Delegates at the 2010Travel Convention in Malta will be told the travel industry is at the “epicentre” of two of the world’s greatest challenges: climate change and the economic crisis.

Leo Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers partner in the accountancy firm’s sustainability and climate change team, said travel was likely to be more heavily taxed in the future.

ABTA Travel Convention logoHe said policymakers would have to weigh up the need to address climate change by curtailing travel, while also encouraging travel to stimulate international commerce.

“We are on a knife-edge. We have two unresolved issues, the credit crisis and the climate crisis, and the travel industry sits at the epicentre of both of them.

“The question is, how do we navigate this uncertainty: what are the risks, the opportunities, the possible scenarios? Will the green agenda be the driver of future growth and competitiveness?”

Johnson said the previous government had set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and that companies would be offered incentives to embrace green policies.

“The fact is that we have to make the transition to a low carbon economy – that is unavoidable – although it is hard to find a substitute for the unique opportunities international travel offers.”

Registration for the Travel Convention is open and Abta organisers have said demand is very strong. A reduced fee is available until July 18.

The event will take place at the Hilton Malta Conference Centre in St Julians on October 18-20.