Lee Choon Loong, Conference Convenor, World Ecotourism Conference 2011



None of us really know what the future holds. But one thing is certain. Change is happening all around us. By discussing, planning and managing our resources, we can influence change; and I am inviting you to join us as we begin the process to determine the directions for the future of ecotourism in Asia.

We must ask ourselves what trends will shape our future?. What challenges and opportunities will we face?. What should we, the global ecotourism fraternity strive to accomplish? And what the best steps forward?

As our climate, economic and political conditions change, we must be able to deal with those external factors while continuing to champion and support the development and advancement of ecotourism, be it building human capacity, embracing sustainability, alleviating rural poverty or driving socio-economic development.

Top on the list of many aspirations is the development of next generation's strategic plan for the growth of ecotourism and to reset the course trapped in a "low price, low impact" business model to one that is "high price, high value" yet "low cost and low impact". The plan will reassess and renew our vision and goals; and this in turn will drive our efforts and strengthen our cooperation, collaboration and partnerships.

We seek to develop visionary and strategic plans in a way that we have good options to meet future challenges and the analysis to support strong and bold decisions. We will include inputs from the global network of ecotourism experts and researchers, draw experiences from competent professionals and listen to diverse stakeholder communities.

I invite you to think imaginatively, broadly and innovatively. Draw on your personal and professional experiences. Unleash your passion, hopes and ideas .... and participate actively.

You can make a difference by contributing and sharing your knowledge and experiences, and helping us in identifying the pivotal challenges, setting our priorities and generating the benefits that this annual World Ecotourism Conference can bring to the industry and society in general.

I look forward to meeting you at the 3rd World Ecotourism Conference and I thank you for contributing as well as helping to chart the future of ecotourism in Asia.

I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the host, the Government of Cambodia and wish everyone a pleasant stay in this enticing Kingdom of Wonder!

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." ~Betty Reese


Yours sincerely,

Lee Choon Loong

Conference Convenor WEC2011