 of the COP22 in Morocco, the lineup was equally strong! We heard introductions from the likes of Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and Marcio Favilla executive director of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) which was fascinating and also eye opening in terms of the scale how important this is. The purpose of the International Sustainable Tourism Symposium was to hear from sustainable tourism experts who are dedicated to advancing sustainable tourism.

Once again, monitoring and measuring was a recurring theme which came to light in the majority of presentations, drawing attention to its importance within our industry as well as the need for a consistent approach. Of the organisations that do report, the Global Reporting Initiative is being used more and more often. This is good news for the event industry as GRI has the Event Organisers Sector Supplement, introduced to our industry in 2012 as part of London 2012. The industry could and should be taking advantage of this framework.

Nicolas Perin, ITP (International Tourism Partnership)

Nicolas Perin, ITP (International Tourism Partnership)

Considering further the trends in reporting, one of the studies shared with the audience revealed how mandatory carbon reporting and legislation is becoming more commonplace than ever before. In order to illustrate leadership and protect our industry, events, suppliers, hotels and the rest of the value chain need to be reporting on their social, economic and environmental impact.

After a number of engaging panel discussions, report revelations and audience discussions, the key points from the day were summarised as below:

Overall Main points from International Sustainable Tourism Symposium:

1. Climate change
b. There is technology and leaders who are committed to reducing their impact but we need finance and a coherent policy framework to align everyone in the industry.

2. Importance of measuring to manage
a. Reporting is essential.
b. Measurement has an important role when put into context of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
c. How do we make sure the end result directs in the way we are wanting to go?
d. We are one step closer to defining the key environmental indicators for the tourism private sector. Now the public will be invited to collaborate.

3. Tourism is not only hotels and tour operators
a. It is important to consider the destination itself as responsible for the impact.
b. Events that go to these destinations are also responsible for the impact.

4.   As we have a fragmented value chain and global commitments, we would like a coherent roadmap (based on science) that allows us to move forward and show us how to bring coherence and integration in the context of the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In essence…

“The problem is not how big we grow. It’s about how we grow.”