Sustainable tourism and authenticity were once again among the buzzwords at this year’s World Travel Market in London.
Over three days, more than 50,000 professionals flocked there for business and a chance to promote their local tourism industry.
Nazri Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, told Euronews: “Visitors will come and visit us in the rural areas to experience the daily life of the ordinary people in Malaysia. They like to taste the local food and want to see the local culture.
“Young people come from all over the world to a home stay by the beach, where they help with cleaning the beaches and clearing the sea from plastic bottles. So ‘voluntourism’ is another program we introduced in order to enhance our effort in supporting ecotourism in Malaysia.”
India is also keen to ride these trends. The state of Kerala has won the event’s award for Best Responsible Tourism.
“There is a strong possibility of ecotourism in our country and responsible tourism is what we believe in promoting,” said Indian Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma.
“We are doing a lot of work in that direction with coming up with guidelines for responsible and sustainable tourism in and around our ecotourism sites. A lot of infrastructure development is also happening at these sites, which is keeping in mind the environmental aspect of the whole destination.”
Tourism that preserves the environment and local culture: the trend has become a strong selling point to compete against other destinations.