After Paris, Vannes, Clermont-Ferrand and Lyon, the 5th Edition of the Universités du tourisme durable (Universities for Sustainable Tourism) takes place in La Rochelle on the 3rd and 4th October with the main theme being "ZERO": zero emissions, zero impact, zero carbon footprint etc. It couldn't have come at a better time!
Through a combination of factors, the Universities for Sustainable Tourism are coming together at the same moment as La Rochelle being named an award-winner in the national Territoires d'Innovations (regions of innovation) call for projects. The perfect inspirational and welcoming location for the event, organised by the ATD Association (Acteurs du Tourisme Durable - Actors in Sustainable Development), the primary network of professionals committed to sustainable development, along with Charentes Tourisme and Excelia Group, more precisely Excelia's La Rochelle Tourism & Hospitality School.
Unique in France, the Universities for Sustainable Tourism bring together the main actors in tourism around the issue of sustainable development within the industry. This is essential given that France expects to welcome some 100 million tourists in 2020. Together, speakers and participants have therefore debated the solutions which exist for moving towards activities of zero emissions, zero waste, zero cars, etc.
Conversely, but still with the same objective of sustainability, consideration of systems which aim for 100% have also been highlighted: 100% local, accessible and autonomous. The 3rd October will be dedicated to workshops and roundtables, and the 4th October will be more nomadic to include educational fam trips around the region, in search of sustainable initiatives.