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Green Tourism Summit 2016

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Our ability to laugh at ourselves as a country must be our greatest attribute yet.

I mean, can you imagine being from Zimbabwe, living in Burundi or coming from Burkina faso? I cant. These are countries without a collective term. I don’t mean the national titles like Zimbabwean or Burundian and what do we call ninjas from Burkina faso anyway? A unanimous and globally acceptable collective name like KOT. Taking a simple title and using less than two hundred characters to cause internet havoc and social chaos. If ever our wit was in doubt, just ask Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. Someome told them alright 😊

Sometimes however, our greatest strengths reveal our deepest weaknesses. See we are a country hungry for success which is a fantastic thing, especially if you are an exponentially growing third world country like Kenya. We have hosted some of the biggest people and events this past year 2015. We have exalted international fora, participated in global discussions, been part of solution finding to international conundrums, played a role in global entrepreneurship spearheading and graciously hosted the leader of the catholic church. Obama was here and brought the rest of the world’s attention to us, something that tends to happen only when we are at loggerheads with one another.

All the afore mentioned events have brought out our zeal for life, zest for prosperity and a keenness for success. These are accoutrement of a nation on the right path as it appears. Yet still we find ourselves in the same old abyss of a grey twilight of our own problems. Its not enough that we host the leaders who wield influence across the entire world.it doesn’t suffice to tweet and retweet and send mismatched delegations to international events. COP21 for instance was a great platform to discuss sustainability. The international community came in armed to the teeth.kenya and like coloured friends of hers showed up hoping to discuss the problems facing them. The programme did not play to an African audience and the final report involved an African cry of feeling left out.

I’m not surprised. We are like the neighbours who own a lawn mower, leave the lawn unmowed, find the neighbour lawn spotless then shriek at the possibility of that.

Its not that we cannot gather in a room and discuss our kind of issues and come up with our kind of solutions. We can. Take sustainability for instance. And sustainable tourism to be precise. If nobody boarded a plane to waste tax payers’ money to attend an international summit, we could still solve our sustainability puzzles. Enter the Green Tourism Summit.

The #gtske216 is this year’s hash tag for the Green Tourism Summit. You might be hearing about this here for the first time.

That says something about the stuff you read on this blog.

It’s fresh and engaging and thought provoking. Let’s hope it stirs an action from your end as well.

Listen up Kisumu, get over the Naam festival hangover and listen close.

This is the second year for the green tourism summit. It is a sustainability driven forum that brings together East Africa and the international community in one room for a common purpose to drive the sustainable tourism conversation.

Green tourism is a reality and it is possible.

“Come share, learn, debate, and review all aspects of green practices from architectural designs to conservation and community engagement, including green service delivery and products” is this year’s summit commitment. Last years agenda was entombed under the rally call “one billion travellers-one planet-consume with care”.

Kisumu being a fast growing tourism destination (I still don’t see why just now, but I celebrate the cadence even more, fast), this is a summit convention you cannot afford to miss as a tourism practitioner, nature lover, environmentalist, traveller or a sustainability champion. Last year’s summit was graciously presided over by the indefatigable Judy Kepher Gona, the director for Sustainable tourism and travel agenda. The chief guest was the county director for tourism Nairobi county Hon. Anna Othoro.

The summit tackled a number of issues that hamper sustainability, the myths surrounding sustainable development and the half truths practiced by irresponsible travel. The speakers came from the larger tourism industry including a host of presentations among them Education for Sustainable Development. Nurturing Kenya’s youth for a Green Economy, Partnerships for Sustainable Destinations, Embracing Green in Hotels & Lodges, Green Tourism Trends, and Sense of place & Community Sustainability: Guidelines for Success and an endless list of engaging conversations and tenable solutions.

Now I know Kisumu is the next tourism hub. If prevention is better than cure, then this is the forum to attend and participate in. This is the armoury for the weapons you will need to arm yourself against irresponsible consumption of your rich natural resources and undeniable natural beauty. If you do nothing else top lay your part in achieving sustainability, then attend the Green Tourism Summit 2016.it takes place this June between the 16th and the 17th.

Mark your calendars Kisumu.

Ps: registration is ongoing and the amazing team at STTA constantly updates information on their Social platforms.

Like the pages Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda on Facebook and follow them on twitter @STTA Kenya, for more information.

Do you have anything else to add? Write it in the comment box below:

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