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Eco-tourism experts to share insight on sustainable tourism at ASEAN Tourism Conference

ATF 2010 TRAVEX sold out

The 29th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), the region’s foremost tourism and travel event, to be hosted by member-nation, Brunei Darussalam, in Bandar Seri Begawan, from 21 to 28 January 2010, has registered overwhelming response. All 373 exhibiting booths at TRAVEX (Travel Exchange) have been snapped up and the ten member-nations are well represented at the annual event which showcases the best of travel products and services in ASEAN. Thailand and Malaysia lead the pack with the largest number of participating organisations.

Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, CEO of Brunei Tourism, ATF 2010 Host Committee, said, “As the global economy is already showing strong signs of recovery, this is an opportune time for sellers to capitalise on suitable platforms available to re-ignite interests and develop businesses. The sell-out reinforces ATF as a great vehicle for networking and trade for the ASEAN tourism industry.”

Among the expected turn-out of more than 1,400 delegates, some 400 buyers from the Asia-Pacific (57 per cent), Europe (33 per cent) and the rest of the world will congregate in Brunei Darussalam, at the three-day TRAVEX event from 26 to 28 January at the new BRIDEX (Brunei International Defence Exhibition) Centre in Jerudong. Apart from TRAVEX, delegates will also get to explore the unexpected treasures of Brunei and Borneo through the pre-show city tours and post-show tours jointly organised by Brunei Tourism, Sabah Tourism and Sarawak Tourism. These include visits to historic sites and cultural landmarks, spa treats, as well as exciting nature and scenic tours across Brunei and Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia.

Driven by the theme – ‘ASEAN – The Heart of Green’, another highlight of ATF 2010 is the ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) to be held on 26 January. It will feature a keynote address, titled ‘Sustainable Tourism in Transboundary Conservation Areas’, by acclaimed authority on eco-tourism – Hitesh Mehta – on how the region can embrace sustainable development principles and encourage responsible travel behaviour that will help conserve the environment and bio-diversity, as well as sustain the well-being of the local people.

Mehta’s vast experience in sustainable landscape and architectural design projects,
eco-lodge and eco-resort design, environmental and protected area planning across continents has earned him the reputation of being one of the world’s foremost leading authorities on eco-tourism.

Currently an adjunct professor at the Florida Atlantic University in the US, Mehta runs his own landscape architecture and planning firm – HM Design – with ongoing projects in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama and Dominica and the West Indies. From 1997 to 2006, he held the position of Vice-President and Head of the Ecotourism and Environmental Planning Market Sector at EDSA (Florida), the world’s largest landscape architecture and planning firm, during which he played an instrumental role in many key projects, such as the Eco-tourism Product Implementation Programme in Kenya and the Vision Plan for Wailoaloa Ecolodge in Nadi, Fiji.

In addition, a panel discussion will be chaired by leading industry professionals, who include Tony Charters, Principal of Tony Charters and Associates and Anthony Wong, Group Managing Director of Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd. They will share their experiences on developing eco-tourism projects in transboundary conservation areas.

With an increasingly sophisticated market of travellers, the aptly-themed event is well
poised to meet the demand for green facilities and fuel greater awareness of socially responsible tourism. 

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.