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Category: ‘People’

Canadian Duo Win Microsoft’s ‘Hackathon’ Competition with Smart Robotic Prosthetic Hand

SEATTLE — July 25, 2018 — A team of students from Canada has won Microsoft’s annual student developer competition with their invention – a smart robotic prosthetic hand.

SmartARM developed a robotic prosthetic hand, using Microsoft Azure Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Cloud Storage, that uses a camera embedded in its palm to recognize objects and calculate the most appropriate grip for an object. Based on Machine Learning, the more the model is used the more accurate it becomes.

Team members, Hamayal Choudhry and Samin Khan, both 20, say their invention has the potential to dramatically lower the cost of prosthetics for people who are missing or have lost a limb.

Hamayal is a second year Mechatronics Engineering Student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology while Samin is a third year Computer Science student at the University of Toronto.

They walk away with $100,000 in prizes and a mentoring session with Microsoft, CEO, Satya Nadella.

Microsoft’s Imagine World Cup Finals takes place over 3 days at Microsoft’s Washington HQ and is now in its 16th year.

Over 40 teams from around the world brought their biggest, boldest ideas to tackle humanity’s most pressing problems..

Shows: – Footage of the moment the winning team was announced

– Soundbites and demo from SmartARM Canada

– Soundbite from Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

– Competition footage

– Soundbites from Charlotte Yarkoni, CVP of Microsoft Growth and Ecosystems

Other: Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Meghan Trumps British Royal Family

LONDON,UK – Top Trumps today crowns Meghan Markle as: ‘The New People’s Princess.’. 

The stunning Royal bride-to-be trumps ALL of her very soon to be new family – including the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Diana – in a brand new Royal Wedding Top Trumps pack, that hits shop shelves tomorrow (Wednesday 9th May 2018).

Meghan is described in her Top Trumps citation as “a modern Royal for a modern age” .. as she is also crowned as both Queen of Style AND Queen of Hearts.

Meghan’s Mega Top Trump scores:

        • TOP TRUMP! :  She reigns supreme – alongside Princess Diana – in a People Person section, notching a perfect 10.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  Meghan beats Duchess of Cambridge in a ‘Style Icon’ listing in the pack, also scoring a maximum 10 out of 10 and being declared in her Top Trumps citation as: ‘The Queen of Style’.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  The former actress also takes top billing in a Big Day Rating category, along with her husband-to-be Prince Harry. Each score 100 out of 100.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  So that’s THREE of the game’s FIVE sections she tops – making her the highest ranked of all 30 cards in the pack.
        • TOP TRUMP! : Top Trumps boss Tom Liddell says he can’t recall a pack in Top Trumps’ 41-year history where one person has so dominated a deck.

Top Trumps has for more than 40 years been a cool cult classic, capturing the heartbeat of the public across more than 1,000 different topics from Dr Who to Dinosaurs and Harry Potter to Pop Stars.

The pack also sees dedicated cards to: Harry, The Queen, William, Kate, the new Royal baby Prince Louis  Diana, Charles, Meghan’s parents, Camilla, a Commoners card, The Spice Girls, Ed Sheeran, The Rings, The Dress and The Corgis AND US President Donald Trump.

Prince Louis just makes it into the pack! He joins his brother and sister, having been born only weeks before the wedding!

The Dorgis/Corgis vs Dexter the Cat – there’s animal rivalry at the royal wedding, but who trumps who??

Shows: London, UK

00:00 – 07:20 – Slates

07:20 – 17:04 – London GV’s

17:04 – 01:34 – Street Vox Pops – public playing Top Trumps with giant cards

01:38 – 02:05 – Soundbite (English) –  Tom Liddell – CEO, Top Trumps

“So Top Trumps is a card game famous all around the world and famous for rating popular culture. Everything from dogs to dinosaurs, from planes to presidents,  we’ve even got a card for Donald Trump. What we’re working on the moment though  is the Royal Wedding, obviously the biggest event of the year and we’re currently working on the deck with Harry and Meghan ready for the big day, May the 19th”.

