Tourism

GSTC chair, Luigi Cabrini “Tourism must be a leader in responding to climate change”

Ali Coulton

In the lead up to the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF)’s Outlook 2018 conference, we had a chat with one of the stand-out speakers, Luigi Cabrini.

Cabrini has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) since 2014, and before that he worked as the Director of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) Sustainable Tourism Programme and has also held the positions of UNWTO Director for Europe and Secretary of the General Assembly and Executive Council.

See also: Intrepid CEO James Thronton: “If tourism isn’t sustainable it won’t continue.” 

So in case you can’t tell, we fangirled A LOT at the opportunity to interview him

giphy

In his role at the GSTC, Cabrini focused his activities on tourism and climate change, tourism and biodiversity, observatories for sustainable tourism, the green economy, tourism and heritage and global partnerships, just to name a few.

Here’s what he had to say:

Travel Weekly: After working for the UN on programmes in development and protection for refugees, what drew you to working on sustainable tourism?

Cabrini_CroppedLuigi Cabrini: I joined the World Tourism Organization at the time when it was becoming a United Nations Specialized Agency, orienting its activities toward the promotion and support of tourism as a tool for sustainable development, contributing to the alleviation of poverty and the empowerment of women.

Sustainable tourism has been increasingly recognised as a sector that can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Working for the High Commissioner for Refugees exposed me to the worse side of humankind, with conflicts, persecution and violation of basic rights.

Tourism, through the interactions of people meeting each other while visiting other countries and the improved social and economic conditions that can prevent or at least reduce the causes of conflicts and exploitation.

TW: Your line of work must have taken you to some pretty interesting destinations. What was your favourite travel experience?

LC: I would like to briefly mention four destinations.

Bonito, in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, a truly authentic ecotourism experience, with small groups of visitors led by local guides in a unique environment of crystal clear water rivers, caves, and an amazing fauna.

Garze region, in Tibet, China, a spectacular sequence of valleys and high mountains studded with Buddhist temples, not yet widely visited by international tourists.

Roatan, a Honduran island in the Caribbean sea, a tropical paradise for divers.

Dubrovnik, a walled city on the coast of Croatia, with architectural jewels built along the centuries.

I travelled more than once over the years in these last two destinations and witnessed how important is to manage sustainably the impressive growth of tourists that both have experienced.

TW: What can the tourism industry do to help combat climate change?

LC: Tourism generates 5% of the total Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Of this amount, three quarters are caused by transport and about one quarter by accommodation and other activities. If mitigation measures are not taken seriously this share is likely to increase dramatically, but it is possible to reduce the tourism industry footprint.

Practical measures include aeroplanes with more energy efficiency, improved airspace management, better design and isolation of buildings, renewable energies instead of fossil fuels, etc.

Tourism must be a leader in responding to climate change, also considering that its impacts are seriously deteriorating many destinations.

It is also important that any future tourism plan take into account the consequences of higher temperatures, such as an increase of the sea level, erosion of beaches, reduced snow season, stronger intensity and more frequency of natural phenomena like storms and hurricanes, etc

TW: What other areas of sustainability does the industry needs to improve on?

LC: The GSTC has developed several sets of criteria for the tourism industry and in particular for destinations, hotels and tour operators, aimed at maximizing the positive benefits and reducing the negative impacts generated by tourism activities.

Our approach is a global one as it takes into consideration all the pillars of sustainability (economic, social, cultural and environmental), and the criteria are relevant for developing and developed destinations, as well as for all geographical areas.

With the continuous increase of international and domestic tourism, sustainability is not an option anymore but an urgent necessity.

One of the issues that have become a priority is the real involvement of the local communities in any tourism strategy, as recently we have seen strong negative reactions to what is perceived as “over tourism”.

A simple yet powerful message to the travellers is the one launched on the occasion of the International Year of Tourism for Sustainable Development in 2017: “Travel, Enjoy, Respect”.


You can view the full TTF Outlook 2018 Conference program here.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “GSTC chair, Luigi Cabrini “Tourism must be a leader in responding to climate change””

  1. Enjoyed reading about Luigi’s ideas around practical measures for tourism sector to help combat climate change including more energy efficient planes, more improved airspace management, and better building design etc. Will be very interested to hear him speak on Thursday at the TTF Conference.

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Uniworld sues MSC over $18.5m in damages from Venice ship collision

by Christian Fleetwood

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has levelled a lawsuit against MSC Cruises over massive damages sustained in a Venice ship collision last year.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Registrations open for RWC 2023, Counselling for agents impacted by bushfires + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is full of everything you need on a Friday: news of agents on voyages around the world, plenty of pictures and, most importantly, a short word count.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler launches flexible European coach-touring brand

The new brand combines the convenience of escorted tours and the independence of FIT, with guaranteed departures on all tours, regardless of their size.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aussie influencer slammed after tricking airline into free business-class upgrade

by Huntley Mitchell

An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australian Tourism Commission warned ‘Old mate’ ads weren’t “child-friendly” months before launch

Just released documents have shown that the SATC was warned its now infamous ‘Old mate’ ads were inappropriate months before the campaign even launched.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Ex-Liberals leader named Boeing’s new regional boss, CMV’s team expansion + MORE!

If this edition of Flavour of the Week was a marine animal, it would be a blue whale. In other words, this wrap is an absolute whopper.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

PHOTOS: Coco the very good rabbit scores a seat in business class

Nobody freak out, but we’ve got some very important news: this very cute bunny rabbit wearing a bowtie just scored its own seat in business class, and the photos are SO CUTE!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Coronavirus poses bigger threat to Aussie airports than SARS: analyst

Meanwhile, China has placed more than 18 million people in lockdown overnight as the number of those infected climbs to 650, with 18 confirmed deaths.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu Tours’ Aussie boss exits after less than three months

Troy Ackerman’s sudden departure follows that of Wendy Wu Tours global CEO Joe Karbo in July last year.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas, Virgin Australia update pet travel policies following dog deaths

by Christian Fleetwood

Australia’s leading carriers will introduce further precautions on their pet policies, in association with the RSPCA.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.

Share

CommentComments