Leading representatives from the EU transport policy and business sphere will discuss best policy and operational practices to further green the entire travel and tourism chain at the 7th European Bus and Coach Forum, held in the framework of Busworld Kortrijk in October 2011.
The 7th European Bus and Coach Forum, on “Greening travel and tourism: Policy and transport sector contributions to green travel and tourism” will take place on 20 October 2011 in Busworld Kortrijk, where some 200 business leaders and EU Institutions’ officials will assemble to discuss how increased synergies between policies and business practices can help make the entire travel and tourism chain greener.
Forum debates will focus on how policies can help achieve a legal and administrative framework that promotes and rewards tourists’ and travellers’ green choices, and the travel industry’s own contribution and best practices to complement and support such policies.
Forum participants will also enjoy guided thematic tours of selected Busworld exhibitors, showcasing the latest technologies developed by vehicle manufacturers and providers to further green travel and tourism by bus and coach.
The Forum is jointly organised by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Belgian Federation of Bus and Coach operators (FBAA), the European Travel Agents’ and tour operators’ Associations (ECTAA) and the European Tour Operators’ Association (ETOA).
Vice President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council and Deputy Managing Director of FBAA, Yves Mannaerts, said, “Only by raising awareness and placing buses and coaches at the heart of transport policies to double their use within the next decade can policy-makers at EU, national and local level create a legislative, market and operational environment conducive to shift people’s mobility behaviour to this more sustainable transport means, and thus meet ambitious objectives in terms of safe, green, efficient, and socially inclusive mobility for all European citizens on short and long distances alike, at the lowest costs for society.”
President of ECTAA, Irena Gueorguieva, added, “buses and coaches contribute significantly to an efficient and sustainable multimodal travel and transport chain, by offering flexible transport solutions affordable to all. In this context, travel agents and tour operators play an important role in promoting and further facilitating greener travel and advising travellers accordingly. However, besides business incentives, political support is also needed to further encourage citizens to use these sustainable transport modes.”
Executive Director of ETOA, Tom Jenkins, concluded, “Seminars on city tourism, looking at the challenges and opportunities for European destinations, have recurrently shown that providing the appropriate infrastructure for coach tourism is the key to success, as it offers an extremely efficient and environmentally friendly way of bringing people to the sites they wish to visit. When cities get it right, the economic benefits are there for everyone to see. With emerging markets, such as China and India with decades of coach tourism experience to learn from, coupled with technological progress, the time is ripe for a new chapter in coach tourism.”