02:10 – 03:17 Soundbites x5 (English) –  Claire Simon – Global Marketing Manager, Top Trumps

Soundbite 1:

“So this was a hard pack to rate, but Meghan trumps the Royal Family, she’s overtaking Kate on style and she’s up there with Princess Diana on “People Person”, she is the Top Trump” .

Soundbite 2:

“So we put Donald Trump in the pack because there has been lots of speculation about whether he will or won’t be invited to the wedding, turns out Meghan and Harry decided not to          put him on the Guest List, so we popped him in the pack but gave him a “Big Day” rating of zero, but does come up high in “VIP” rating only just being Trumped by The Queen”.

Soundbite 3:

“ The Royal Wedding is the biggest event of the year, everyone’s talking about it globally and it’s a big moment in history, it’s the ultimate fairy tale”.

Soundbite 4:

“It’s Hollywood meets royalty and there is an all star cast. We’ve got a Prince Charming – Harry who meets Hollywood star – Meghan, there’s The Queen, Prince Charles and even The Spice Girls. I t’s got everything”.

Soundbite 5:

“We rated the Royal Wedding using five categories, “VIP”, “Age”, “People Person”, “Style” and “Big Day Rating”.

03:22 – 03:38 GV’s Graphic Design working on card design

03:38 – 03:52 CU Hands shuffling pack of Royal Wedding Top Trump Cards

03:52 – 04:50 – Graphics of some of the cards in the pack

          1. Meghan Markle’s card
          2. Prince Harry’s card
          3. The Queen’s card
          4. Prince Philip’s card
          5. Prince Charles’ card
          6. Prince William’s card
          7. Camilla Parker Bowles’ card
          8. Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge’s card
          9. Prince George’s card
          10. Princess Charlotte’s card
          11. Prince Louis’ card
          12. Princess Diana’s card
          13. Donal Trump’s card
          14. The Spice Girl’s card
          15. Sir Elton John’s card
          16. Serena Williams’ card
          17. Ed Sheeran’s card
          18. The Corgis’ card
          19. St. George’s Chapel’s card
          20. The Dress’ card
          21. The Ring’s card
          22. Dexter The Cat’s card

04:55 – 05:31 Soundbite (English) –  Tom Liddell – CEO, Top Trumps

“ So Top Trumps – we are the World’s coolest games company. We make everything from “Game Of Thrones Risk” to “Super Mario Match”, from “Harry Potter Cluedo” to “Beatles Monopoly”, we’ve been around over forty years. I think we reckon we’ve sold a hundred million units to shops around the world, you can buy our games everywhere from Walmart to Harrods and from the Sydney Opera House store to the skyscrapers of New York City. What we’re probably most famous for though, is our card game Top Trumps”.

05:36 – 06:08 GV’s of the London Top Trumps Office including shots of current games.

Cornwall, UK

06:12 – 06.38 GV’s Printing and packing of the Royal Wedding Top Trumps Cards.

Windsor, UK

06:43 – 07:04 GV’s Windsor Castle.

07:06 – 0708 Contacts Slate.

Ends  

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2018 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Forum And Concert

Rwandan President Kagame and former Ethiopian PM Desalegn address succession of power at the Ibrahim Governance Forum

KIGALI, RWANDA – Fighting corruption can be a dangerous business, according to a new book by former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal. It’s one of the most important issues affecting delivery of public service to the people, which was the focus of the 2018 Ibrahim Forum in Kigali, Rwanda. 

Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who received the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Outstanding Achievement in African Leadership, said that her winning had given hope to girls all over Africa that they can work hard, play by the rules, and can achieve their dreams.   

Hailemariam Desalegn, who recently resigned as prime minister of Ethiopia, said he had done so to accelerate the process of reform in his country. As a new democracy, he said Ethiopia had to make big changes to be able to involve more people in its civic life.    

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the essential question confronting African governments is why public finance is unable to properly provide public service. Speaking of his own succession, he said that whoever comes after him will have their own challenges and shouldn’t seek “to fill his shoes.” He also spoke about the Rwandan approach to public service, which involves every citizen playing a part in giving back to the nation. 

