Sustainable conferences, a novel tool for tourism:
Opinions from participants, organizers and other stakeholders
As part of the Sustainable Conferences and Events project, AKTI Project and Research Centre, in collaboration with the Tourism Organisation Top Kinisis, conducted a field survey during January and February 2020, with the aim of recording the views and suggestions of stakeholders on the subject of sustainable conferences.
A sector in which Cyprus has significant growth potential is that of conferences. Conventional conferences organized in Cyprus, but also worldwide, have environmental, social and economic implications, which participants and organisers are often not aware of.
Sustainable development is more relevant now than ever following the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic impact. The recovery of the Tourism Industry will be particularly difficult, with countries using all the means at their disposal to salvage this sector of their economy.. Cyprus needs new tourism ‘tools’ such as sustainable conferences. However, crisis-resistant infrastructure must first be created, and a clear sustainability course must be set, giving our country a competitive advantage. It is exactly this goal that makes this survey and this project relevant and timely.
The survey recorded the views and suggestions of stakeholders, i.e. professionals and individuals in decision-making positions, as well as people who attended conferences in Cyprus in recent years, regarding the sustainability level of conferences organised in Cyprus. The survey aimed at a qualitative evaluation of the responses that were obtained via online targeted questionnaires and personal interviews.
All, (100%) of respondents state that sustainable conferences are an important tool for improving theCypriot tourism product; 68% acknowledge that there is significant ignorance about the environmental impact of conventional conferences; 67% are unaware of the positive benefits of conferences that apply sustainability practices, while 62% agree with the introduction of “green” waste management practices at conferences and a reduction in the use of plastics.
Main research results
The research showed that there is a general interest for sustainable conferences, but at the same time there is a lack of awareness. Indicatively, the interviewed stakeholders associated the word “sustainability” exclusively with environmental protection, ignoring the social and economic aspects of sustainability and sustainable conferences. For more information visit: www.akti.org.cy/portfolio/sustainable-conferences-and-events
More information about the project:
The Sustainable Conferences and Events project is co-funded by national and European resources under the RESTART 2016-2020 program by the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) and aims to upgrade the Cypriot conference tourism sector and make Cyprus a more attractive destination for the organisation of European and international conferences. The project consortium consists of the Tourism Organisation Top Kinisis and AKTI Project and Research Centre. The project has a duration of two years (2019-2021).
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