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PCGS Concentration Director David Randle in Madrid, Paris, & Geneva

April 30, 2018
By: Emily Munger

Dr. Davis Randle, PCGS Concentration Director of Sustainable Tourism, and Rebecca Tobias represented the Blue Community Observatory in Florida at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) annual meeting at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid in December 2017.

This meeting prioritized the impacts and issues of tourism at a community level. The UNWTO is an international organization that strives to promote and prioritizes responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. UNWTO has members from 158 different countries, 6 different territories, and 500 Affiliate Members.

The meeting held four sessions focusing on Local Actions Supporting the SDGs, Catalytic Areas in the Tourism Sector, The Importance of Geospatial Analysis in Tourism, and Advancing Circular Economy Thinking in Tourism. Dr. Randle also presented his work at the Blue Community Observatory. His discussion, including topics like Blue Community, PM4SD Training, Jubilee Organic Farm, and Tampa Bay Watch brought the theme of the INSTO meeting full circle. Dr. Randle's work with the Blue Community shows results of the 12 steps set forth by the Blue Community and how the local level can enjoy a more sustainable marine habitat.

At the INSTO, other works of various organizations were presented to emphasize the high priority of protecting our coastal environments. Presenters shared their experiences on how exactly tourism impacts the community. They discussed what their communities were doing now to start reversing the damages caused by tourism and how to preserve and protect the land in the coming years. This meeting was important because the effect of tourism on the community was a hot topic of conversation for the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. You can watch Dr. David Randle's presentation at INSTO here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2hk9FR8UD8

Following the presentations in Madrid, Dr. Randle and Ms. Tobias traveled to Villages Nature Paris to complete the Certification audit for the new resort, participating in meetings and planning sessions for a 2018 International Sustainable Tourism Conference. They also completed a video interview and article for use in the PCGS classroom from the resort's Director of Global Sustainability   See:  Villages Nature: Reinventing Sustainable Tourism

The final stop on this trip was Geneva, Switzerland for the Closing Ceremony of the U.N Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development.   http://webtv.un.org/watch/closing-ceremony-international-year-of-sustainable-tourism-for-development-unwto/5687612901001/

At these meetings, both Dr. Randle and Ms. Tobias were joined by Mr. Silvia Barbone, who led a PM4SD training at PCGS last summer.  The three were asked to provide leadership for a new UNWTO Futures Task-Force that will focus on smart tourism strategies to implement the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's). The publication Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals Journey to 2030 will guide the new task-force.

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Dr. David Randle presenting at the UNWTO conference.

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Madrid Group picture.

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Villages Nature

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David Randle(USA),  Rebecca Tobias (Canada), and  Silvia Barbone (Italy), at the U.N. Meetings in Geneva.