The Ibrahim Forum, the Leadership Ceremony and a popular music concert are all part of the annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend, the flagship event of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which takes place in a different African country each year. 

Shows:

  Kigali, Rwanda (28 April 2017)

1. Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal signing her book, “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines”

2. Ngozi speaking about the danger of fighting corruption, saying: When you have vested interests that have captured an area, a sector, a country – what have you – and they feel threatened because you are trying to make things work properly, then it’s very dangerous because they will take action because you are touching their livelihood. 

3. Former Liberian president and Ibrahim Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the audience of the conference hall

4. Sirleaf speaking about the importance of winning the Ibrahim Price for Outstanding African Leadership, saying: Women, not only in Liberia and Africa, but in the world, know that if you strive to meet your goals, when you succeed, and when you follow what is the law of the land, and you’ve met all the international standards, the world can be yours. And I tell you, as a result of this prize thousands of your girls, thousands of young women, all over Africa, now dream big. 

5. Former Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn walking on to the stage

6. Desalegn speaking about why he left office, saying: I have to set aside my self in order to force these deep reforms. Otherwise the reforms are going very slow and sluggish, which will ultimately yield to a disintegration of my country if we don’t go fast in reforming in a genuine way and in a robust way

7. Audience

8. Desalegn speaking about his future, saying: I hope I can contribute to my country and also to the continent in the years and months to come.

9. Rwandan President Paul Kagame walking on to the stage

10. Kagame speaking about economic management, saying: Leaders across Africa, whether they are presidents or prime ministers—these are important leaders— even others at different levels, the fact that we cannot manage our wealth to deal with our poverty is a defining issue as far as I know it for Africa

11. Audience wide shot

12. Kagame speaking about succession, saying: Everyone has their shoes. I didn’t have to fill anybody’s shoes. I am sure there are people out there who will fill their shoes who will do service to this country differently. They don’t have to fill my shoes. They have to do what they have to do for the country, and starting from where the country is. I started from a different place.   

13. Kagame speaking about public service, saying: It’s about making sure that you mobilize people’s involvement. It’s work to be done. You go to the people. You tell them there are things to do by everyone. Even by those who are going to be served, are going to do something for themselves for connecting with those who are going to serve them. So everybody has responsibility towards this service: those who are expecting it and those who are expecting to deliver it.  

14. Kenya band Sauti Sol sound check

15.Sauti Sol member Delvin Sahara Mudigi speaking about playing at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation concert, saying: Looking at this country, looking at where Africa is, looking at our governance, looking at the kind of leadership that we have and where we want to translate from and to, it’s time that we give importance to this kind of message. So I think being here and for Moto do this is quite amazing for the African people.

Kigali, Rwanda (28 April 2017)

16. Sauti Sol performing  

17. Rwandan band The Ben performing 

18. Nigerian singer Peter P-square speaking about playing at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation concert, saying: We young people – it’s our time to take over. We are going to get there soon. We have a role to play in politics, whether we like it or not. So I think it’s a wonderful initiative and good to have people like us to talk to the people, to gather the people, to deliver our message to them.

19. Peter P-square performing 

Other: Notes to Editors

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.

The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through four main initiatives:

• Ibrahim Index of African Governance

• Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

• Ibrahim Forum

• Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships

Ibrahim Forum

Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Forum is an annual high-level discussion forum tackling issues of critical importance to Africa. The Forum convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to identify specific policy challenges and priorities for action. Previous Forums have dealt with: Africa at the Tipping Point (2017), Urbanisation (2015), Africa in the next 50 years (2013), African Youth (2012), African Agriculture (2011) and African Regional Economic Integration (2010). Data and research on Forum issues are compiled by the Foundation as the basis for informed and constructive debate.

Ibrahim Prize

The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee. Previous Laureates: Hifikipunye Pohamba (2014, Namibia), Presidents Joaquim Chissano (2007, Mozambique), Festus Mogae (2008, Botswana) and Pedro Pires (2011, Cabo Verde). The 2007 Honorary Ibrahim Laureate – President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Contacts:

For more information, please visit: www.moibrahimfoundation.org

You can also follow the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr:

Twitter: @Mo_IbrahimFdn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/moibrahimfoundation.org

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moibrahimfoundation 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moibrahimfoundation/

ENDS

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Receives The Ibrahim Award For Outstanding Leadership In Africa

KIGALI, RWANDA – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former President of Liberia, last night accepted the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership at a special Leadership Ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda.

