Internationally, the demand for sustainable meetings and events is becoming standard practice and the South African tourism, travel and meetings industry is urged to make it the foundation of its business practices rather than an add-on, if it wants to capitalize on this lucrative market.
“People from across the different sectors of the meetings and events (and hospitality) industry have been following separate, if similar, steps on the journey toward sustainable business practices. This has led to different practices and results, all of which encourage continued action and innovation, but may not be the most effective approach in terms of moving the industry to adopt standards that all of us accept and adhere to when planning an event or meeting”, says Paul Salinger, president elect of the global Green Meetings Industry Council and speaker at the upcoming Environmental Management in Tourism (EMiT) conference later this year.
“Sustainable event management means better and more effective events. Done correctly, and integrated as part of the larger management system, sustainability provides an important filter, which guides smarter decisions”.
“Planners and suppliers who have been bold enough to think of sustainability as a foundation rather than an accent or add-on have experienced cost savings, operational efficiencies, and in some cases, the admiration of their peers and enhanced reputation of their brands. That combination provides compelling business reasons why sustainable events continue to grow in importance and are being implemented throughout the industry as standard practice more and more,” Salinger adds.
Paul Salinger is vice president of Marketing for Oracle, a multinational IT corporation, where he is responsible for strategic messaging and communications, creative concepting and working across marketing to translate messaging for events and marketing campaigns designed for audience engagement. In 2007, Paul took on the role of champion, strategist and evangelizer for Oracle’s global green meetings initiatives and has been leading the effort to bring sustainability into the event marketing practice as a core value and standard business practice. In 2009, Oracle OpenWorld was awarded an IMEX (Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events) Silver Award for green meetings.
He was involved with helping to establish the Northern California chapter of the Green Meetings Industry Council and is now a member of the Board of Directors and President-Elect for the global Green Meetings Industry Council.
Green meetings and events is just one of the responsible tourism topics which will be discussed by local and international specialists at the upcoming Environmental Management in Tourism (EMiT) Conference which takes place from 9-10 November 2011, at the Sandton Sun Conference Centre in Johannesburg.
For more information or to register: www.emitconference.com.
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