Time has flown away and this Friday 22 September we are already receiving the international speakers who will be part of the Green Destinations Day Italy, initiative from the Center for Advanced Studies in Tourism (CAST) in collaboration with Green Destinations and Agenzia Piano Strategico di Rimini. The Conference and the Student Forum will be held at the Rimini Campus and the Networking meeting will be at Rimini Innovation Square.
In this post, I would like to share with you some of the topics the speakers will be covering during the conference and hopefully will motivate you to come to Rimini and participate in the Conference, Student Forum and Networking Meeting, all part of the Green Destinations Day Italy!
To begin with, we will have the welcome speech by the Rimini Campus Coordinator Prof. Sergio Brasini, who made possible to host the event at the University.
Secondly, the Festival IT.A.CÀ will be presented by its Director, Prof. Pierluigi Musarò, who will explain why the Festival contributes to the three dimensions of sustainability: Environmental (promoting local cultural and natural resources, soft mobility and walking itineraries), Economic (supporting local businesses and associations) and Socio-cultural (stimulating social innovation).
Moreover, the network created by the Festival’s partners contributes to the sustainable development of each of the destinations where the festival takes place, which at the moment are 10 italian cities, and growing!
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be “virtually” present, with a message from Mrs. Eun Ji Tae, Coordinator of the Knowledge Network, Affiliate Members Programme, to which the University of Bologna is part of. She will present the global campaign “Travel Enjoy Respect” which was specially created by UNWTO to raise awareness about the contribution of tourism and each traveller to sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.
The international event is a joint initiative with Green Destinations, a non-profit organization based in Leiden, Netherlands and Mr. Albert Salman, its President will discuss the need to create a Green Destinations Ambassadors Community in Italy, to actively promote sustainable tourism and to help identify the green and responsible tourism offer. This would be an appropriate action in the light of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, declared by the United Nations.
ISTO/ OITS (International Social Tourism Organization) and EARTH (European Alliance for Responsible Tourism and Hospitality) are two important organizations that are joining forces this year, recognizing that they have many objectives in common, considering the tourism activity from the side of the social tourism and from the side of the responsible tourism. José María de Juan, EARTH Vice President for Communications and Relations with Latin American Entities will share some of the actions planned for the newly-formed Alliance. One of the recent projects is the COSME Seninter, also presented during IT.A.CA’ Festival, which combines social and responsible tourism offer.
Xavier Lechien, President of the EDEN Network will share with the audience how EDEN network of destinations developed from a European Commission initiative to a European private network of Sustainable Tourism. He will point out best practical examples of current member destinations working towards sustainable tourism.
After the morning coffee break, we will listen to the case of Slovenia, one of the greenest countries in the world which is a leader in sustainable tourism, with their recently developed Slovenia Green Scheme. Under this scheme, hospitality (accommodation, tour operators and agencies) and destinations (municipalites and protected areas) are first trained in sustainable management and later certified, raising the level of sustainability awareness and performance in Slovenian tourism. Jana Apih from Goodplace Factory of Sustainable Tourism and Tina Zakonjšek from New Tourism Institute will explain the steps that were taken to set up the national tourism sustainability model.
We will have the opportunity to learn from many Italian examples as well, beginning with Simone Riccardi, Founder of Ecobnb, a virtual network of eco-friendly accommodation spread across Italy, Europe and growing at worldwide level. Ecobnb let people find and book each type of eco-friendly accommodations and allows travellers to approach their holidays with a different spirit. It has been awarded by UNWTO in 2017 as 1st runner-up in the category “Innovation in Enterprises for tourism”.
At destination level, Raffaella Nocchi from Montepisano DMO in Tuscany and Valere Tjolle from Best of Romagna will share their best practices. Both are member of the Green Destinations network and are examples of private players getting together to promote sustainable tourism in their destinations.
Closing the conference, Anna Montini, Councillor for the Environment from Rimini, will explain the Rimini case, as a destination that is transforming from a mass tourism destination, with little awareness of the environmental impact of tourism, to a green destination, highlighting new projects such as the “Parco del Mare”.
All speakers will be available after the conference, some during the Student Forum from 14.30 at Rimini Campus and some during the Networking Meeting from 15.00 at Rimini Innovation Square.
I hope this sample of the rich program has motivated you to come and learn much more about sustainable and responsible tourism during the Green Destinations Day. We’ll wait for you in Rimini on the 22 September to continue travelling with IT.A.CÀ!
Maria Laura Gasparini
Tirocinante presso Green Destinations,
studentessa LM Economy – Turismo & Management,
curatrice degli eventi internazionali di IT.A.CÀ Rimini