Conference to promote sustainability in the tourism industry
The conference will take place at the University’s Rose Bowl building in the city centre, from 9am to 7pm. The talks will also be available through a free live webinar.
Beginning with a welcome address from Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, and David Hind, Head of the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality, the event offers an exciting full-day programme of speakers sharing their experiences of working responsibly, including: Helena Rey, Tourism Programme Officer at the United Nations Environment Programme; Vikki Harris, Head of Marketing at Welcome to Yorkshire; Caroline Meledo, Corporate Responsibility Manager for Hilton Europe Middle East and Africa; and Emma Harvey, Head of Sustainability at Virgin Atlantic Airways and former Senior Research Fellow in Tourism at Leeds Beckett.
Dr Xavier Font, Reader in Tourism at Leeds Beckett and co-organiser of the event, will also speak about the ways that academics can support the private and public sectors in taking more responsibility to be more sustainable, drawing on the University’s recent work with several of the conference’s speakers, including the United Nations Environment Programme, the Hilton, Welcome to Yorkshire and Positive Impact.
Dr Font commented: “It is essential that we all learn how to take responsibility for creating better places to live in and better places to visit, whether we are in Yorkshire or the deep rainforest. This conference will give companies and destinations methods and inspirational examples to manage their impacts so they can make a positive impact, helping us to collectively set new agendas for industry practice and research.”
Dr Davina Stanford, co-organiser of the event, added: “This conference marks the start of a new method of delivery for our MSc Responsible Tourism Management course. We have completely updated the course with new material for a more online delivery. The expectation is that this new method of delivery will make our course even more accessible to distance learning students who will now be able to study whether they are based in the UK or on the other side of the world.
“Our networks and alumni are very important to us. Once our students join our course then the majority stay closely in touch and continue to work with us. This is one of the things which makes our course unique. We intend to run a conference such as this every year, in order to give our current students and alumni the opportunity to come together with members of the tourism and hospitality industry and exchange ideas and best practice.”