Speaking to guests from Rwanda and around the world, President Sirleaf said: “As the first woman to receive this awards, it is my hope that women and girls across Africa are inspired to break down barriers, to push back. Where there is a first, there will be a second and a third, and a fourth… My fierce progression towards democratic values, as demonstrated by a successful 2018 transition is reflective of Africa’s quest for democracy. It is a continuum of the continent’s struggle for liberation and freedom. As Nelson Mandela said in March of 1991, ‘I belong to the generation of leaders for whom the achievement of democracy was the defining challenge.’ The trend remains encouraging, as young people empowered by technology demand a right to be heard to be listened to. Africa’s evolution illustrates the strong causal effects between democracy and development.”

The Ibrahim Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is a US$5 million award paid over 10 years, and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.

Presenting the Prize to President Sirleaf, Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the independent Prize Committee, said: “She courageously embraced opponents and fought for generational change, and paved the way for her successor to follow. Her achievements have inspired and given confidence to millions of women, and may I add, men, in public service.”

Praising President Sirleaf, Alassane Ouattara, President of neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire, said: “Since becoming president, clearly you have succeeded in restoring confidence and hope for the Liberian people and under difficult circumstances. You have undertaken courageous institutional and economic reforms. And thanks to you, Liberia is recognized today, throughout Africa and beyond, for your strong and credible democratic institutions.”

Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “It is wonderful to have a winner this year, and it is also wonderful that the winner is a she. How fitting that President Sirleaf is honoured here in Rwanda, as nobody has done more for women, and the gender issue, than Rwanda.”

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, said: “Leadership is both a privilege and a duty. It is best measured in terms of concrete results that citizens can feel in their everyday lives as well as the level of trust that they have in public institutions. During our time in office we must work as hard as we can to do the right things for our people’s future.”

The Leadership Ceremony is at the heart of the 2018 Ibrahim Governance Weekend, the flagship event of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which takes place in a different African country each year. 

Shows:

1. Exterior views of the Kigali Conference Centre

2. Interiors shots and forum hall

3. Former South African Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel walking with former Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

4. Former President of Cape Verde and 2011 Ibrahim Prize laureate Pedro Pires arriving in hall

5. Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf arriving in hall with Rwandan President Paul Kagame

6. Dancers and music

7. Wide shot of Kagame on stage

8. Kagame saying: Leadership is both a privilege and a duty. It is best measured in terms of concrete results that citizens can feel in their everyday lives as well as the level of trust that they have in public institutions.

9. Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, saying: Brothers and sisters, it is wonderful to have a winner this year, and it is also wonderful that the winner is a she. How fitting that President Sirleaf is honoured here in Rwanda, as nobody has done more for women, and the gender issue, than Rwanda. Nobody really addressed the gender issue as comprehensively as this country.

10. Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Outarra on stage

11. Outarra saying: Since becoming president, clearly you have succeeded in restoring confidence and hope for the Liberian people and under difficult circumstances. You have undertaken courageous institutional and economic reforms. And thanks to you, Liberia is recognized today, throughout Africa and beyond, for your strong and credible democratic institutions.  

12. Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the independent Prize Committee speaking about President Sirleaf: She courageously embraced opponents and fought for generational change, and paved the way for her successor to follow. Her achievements have inspired and given confidence to millions of women, in public service. and may I add, not only to women but an inspiration to men.

13. Audience applauding

14. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia and Ibrahim 2017 Prize laureate on stage.

15. Sirleaf saying: As the first woman to receive this awards, it is my hope that women and girls across Africa are inspired to break down barriers, to push back. Where there is a first, there will be a second and a third, and a fourth.

