The 2017 World Whale Conference, sponsored by Virgin Holidays and hosted by the Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau and eThekwini Municipality, will focus on promoting responsible whale and dolphin tourism. The conference will unite national, regional and global stakeholders from cetacean conservation and welfare backgrounds, the whale watching industry, as well as travel and tourism companies. Delegates will hear from speakers, discuss and share evidence, to better understand how we can improve and ensure the protection of cetaceans in southern Africa and worldwide. In addition, delegates will participate in themed workshops and see the work already underway locally to protect cetaceans.
Whale Heritage Site Summit
Following the conference, the summit will give the Whale Heritage Site candidates a chance to showcase their destinations to representatives from tourist destinations, international institutions and the private sector, along with global experts in tourism, sustainability and whale watching. Delegates will then discuss and explore opportunities for the development of new sites, and networks of sites, in Africa and beyond.
Dylan Walker, CEO of the World Cetacean Alliance who are organising the conference said:
“This conference is for everybody interested in marine conservation and ecotourism. The WCA is encouraging interested parties globally, including stakeholders across Africa, to participate in discussions to help protect and celebrate cetaceans and their habitats. As an international partnership it is very important for us to reach out to our African colleagues and welcome them to this important event. We have been hugely impressed with Kwazulu-Natal, its friendly people, and its focus on conservation and sustainability – all key ingredients for this conference and summit.”