Roads are all set leading to Silang, Cavite, Philippines where 24 nations and the visiting public will converge for the world’s first green travel mart and festival.
The International Ecotourism Travel Mart (IETM) is slated to be held from March 29,2023 to April 2, 2023 at the lush Silang, Cavite grounds of the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST), which organizes this historic travel mart, exhibit, forum, and festival that is presented by the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN).
IETM is held in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), PhilExport, and Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Masaru Takayama, president of the AEN, announced that ecotourism players and advocates from Asian countries as well as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica have confirmed their participation for this multi-faceted event with the theme “Embracing Authentic Ecotourism: An Ecotourism Festival”.
Asian participants are from Indonesia, Japan, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Korea, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and the Philippines.
Takayama noted the timeliness of the holding of the first IETM, which is a few months after the 20th anniversary of the first celebration of the International Year of Ecotourism set by the United Nations in 2002. Takayama stated that “ecotourism is the star of sustainable tourism”, and that much has taken place to put forward Sustainable Development Goals through the spread of best practices in ecotourism.
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity will lead the two-day IETM Ecotourism Forum, which will feature seasoned experts from the tourism and biodiversity sector to discuss topics related to ecotourism and environment. The ACB’s participation in the IETM is an effort to mainstream biodiversity considerations in the tourism sector to highlight the need to ensure that tourism sites and the biological resources within these areas are conserved, properly managed, and sustainably used. “With the International Ecotourism Travel Mart 2023, we hope to help jumpstart sustainable economic recovery in the region with the promotion of a greener and biodiversity conscious tourism industry,” says Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, ACB executive director.
“Forum participants benefit from the vital sharing of noted experts, practitioners, advocates, professionals, and planners, on the beginnings, the current situation and best practices, and the future of ecotourism,” states Dr. Mina T. Gabor, president of the ISST and an internationally acclaimed advocate for the practice of authentic ecotourism which conserves natural environment and uplifts lives of communities, including indigenous groups, around the sites.
Biodiversity-based products, delicacies, artwork, and other locally made products from various communities from different countries will be up for grabs in this green trade fair.