16. Sirleaf saying: My fierce progression towards democratic values, as demonstrated by a successful 2018 transition is reflective of Africa’s quest for democracy. It is a continuum of the continent’s struggle for liberation and freedom. As Nelson Mandela said in March of 1991, “I belong to the generation of leaders for whom the achievement of democracy was the defining challenge.” The trend remains encouraging, as young people empowered by technology demand a right to be heard to be listened to. Africa’s evolution illustrates the strong causal effects between democracy and development.

17. Presidents, former presidents and prize committee members gather on stage

18. Liberian singer Phionah Mbabazi supported by her band and dancers from the Nyundo School of Music

19. Liberian band The Ben performingalso supported by a band from the Nyundo School of Music.   

Other: Notes to Editors

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.

The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through four main initiatives:

• Ibrahim Index of African Governance

• Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

• Ibrahim Forum

• Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships

Ibrahim Forum

Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Forum is an annual high-level discussion forum tackling issues of critical importance to Africa. The Forum convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to identify specific policy challenges and priorities for action. Previous Forums have dealt with: Africa at the Tipping Point (2017), Urbanisation (2015), Africa in the next 50 years (2013), African Youth (2012), African Agriculture (2011) and African Regional Economic Integration (2010). Data and research on Forum issues are compiled by the Foundation as the basis for informed and constructive debate.

Ibrahim Prize

The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee. Previous Laureates: Hifikipunye Pohamba (2014, Namibia), Presidents Joaquim Chissano (2007, Mozambique), Festus Mogae (2008, Botswana) and Pedro Pires (2011, Cabo Verde). The 2007 Honorary Ibrahim Laureate – President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

 

Media releases, photographs and other detailed resources will be available for all media.

You will be able to watch the Broadcast live on the Foundation’s website.

You can follow the Foundation on Twitter: @Mo_IbrahimFdn

Suggested hashtags to comment #MIFKigali

Contacts:

For more information, please visit: www.moibrahimfoundation.org

You can also follow the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr:

Twitter: @Mo_IbrahimFdn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/moibrahimfoundation.org

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moibrahimfoundation 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moibrahimfoundation/

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Overtourism Represents A Potential Hazard To Popular Destinations Worldwide

Story: Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – At it’s Global Summit in Buenos Aires, the WTTC unveiled its new Office of Healthy Tourism, an operation “committed to ensuring that as tourism becomes a larger portion of economies around the world, local people and the communities they live in are the primary beneficiaries.”

At this years Summit, discussions about “overtourism” were held with travel industry CEOs – Arne Sorenson from Marriott, Peter Fankhauser of Thomas Cook, Geoffrey Kent of Abercrombie and Kent Friedrich Joussen of Tui.

 What is overtourism?

In August 2016. Rafat Ali, the CEO and founder of Skift, wrote a foreword to an article about the impact of tourism in Iceland. It was entitled “Foreword: the coming perils of overtourism“.

In this, Ali wrote: “Overtourism represents a potential hazard to popular destinations worldwide, as the dynamic forces that power tourism often inflict unavoidable negative consequences if not managed well.

“In some countries, this can lead to a decline in tourism as a sustainable framework is never put into place for coping with the economic, environmental, and sociocultural effects of tourism. The impact on local residents cannot be understated either.”

Harold Goodwin of Responsible Tourism elaborates in this point, saying: “It is the opposite of responsible tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently.”

Why is overtourism happening now?

On a very basic level, there are more tourists now than ever before.

The world is getting richer, with an ever-growing middle class emerging in developing countries, and many of these people are spending their disposable income on travel. The Brookings Institute recently released data suggesting that the global middle class could currently stand at around 3.7 billion, with another 160 million set to join the group annually for the next five years.

In 2017, international tourist arrivals grew by 7% up to 1.3 billion. The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts that this will continue to grow in 2018, but at a more sustainable pace of 4–5%.

There are a few factors at play here. One is the Chinese market. At the beginning of the 21st century, just 10.5m overseas trips were made by Chinese residents. In 2017, the figure was 145m – an increase of 1,380 per cent. The China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) predicts that overseas trips by the country’s residents will increase to more than 400m by 2030.

