Industry leaders call for green travel

Travel and tourism leaders are calling for a new enlightened framework for sustainable tourism in a ground breaking collection of essays compiled by Victoria University academics.

"Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders" includes pieces by Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson, the Bhutanese Prime Minister and secretaries general of several United Nations agencies, as well as major airline and hotel chain presidents and tourism ministers.

The book, with its 46 'letters' addressing critical issues in global tourism and travel, will be launched at next week's United Nations Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.

Victoria University's Adjunct Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Professor Terry DeLacy and Dr Min Jiang edited the high-profile collection aimed at assisting the travel and tourism sector's transformation to the emerging green growth economy, which is a key theme of the Rio summit.

Professor DeLacy said Rio+20 was the most significant global event in at least a decade for charting a sustainable future.

"The book will help set the future agenda for the tourism and travel industry in relation to sustainability," he said. "Travel and tourism is by any measure a massive modern day industry – in the same league as cars, oil, telecommunications and agriculture: It drives trillions of dollars in GNP, underpins millions of jobs, makes international business function and is the essence of leisure and happiness. Now this book outlines how it can take its rightful leadership place in moving to the new green economy."

The book will be launched on 20th June during the 3-day conference in Rio de Janeiro. It is dedicated to Secretary General of the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Maurice Strong, who will be there to receive the first copy from Professor Lipman and United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary GeneralTaleb Rifai.

While the book brings a global focus to green growth in tourism it also includes a letter showcasing Melbourne as a sustainable and "most liveable city", which is co-authored by Victoria University's Professor Brian King and Destination Melbourne CEO Chris Buckingham.

Green Growth and Travelism will be available through Goodfellow Publishers.

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