The international tourism industry must play its part in dealing with climate change, according to the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation.
Building on his New Year message, which called on the sector to help alleviate world poverty, Francesco Frangialli said: "Like other key sectors, we play a part in the problem and we have to be responsive and responsible as temperatures, sea levels and other climactic conditions evolve.
"Tourism is an important sector of the global economy and a vital link in human communications, cultural interface and development", he added.
Addressing the United Nations Environment Programme governing council in Kenya this week, Frangialli announced the WTO programme of work would begin with two international conferences on climate change this year.
These will be held in Switzerland in September and in London in November, to coincide with World Travel Market.
Frangialli reiterated that the tourist industry was responsible for two key factors; promoting responsible tourism growth to advance global trade and strengthen links between different cultures and ensuring that tourism remains a key tool in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to help poorer nations out of the poverty trap.
By Emily Manson
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