Less seismic, but notable nonetheless – there is another group that is contributing to the rise in global tourism: millennials. As a group, 22 to 37 year olds are prioritising experiences over “stuff”. So rather than buying TVs, clothes and getting a mortgage, an entire generation is more interested in spending their money on holidays.

Of course, tourism is a huge player in the global economy and a boom has its positive forces. In 2017, tourism contributed just shy of $8 trillion to the global economy – that’s 10 per cent of the world’s GDP. There are around 300 million workers in the tourism and travel sector, a number that the WTTC predicts could rise to 380 million in the next ten years.

But the fact is that more and more of the world’s top destinations are eliciting the symptoms of chronic overtourism: any combination of overloaded infrastructure, bottlenecks at “must-see sights”, physical damage, the alienation of locals and emergence of tourist traps.

Where are the destinations affected by overtourism?

Venice is the go-to example of a destination sinking under the weight of its own popularity – on Easter Sunday this year it received 125,000 visitors. That’s the same number of tourists that visit entire countries, like Bangladesh, annually.

But Venice is not alone. Dubrovnik, Macchu Picchu, Iceland, Barcelona, Thailand have all made headlines in the last few years for taking action against the negative impact that tourism has brought.

What can be done to stop overtourism?

There is no single solution to the world’s overtourism problem, not least because the problems faced at each destination are completely different.

Some believe that increasing the price of travel will curb the problem. Geoffrey Kent, CEO of Abercrombie and Kent, told Telegraph Travel: “I’ve always said we should charge more. Tourism should be a high yield product, not a cheap product.”

Whether this manifests as higher flight or cruise tickets, tourist taxes or entry fees to destinations, the idea of increasing travel costs to curb international tourism is not a straightforward fix. In doing so we would risk retreating to a world where travel is only available for the rich, not the masses.

Tourist boards have their part to play, too. A serious option could be for them to focus on alternative destinations that would benefit from a tourism boost, simultaneously relieving the strain on the blockbuster sights. An example of this is the North Coast 500, which has brought attention to a corner of the Scottish Highlands that few international tourists previously visited.

Then there are the sharing economy websites, like Airbnb and HomeAway, who have been accused of undercutting hotels while not collecting tourist taxes (where they are required). In cities such as Barcelona, the site has been blamed for the rise in rent prices, as investors move to turn entire buildings into luxury apartments for short-term lets to international visitors.

Shows:

00:00 Soundbite: Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott International

01:44 Soundbite: Peter Fankhauser, CEO Thomas Cook

02:58 Soundbite: Geoffrey Kent, Founder and CEO, Abercrombie & Kent

03:51 Soundbite: Friedrich Joussen, CEO, TUI Group

05:02 File GVs Various Tourist Destinations

Other: Overview of WTTC: 

World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit, where the world leaders in Travel & Tourism come together annually to discuss, debate and align the industry in matters of travel facilitation, policies for growth & importantly look celebrate best practices in environmental sustainability.

The great and the good of Travel & Tourism attending the Council’s Global Summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina include His Excellency Mauricio Macri, President of the Republic of Argentina, HRH Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, film director Francis Ford Coppola, and the presidents and CEOs of major travel companies, airlines, hotels, airports and others from every part of the world.

For more information www.wttc.org

Ends

Apr, 20, 2018

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Industrial-Scale Illegal Poaching Threatens Tourism & Produces Global Response To Save Animals & Communities

Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“There are massive threats to wildlife – perhaps the most immediate threat is coming from the illegal wildlife trade. It’s because it is involved, involving trans-national organised criminal groups, rebel militia – they go in and they poach and smuggle at an industrial scale.” – John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks, defines the problem

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – The issue of illegal poaching and smuggling is set not only to threaten the lives of endangered animals but also kill-off the livelihoods of the communities that rely on wildlife to provider: doctors, schools and jobs.

Travel & tourism has been targeted by lifelong wildlife campaigner, John Scanlon and his words along with a real understanding from ground level operations sparked an industry-wide rally cry to tackle the issue of poaching. With 40 companies & organizations already signed up to a detailed declaration, the travel and tourism sector finds itself on the front line because of the numbers of people it employs on the ground, in the affected remote destinations. Utilizing this intrinsic link to vulnerable communities through education, as well as liaising with government law enforcement, means big business is set to make a major impact in the fight against poachers.

