greenearthtravel, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, sustainable dive business, marine conservationSpeaking at the Forum, “The Growth of the International Travel Economy and Protection of the Environment,” at the Harvard University Extension School, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Director of, stressed the need for the Travelism (Travel & Tourism) sector to move beyond the comfort zone… and truly embark on the Green Growth transformation journey.

Lipman outlined how travel and tourism must do business in a different way: The DNA of the travel value chain will have to be re-vamped with green growth at the core, needing  new strategies, management and structures – beyond model projects, champions, certification, awards, indicators, aspirational goals and the like.

Lipman made it clear that the travel and tourism sector must step up its sustainability game where tourism growth projections have to match impact projections. Impacts not only refer to carbon, but carrying capacity, resource utilization, biodiversity conservation and community well – being.

Highlights of Lipman’s speech:

“Frankly, we have not put anything like the same emphasis on the impacts side and this will become more necessary as the world focusses on new sustainable development goals in 2015 and as climate driven extreme weather, carbon driven extreme pollution, increasing social disparity, and hyper-connectivity force a massive global reaffirmation of a green growth agenda.

Joined up, out of the silo strategies, must have environment and finance minister at the table, as well as tourism and transport ministers. And this mind-set must rapidly shift from top down to bottom up thinking since the big hit is at the community level.

More financing will be needed for transformation and climate adaptation. And this will increasingly be the private sector, as government budgets remain under siege. Here impact investment has the potential to be a game changer.

And we will need totally new networks for collaboration – beyond traditional special relationships – more open, more informal, more dynamic to fit to the Twitter and Facebook mold.”

Professor Lipman’s address identifies the emergence of new collaborative frameworks, driven by the speed of change and the spread of digital connectivity. It outlines key policy direction to tackle tomorrow’s resources and population driven challenges. It presents a Community Focused Investment Framework and emphasizes the need to give particular attention to small islands and emerging states, who are the most vulnerable and in many cases the most dependent on travel and tourism.

It also shows how initiatives such as the Green Growth and Travelism Institute (GGTI), a non-profit international university R&D network, and the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), a grassroots Travel & Tourism coalition of global destinations and their stakeholders committed to Green Growth, intend to be part of the solution. Finally he notes the important transformational change that can come from\impact investment helping to shape constructive community action.

Find the full speech can be found here.


The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. ICTP engages communities and their stakeholders to share quality and green opportunities including tools and resources, access to funding, education, and marketing support.

ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, fair coherent taxation, and investments for jobs. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them. For more information on ICTP go to