Vancouver, CANADA – As part of Small Planet’s commitment to educate the tourism industry about and promote sustainable adventure tourism, President Judy Karwacki is participating and speaking at several events in 2011.
In February Judy joined over 450 educational travel planners, suppliers, and operators at the 25th annual Educational Travel Conference (ETC), which is considered the leading educational and learning conference. Through the USAID-Guyana Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Judy represented Guyana, a premier sustainable tourism destination, at the conference in Providence, RI.
In early April Judy travelled to Bermuda for the 12th annual Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference to deliver a seminar entitled “Haven’t Been There, Done That: How Experiential Tourism is Transforming the Travel Experience.” Seminar participants developed a new understanding of and skills in sustainable experiential travel product development, marketing, and partnership creation. Having led the Guyana Tourism Authority’s nomination effort, Judy was gratified to watch Sydney Allicock of Surama Eco-lodge receive the TravelMole – CTO Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award.
Later in April Judy partnered with ATTA member Maisa Fernandez of Travel Marketing Worldwide to deliver a seminar on social media for the American Society of Travel Agents ASTA International Destination Expo in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Is the Buzz worth the Buck: Tapping the Adventure and Eco-Traveler through Mobile Strategies” provided travel agents with tips and techniques to master the art of reaching this special eco-traveler audience through one of their most favored means of communication: social and mobile media.
In May Judy travelled to Lusaka, Zambia, for the International Institute for Peace through Tourism’s 5th Africa Conference. Organized by IIPT in partnership with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and hosted by the Zambian Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. The theme of the conference was “Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism in Africa and the Developing World.” Judy was honored to be invited to participate on the panel for the Traditional Leaders Forum on Climate Change and Tourism, which was led by key speaker His Royal Highness Senior Chief Mukuni of the Toka Leya people, and to moderate the Traditional Leaders panel on “Traditional Approaches to Preserving Bio-diversity”. In addition, Judy presented a workshop on Experiential Tourism and an indigenous tourism case study entitled, “Surama Village Eco-Lodge, Guyana: Merging Traditional and Modern Approaches to Preserve Biodiversity and Create Sustainable Livelihoods”.
Judy acted as a panelist and facilitator in September at “Agricultural and Tourism Working together – A Strong Business Opportunity for the Caribbean Region”, a 3-day regional workshop sponsored by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Held in Barbados in late September, the key objective of the event is to develop an action plan for promoting agriculture-tourism linkages in the Caribbean.
In October, Judy was honored to join indigenous voices from Sapmi, Namibia, Chiapas and the U.S. Native community on the panel of the “Indigenous Tourism – Benchmarking authentic cultural tourism product development” session held during the ATTA’s sold-out Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapas, Mexico.
In November a new book to which Judy is contributing a chapter will be released at World Travel Market during the IIPT’s session on Tourism and Climate Change. “Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change” book features case studies of best practice by more than 40 contributing experts. The book is an initiative of the IIPT in collaboration with the UNWTO and Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management in Zambia.
To finish off the year, Judy is serving on the ETC’s Responsible Tourism Committee, which will select the Responsible Tourism Showcase Honoree recipients for 2012.