There was a real sense of urgency at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit, which opened April 18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Industry leaders including John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks, Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group, Darrell Wade, Co-Founder and Executive Chair, the Intrepid Group and Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, Geoffrey Kent all appreciated that time was indeed running out for a meaningful response.

John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks, defines the problem:

“There are massive threats to wildlife – perhaps the most immediate threat is coming from the illegal wildlife trade. It’s because it is involved, involving trans-national organised criminal groups, rebel militia – they go in and they poach and smuggle at an industrial scale.” 

Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group, describes how wildlife sits at the heart of travel and tourism:

“I think because travel and tourism, if you look at it – the very heartbeat of travel and tourism is about the environment, it’s about wildlife. These are the attractions that drive a lot of travel and tourism.” 

Darrell Wade, Co-Founder and Executive Chair, the Intrepid Group, explains how the travel & tourism industry has specifically picked poaching as the issue to focus on:

“Wildlife Tourism is an important part of tourism and so there’s a direct link between our interests, as an industry, and the issue of wildlife preservation. And I think certain players in the industry have looked specifically at the issue of poaching and are saying, ‘you know what – we can do something about this.” 

John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks, warns of the direct danger to the travel and tourism sector:

“You’re going to lose the fundamental resource that underpins wildlife-based tourism if we don’t get on and do something about it and you have a fundamental role.”

And describes the draft declaration action which sets out what the sector must do:

“Now what’s so exciting here is the travel and tourism sector did not hesitate. It drafted a declaration, setting out in clear detail what the sector would do. There’s already 40 members that have signed up.” 

Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group, outlines travel and tourism’s commitment to the declaration:

“And it’s really saying, we as the tourist industry have a responsibility here and we can have a positive impact.” 

Geoffrey Kent, Chairman and CEO, Abercrombie & Kent captured the determined mind-set at the Global Summit when he commented:

“You’ve got to be very active and proactive and do real things. People have got to be arrested, people have got to go to jail. We’ve got to stop it because only elephants should wear ivory.” 

Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group, identifies the need for the local community to benefit from action the sector takes:

“That’s where you’ve got to get into this and that’s how you’ve got to be clear to be about setting these things up so that the local communities benefit from what we’re doing.” 

John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks, looks to underline the raft of important services that local communities rely on endangered wildlife to support:

“Giving them access to healthcare, access to education, access to employment, then they become the best protectors of wildlife. They see their development path through wildlife.” 

And his sobering appraise of the situation, comes from a lifetime of gleaning genuine insight into the issue:

“If we don’t stop it now, these animals and plants, they will be lost and they will be lost on our watch – so we have to move now.”

Shows:

00:00 Title Plate

00:07 B-Roll: Poachers Stock Footage

01:09 Soundbite: John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks

01:27 Soundbite: Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group

01:43 Soundbite: Darrell Wade, Co-Founder and Executive Chair, the Intrepid Group

02:06 3 x Soundbites: John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks

02:27 Soundbite: Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group

02:38 Soundbite: Geoffrey Kent, Chairman and CEO, Abercrombie & Kent

02:51 Soundbite: Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group

03:03 Soundbite: John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Park

03:16 Soundbite: John Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Park

03:26 B-Roll: H.E. Mauricio Macri, President of the Republic of Argentina

03:56 GVs WTTC Global Summit Buenos Aires 2018

05:09 B-Roll Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council

05:21 GVs Argentina / Buenos Aires

Other:

Overview of WTTC: 

World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit, where the world leaders in Travel & Tourism come together annually to discuss, debate and align the industry in matters of travel facilitation, policies for growth & importantly look celebrate best practices in environmental sustainability.

The great and the good of Travel & Tourism attending the Council’s Global Summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina include His Excellency Mauricio Macri, President of the Republic of Argentina, HRH Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, film director Francis Ford Coppola, and the presidents and CEOs of major travel companies, airlines, hotels, airports and others from every part of the world.

For more information www.wttc.org

Ends 

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