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Environment concerns will revamp tourism
September 27th, 2007

By Luc Citrinot

BALI – Pata Travel Mart 2007 will not avoid the issues of global warming and climate change.

Tourism in the Asia-Pacific region will not be able to resist the call to protect the environment and limit the damage done to the earth. One of the first countries to put nature at the centre of its marketing campaign was Brunei tagged as “the Green Heart of Borneo”. Other Asia-Pacific destinations such as Laos or New Zealand emphasise primarily their natural resources.

“Nature-related activities as well as scenery discovery are very much the core of our tourism product in New Zealand. This is definitely our main asset and I just expect to see more visitors to come to our country to experience our well preserved environment,” explained explains Barbara Doyle, project manager of Colonial Kiwi Comfort Accommodation.

For Tungku Iskandar, Chairman of the Intra-Asean Travel Committee, Asian travellers are still far behind Western tourists in terms of responsible tourism. “Maybe NTOs must first take the lead by setting strict environment criteria in tourist-related activities. Travel agencies could then advise tourists about activities or places where they can contribute to save the environment,” he said.

“We already have UK tour operators asking about good environment practice. We already emphasise programmes where travellers can help in building playgrounds with local material for aborigine people,” said Cherry Lee, executive director of World Express in Kuala Lumpur.

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