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A panel of leading tourism and biodiversity experts will meet in China on World Tourism Day (WTD) to explore the synergies between tourism, biodiversity and sustainable development in an event marking the official celebrations of WTD 2010 (27 September).

WTD, is held this year under the theme ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’, in support of the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. China, one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries and a major tourism destination, will lead the 2010 official WTD celebrations.

The High Level Dialogue on Tourism, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the host of the WTD celebrations, will debate issues ranging from the economic value of biodiversity for tourism, to how to integrate biodiversity protection into planning for sustainable tourism.

Participants include representatives from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); the President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the CEO of Six Senses Resorts; as well as the Ministers of Tourism of China, Kenya and Malaysia.

The conclusions of the High Level Dialogue will be presented to the tenth Conference of the Parties to the CBD as part of UNWTO’s contribution to the post-2010 targets of the CBD (Nagoya, Japan, 18-29 October).

The official WTD celebrations, organized by UNWTO, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Guangdong Province, are held in conjunction with the Guangdong International Tourism and Culture Festival and also include a road parade for WTD Celebrations and the Asian Games and a photo exhibition along the streets of Guangzhou, featuring photos from this year’s WTD photo competition.

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