This is first time RTD8 will be hosted in England, having previously been hosted in South Africa, India, Belize, Oman, Canada, Brazil and Spain.
With speakers travelling from as far away as Nepal, Honduras and The Gambia as well as contributions from local and national delegates, the focus will be on how to make tourism better for communities and the environment. Over the course of the conference, a range of issues will be addressed - from sustainable tourism to human rights, local economic development and destination management, to the impact of the internet on tourism.
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, will be co-chairing an event on the opening day of the conference. The event will focus on the challenges faced by destination managers; the marketing and future of Destination Management; sustainability; and how to make better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit. The day will also include a debate with Manda Brookman director of the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (CoaST) and Lady Jane Gibson chairman of VisitYork to address the relationship between tourism and destinations.
James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland said: “It is fantastic that this prestigious international event is coming to England for the first time. In our role as the national tourist board, it’s an opportunity for VisitEngland to showcase England’s wonderful destinations, and the work being done across the country to manage destinations responsibly - for the benefit of local communities, the economy and the environment.”
Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and RTD8 Conference chair said “Travel and tourism are what we make them, we can change the way we travel and holiday to make better experiences for consumers, better business for companies and better places to live in for people. We can make tourism better, in Manchester the debates will be about how to do it.”
Speakers from Visit Manchester, the industry and both Manchester universities will be contributing to the discussions. The conference is attracting leaders from across the sector including: Elise Allart, Manager Sustainable Tourism TUI Nederland; Jane Ashton, Director of Group Sustainable Development at TUI Travel PLC.; James Berresford, CEO of VisitEngland; Caroline Brown, ABTA UK Leisure and Tourism Group Chairman and Commercial Director of Shearings Holidays; Andy Cooper, Director of Government and External Affairs, Thomas Cook Group; Justin Francis CEO, reponsibletravel.com; Tony Gates, Chief Executive, Northumberland National Park; Dr Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive of Transport for Great Manchester; Peter Lane, Chair of British Destinations Executive; Stephen Miles, Founder Hotel Future The National Hospitality Training Academy; Paul Simpson, Managing Director, Visit Manchester; Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA.