1 March 2003

Tunisia: Djerba to Host WTO International Conference

Tunis — The World Travel Organization (WTO) has chosen Djerba to host an international conference on April 10 and 11 on climate change and tourism, a choice of venue that reconfirms the respect for Tunisia's approach to sustainable tourism and its active role within the WTO.

Tourism has witnessed a progressive development over the last few decades, a trend that the WTO forecasts will continue, with major changes already observed both in offer and demand. In order to maintain this dynamic, the world's tourist industry needs to meet several challenges, amongst them climate change. The causes and effects of climate are many and complex and its repercussions already visible in a number of tourist resorts, particularly in coastal areas and islands and areas effected by drought and floods.

The problems facing tourist resorts and their perspectives for the future will be examined in greater detail in the WTO conference, the principal aim of which is to increase awareness amongst governments, tourism professionals and operators to the problems of climatic change. The conference seeks to make an assessment, define an approach for overcoming the problems and finding appropriate solutions.

The conference will be bringing together 120 international experts and a large number of WTO members and representatives and international bodies such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, World Meteorological Organization United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee

Amongst the themes to be dealt with in greater detail are Tourism and Hydraulic resources, Tourism and small islands and coastal zones, Tourism and mountains regions and the scope for action and the effects of climate change.

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