Responsible Tourism News November 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

This is the new format of Responsible Tourism News published at the end of each month, a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important stories of the month. Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can register for a copy here. If you wish to contribute a story email Harold(at)HaroldGoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page. 

1. World Responsible Tourism Awards

This year the judges wanted to recognise two very different category winners Campo and Parque de Sonhos and South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance for the overall award. The Sanctuary Alliance for demonstrating that animal attractions can liberate previously captive wildlife and, without petting or exploitation, be commercially successful. Parque de Sonhos for demonstrating that truly inclusive tourism can enhance the adventure activity experiences for everyone and enable families and friends to share their leisure and the experiences. Both winners demonstrate that it is possible to address the rights agenda, to swim against the tide, and to be commercially successful. Read the reasoning behind the decisions of the judges.

Read what the winners say – it was unexpected and a real pleasure to receive this
The World Responsible Tourism Awards are in a class above all other awards. They are given to those with vision. These awards cannot be bought. The judges are giants in their fields, and research each nomination in depth. It doesn’t matter if a candidate is a big company or a tiny one, well-known or obscure, from a rich country or a poor one. These awards are judged on merit alone.

For many of us, winning a World Responsible Tourism Award is a landmark moment that will never be forgotten. To be recognised internationally by such a discerning and respected panel is a dream come true.

We have come together to express our gratitude to you – for your voluntary time, for your commitment to sustainable travel and to a better world. Following is a short piece from each of us explaining what this award means to us and how the future has unfolded for us since this award.” Read more

2. The Responsible Tourism Programme at WTM London

The World Responsible Tourism Programme is now in its eighth year at WTM. There were 12 events over all four days of the show with 55 speakers, attracting 2000+ participants, exchanging knowledge and debating how best to achieve sustainability in travel and tourism. The WTM London programme is the largest Responsible Tourism event of the year and it plays a major role in setting the agenda. Most of the sessions were videoed, for a few we have only sound recordings – the recordings can be accessed here.  Read more about the panels and debates

3. Major Funding for Sustainable Tourism: UNEP Launches 10 YFP Programme

“The 10YFP Programme on Sustainable Tourism including Eco-Tourism catalyzes changes in tourism operations. It promotes transformation for sustainability through efficiency, innovation and adaptability. The Programme will support evidence-based decision-making; adopt a life cycle approach for continuous improvement, emphasize collaboration among stakeholders and results-based project implementation. Objectives of the Programme

  • Integrating sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns in tourism related policies and frameworks
  • Collaboration among stakeholders for the improvement of the tourism sector´s SCP performance
  • Fostering the application of guidelines, instruments and technical solutions to prevent and mitigate tourism impacts and to mainstream SCP patterns among tourism stakeholders
  • Enhancing sustainable tourism investment and financing                                                                    More

4. The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC was published at the beginning of November

An almost eerie silence greeted the publication of this major synthesis of the science on climate change – three Working Groups reported on the physical science basis of climate change; an assessment of the impacts adaptation, and vulnerability; and an assessment of the mitigation of climate change. The story is the same as the one we have heard before but with much more detail. There is no comfort to be found within the report for the climate change deniers. The reports are on-line. There was almost no mention of the challenge of climate change at WTM and the panel of efficient resource use which addressed carbon and water was the least well attended – we shall return to the issue in November 2015, in advance of the major international effort to secure agreement for action in Paris in December. The BBC has a summary available here.

5. USA & China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Green Energy Co-operation

There are some grounds for optimism in that the USA and China, who between them account for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, have signed an agreement for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which could lead the way to more positive outcomes in Paris in December 2015. Read more

6. Almost 90% of business leaders say that RT is important to their business

The World Travel Market (WTM) 2014 Industry Report of a survey of 1,229 UK industry executives revealed that more than 60% of respondents said that responsible tourism will increase over the next three years, 30% say it will increase significantly and 86% perceived sustainability to be important to their business. Read more

7. TUI UK & Ireland awarded full Travelife Certification

TUI UK & Ireland has become the first UK travel company to be fully certified by Travelife and Jane Ashton Director of Group Sustainable Development for TUI Travel PLC. Jane was presented with the certificate by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the Responsible Tourism Networking event at WTM. TUI UK & Ireland have pushed hard down their supply chain encouraging many businesses to seek certification, they have submitted themselves to the same testing process and passed. Read more        Video of the award being presented.

8. The Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Studies becomes an ICRT

KITTS, run under the auspices of the state of Kerala, in southern India, has become an International Centre for Responsible Tourism , joining a family of ICRTs working together in research, teaching and advocacy to further the idea of Responsible Tourism which emerged from the Cape Town Conference in 2002. Harold Goodwin signed the agreement on behalf of the network at the Responsible Tourism Networking event at WTM. The hub ICRT is based in the UK and is independent of any particular university affiliation.

9. Report on Child Protection 

The UNWTO Have just produced a report on 15 years of work Child Protection with examples of good practices – download a copy

10. Water crisis in Sao Paulo, Brazil

There are increasingly urgent reports about the seriousness of water shortages affecting Sao Paulo, heavily dependent on hydro-electric power the city of 20 million plus could face a serious crisis – already there are reports that some parts of the city have had now water rationing since February and the pipes ran dry at the beginning of November Read more  The city began using it second emergency water reserve 10 days ago, there is only two months guaranteed supply remaining, and it is not raining hard enough to replenish the reservoirs. Read more