Moraine Lake in Banff, Alberta

BANFF, Alta. — The Banff Centre is presenting the first annual Purposeful Travel Summit on Feb. 14 and 15. The Purposeful Travel Summit will launch a new era in travel that integrates sustainability, education and a passion to promote travel, and explore the key values of people, planet, place and pace.

Hosted by Joe Pavelka, professor of Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership at Mount Royal Summit, the summit will feature Megan Epler Wood who is the principal instructor and managing director of Cornell University’s Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program, and has recently launched a new online program on Sustainable Tourism Destination Management. Her work on the “Invisible Burden”, the unaccounted-for costs to manage tourism, demonstrates that tourism is frequently undermining the quality of the environment and socio-cultural systems of the people and places where tourism development is the most common.

Additionally, TV host and travel writer, Rick Steves, will deliver a digital keynote address during the summit based on his extensive experience and belief that travel creates better global citizens. The summit will also dive into the ways of being more sustainable by reducing greenhouse-gas emission, more impactful by delivering rejuvenation through wellness travel and more encouraging around storytelling to make the world a better place.

There will also be a pre-summit workshop on February 13 called the Introduction to Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations, which is designed for participants to better understand the truth of Canada’s shared history with Indigenous peoples. The workshop is optional, and open to all participants free of charge.

“Purposeful Travel as a concept is inclusive, so this summit is designed to appeal to tourism industry professionals, academics, and students,” says Pavelka. “It is also open to essential tourism collaborators such as local governments, non-governmental organizations and of course community members who are residents in and around tourism regions.”


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