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          World Leaders in Sustainable Tourism See Tourism Industry Play Ever Greater Role in the Global Sustainability Movement

          The third conference of the Long Run Initiative was held at Long Run Destination Segera Retreat, Laikipia, bringing together global leaders of the industry from countries as far apart as Costa Rica, Sweden and the USA, to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges facing sustainable tourism and explore ways to expand its influence and impact in creating a sustainable future. 

          The theme of the conference, Positioning Sustainable Tourism for Global Change’, paved way for discussions on the impact of terrorism on tourism - which affects all countries around the world - and the need for measured responses from governments in responding to these if tourism is not to be undermined. 

          Mr. Jochen Zeitz, founder of the Long Run Initiative and Chairman of the conference welcomed the participants with a walk around Segera Retreat and highlighted the need for collaboration within the tourism industry in promoting sustainable practices.

          Dr. Liz Rihoy, the Executive Director of the Zeitz Foundation, noted in her opening remarks that, despite the terrorist attack that happened just a week before the conference, the participants were undeterred in seeking solutions to sustainable tourism practices.

          The three day conference concentrated on the advancement of sustainability goals and the role of tourism industry in conserving natural areas, alleviating poverty, enhancing education, and improving the health and well-being of local communities - topics that promote the 4Cs philosophy of the Zeitz Foundation. The conference also seized the opportunity to further discuss policies and practices benefiting businesses and communities by leveraging the reach and power of sustainable tourism.

          In the day log discussions, in several sessions, partcipants stimulated generation of new ideas and creative solutions for driving the sustainability agenda globally. The day culminated with a game drive and a safari walk at Segera Retreat Long Run Destination.

          Mr. Mohammad Rafiq, Director of The Long Run facilitated the conference that recognized that the international tourism industry is one of the biggest employers and drivers of the global economy, and if managed sustainably, it can benefit not only the tourism destination itself, but also strengthen national economies and local livelihoods, address environmental and conservation challenges and support the cultural heritage and traditional practices of local communities. This is demonstrated nowhere more so than in Kenya, where tourism is the largest employer and one of the major contributors to national and local economies.

          The conference concluded with several recommendations, important being the call from the world leaders in sustainable tourism to better leverage the reach and influence of tourism industry for shaping the global sustainability movement and securing the world’s future.

          The Long Run Initiative ensures that sustainable tourism practises are adopted globally through the holistic framework of the 4C’s – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce - which all members put into practise. 

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