Why is sustainable tourism important in Iceland?

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The First Lady of Iceland, Mrs. Eliza Jean Reid, was honored by the Institute of South Asian Woman (ISAW) during the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin, Germany. Mrs. Reid won the ISAW Women of Excellence award for Promoting Sustainable Development.

Ever since the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, the mystic beauty of the country which had long been a well-kept secret was now in the global tourism limelight. The country would never be the same again. In the period since, the country saw an unprecedented rise in visitor numbers, increasing over the next 5 years by a staggering 264 percent.

To achieve sustainable tourism ambitions for the country, the government is focusing its attention on an individual’s right to travel, the carrying capacity of tourist sites, site improvements, increased patrols, more information provided to tourists, and an active tourist participation in monitoring costs. In light of all these facts, Iceland should be able to pull together to collectively make tourism a force for good.

The award ceremony followed a series of speeches on “Global Tourism – Trends and Challenges” during which St.Ange took to the podium after Professor Jeffrey Lipman with speakers addressing delegates meeting on the sidelines of ITB. Other speakers who took to the podium were tourism ministers from Jamaica and Mauritius as well as representatives from India and the CEO of PATWA.

“World Tourism is more dependent than ever on leaders appreciating sustainable development. Today I salute the First Lady of Iceland for being a role model for a more sustainable approach to development,” said St.Ange.

The former Seychelles Minister said as he opened his address that tourism was doing well as was being confirmed by the UNWTO and by our respective counties. He saluted Greece for having moved their tourism industry as never done before, and for making sure it helped transform their economy. This he said in the presence of the Tourism Minister of Greece among many other Tourism Ministers from the Community of Nations.

On the point touching on trends and challenges facing global tourism, the Seychelles former Minister spoke about airlines, security, threats, and wars as challenges facing countries way beyond their own borders and outside of their own control.

Meeting a number of travel press on Opening Day of ITB 2019, Alain St.Ange said that he continues to value tourism trade fairs such as ITB, because it brings the world of tourism together. “We have to reap the benefits from such gatherings. The fair organizers bring us all to one location, and each and every one of us has the responsibility to get the advantages we are after,” said St.Ange.

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