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Former WTM Chairman to serve on Tourism Ethics Committee

  • Published by Vedat
Fiona Jeffery OBE, former Chairman of World Travel Market (WTM) and Chairman and founder of the international water aid charity Just a Drop has been appointed a member of the UNWTO's new World Committee on Tourism Ethics.

Fiona-JefferyJeffery, who will serve on this prestigious group until 2017, is known for her pioneering work on advancing sustainability and ethics in international tourism spanning 20 years.

The appointment by the UNWTO General Assembly at its recent meeting of Member States at Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe), is in recognition of her worldwide ethical campaigning stance.

Jeffery has helped to change the industry's mindset on major issues of long term significance to destinations, such as economic, social, cultural and environmental factors as well as alerting tourism to potential negative impacts in the future.

She has spoken widely on issues such as trafficking, gender equality, child protection and accessible tourism for the disabled. In addition she has helped to signal issues surrounding responsible tourism such as conservation, preservation of wildlife and fair trade, ensuring that poor communities are able to enjoy the benefits derived from the introduction of tourism to a region.

Under her leadership, Jeffery established WTM's World Responsible Tourism Day, recognised as the world's most ambitious - and largest - responsible tourism initiative with a programme of workshops, debates and presentations. The aim is to stimulate and educate resorts, travel companies and travel professionals to sign-up to a strict code of year-round sustainable principles.

In 1998 Jeffery founded Just a Drop to encourage the international industry to 'give back'. Supported by the goodwill and active involvement of the industry, the charity has provided clean water close to the homes of more than one and a half million people in over 30 countries. In particular, the organisation has helped transform the lives of thousands of families as well as save the lives of babies and children under the age of five who frequently die from water-related diseases.

Jeffery left WTM in April this year to pursue new career challenges. However, she will be back at WTM 2013 (Wednesday 6th November, 2.30 pm, South Gallery Rooms 15/16, ExCeL London) to chair a panel of experts debating 'Tourism and Human Rights: Time to Act?'.

Organised by the Tourism Society and Skål International, the event will examine what airlines, wholesalers, hoteliers and tour operators should do about improving human rights.

"Travel and tourism has huge muscle power and an ability to help the plight of men, women and children whose basic human rights are abused or simply ignored", said Jeffery. "This is a challenging session with no easy answers, but it is up to the industry to shoulder its share of responsibility."

Other speakers include: Mok Singh, Immediate Past President, Skål International; Mark Watson, Executive Director, Tourism Concern; and Stephanie Ossenbach, Project Manager and Corporate Responsibility, Kuoni Travel.
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