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ESTC: Tourism Industry Conference to Tackle Sustainability Head‐On
Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference Takes on Today's Key Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities – from Dolphins to Golfing
WASHINGTON, February 8, 2011 – The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), is a one‐of‐a‐kind annual conference focusing on sustainable business strategies and solutions that inspire innovative change in the global tourism industry. This year, the ESTC is co‐hosted by the Hilton Head Island (Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau) and being held on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, from September 19‐21, 2011 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
Organized by TIES (The International Ecotourism Society), a 20‐year old leading industry association dedicated to promoting tourism as a viable tool for sustainable development, the ESTC serves as an industry‐wide platform to promote change, helping mainstream sustainability in the world of travel and tourism. The conference achieves this goal through the following approaches:
Lead: Utilizing the collective knowledge and expertise of TIES global network, the ESTC fosters opportunities for businesses that embrace sustainability to stay ahead.
Sustain: Through partnerships and collaborative initiatives, the ESTC promotes strategies and solutions that reinforce the roles of tourism in building a sustainable future.
Engage: From best‐selling authors, sustainable business heroes to conservation champions, the ESTC attracts a wide spectrum of industry pioneers and influencers.
This year’s ESTC, taking place in a unique resort destination that is one of the nation’s first environmentally‐sensitive planned communities, faces a special opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of change. In addition to showcasing some of the on‐going efforts by the destination to preserve its beauty and tranquility while promoting tourism, the number one industry in the state of South Carolina*, the Hilton Head Island community is ready to embrace various shades of green and to strengthen its charm with authentic, ethical and inspiring tourism opportunities.
*According to the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development.
"We are so thrilled to be co‐hosting the ESTC on Hilton Head Island," said Susan Thomas, vice president of the Visitor & Convention Bureau. "Hilton Head Island has always placed an emphasis on protection of the environment, and we are eagerly advancing our efforts to be sustainable in every way we can. From our Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course program, to our Hilton Head Island Difference corporate social responsibility program, and our sustainable efforts at our lodging facilities, restaurants, and other initiatives, we are well on our way to becoming more and more green every day."
"We are very eager to have the attendees at the conference enjoy many of our Island activities, such as kayaking on our waterways, biking along our pathways and beaches and exploring our maritime forests and exhibits at the Coastal Discovery Museum," said Mike Overton, owner of Outside Hilton Head and chairman of Hilton Head Island’s ESTC committee.
Based on recommendations by the ESTC expert steering committee and industry feedback, the ESTC 2011 will feature presentations and discussions with the goal of helping tourism businesses and professionals gain necessary tools and resources to effectively implement social, environmental and economic sustainability practices.
Key conference themes will include:
Mainstream Goes Green: Strategies to mainstream sustainability in tourism, focusing on lessons learned and case studies.
Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism ROIs: Exploring the business rationale for sustainability and ways to take advantage of key opportunities.
Sustainability as a Market Driver: Exploring best practice examples on sustainability efforts and opportunities for sustainable growth.
Various sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available to companies and organizations interested being part of this premier industry conference. For more information on the ESTC 2011 and detailed sponsorship prospectus, see: www.ecotourismconference.org.