Responsible Tourism Developments January 2017

  1. 1st India Responsible Tourism Awards presented in Delhi
  2. Princess Cruises fined £32m for dumping waste oil off Britain
  3. Does Volunteering in an Orphanage Create a Demand for Child Trafficking?
  4. Airbnb bans illegal long lets
  5. The Robin Hood Restaurant in Madrid 
  6. Selfies and Holocaust Memorials – irresponsible and unacceptable
  7. Ethical Consumers growing in number
  8. Wheelchair Accessible Gondola
  9. Sustainable Development for Rural Development Conference Bergamo. Italy 
  10. Over Tourism is the Emerging Issue 

 

 

  1. 1st India Responsible Tourism Awards presented in Delhi
    The India Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family which in addition to the global awards and India includes awards programmes in Ireland and Africa. The presentations were made at the India Responsible Tourism Summit in Delhi on January 19th. The overall winners were the Snow Leopard Conservancy and Planet Abled. All the Gold and Silver winners and the judges’ reasons are published here.
  2. Princess Cruises fined £32m for dumping waste oil off Britain
    The US Department of Justice reported in December that “Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (Princess) has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. Princess will pay a $40 million penalty– the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution – and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil-contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship.” Princess is a  Carnival Corporation ship, Carnival owns and operates multiple cruise lines and collectively comprises the world’s largest cruise company. “As part of the plea agreement with Princess, cruise ships from eight Carnival cruise line companies (Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line N.V., Seabourn Cruise Line Ltd. and AIDA Cruises) will be under a court-supervised Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) for five years. The ECP will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court-appointed monitor.” A newly hired employee blew the whistle on a magic pipe which had been specially installed “to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England.  The whistleblowing engineer quit his position when the ship reached Southampton, England.  The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie.” More

  3. Does Volunteering in an Orphanage Create a Demand for Child Trafficking?
    “My research argues that the recruitment of children with biological families into orphanages for the purpose of orphanage tourism should be regarded as a form of child trafficking under international law.” Australian legal scholar Kathryn E van Doore shares a summary of her recent article, “Paper orphans: Exploring child trafficking for the purpose of orphanages,” which appeared in the International Journal of Children’s Rights.
  4. Airbnb bans illegal long lets
    The Times reports that nearly half of all Airbnb properties are let by professional landlords, in October The Times reported that “an increasing number of landlords were using the website to let their properties on short-term rentals, reducing the stock of housing in the long-term rental market and driving up prices.” From January Airbnb has said that it will not allow homeowners to let entire properties for more than 90 days a year unless they had proof of planning permission. As The Times pointed out “The cap applies only to London but opens the door for other cities to impose similar rules.” In Barcelona Airbnb and HomeAway have been heavily fined for continuing to offer lodging that doesn’t have the necessary permits.  more 
  5. The Robin Hood Restaurant in Madrid
    The Robin Hood Restaurant has become quite a hotspot — the restaurant has poached staff from luxury hotels and celebrity chefs are lining up to work there once a week. The restaurant feeds more than 100 needy people each night, in two shifts. The restaurant opened in early December, and is run by an 80-year-old Catholic priest, Ángel García Rodriguez, whom everyone knows simply as “Padre Ángel.” “I want them to eat with the same dignity as any other customer,” Father Ángel says. “And the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation.” more

  6. Selfies and Holocaust Memorials – irresponsible and unacceptable
    We are a world of selfie takers and they have invaded every part of life. But is there ever a time when they shouldn’t be taken? That’s the view of Israeli satirist and author Shahak Shapira who has created a website to show why such selfies are so distasteful. He’s taken people’s selfies from instagram, Tinder, Grindr and Facebook and used them to create a blend to show how ridiculous the selfies would look if taken in the aftermath of the death camps. The pictures are shocking.  Shapira’s work has made an impact
    “The page was visited by over 2.5 million people. The crazy thing is that the project actually reached all 12 people who’s selfies were presented. Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram profiles.” Read what the people whose selfies were satirised have said. 

  7. Ethical Consumers growing in number
    The Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever has studied 20,000 consumers from five countries and found that 33% “would “actively choose” to buy brands they believed were doing social or environmental good. … More than one in five said that they would buy a brand that made its sustainability credentials clear on the packaging and in the marketing.” Unilever said that their survey “confirmed that consumers held high expectations that brands should have a positive social and environmental impact but also showed “an unprecedented opportunity for companies that get it right.” more
    The study surveyed 20,000 from five different countries including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, the United States and India, about their sustaina­bility concerns and how they impact their choices in-store and at home. “21% of the people surveyed said they would actively choose brands if they made sustaina­bility credentials clearer on packaging and marketing”
    “The trend for purpose-led purchasing is greater in emerging economies. 53% in the UK and 78% in the US said they would feel better about buying products that are sustainably produced, while Brazil and Turkey were at 85% and India was at 88%. India, Brazil and Turkey, which fall into the emerging markets category, perhaps feel stronger about sustaina­bility due to direct exposure of unsustainable business practices, such as water and energy shortages as well as food poverty and poor air quality. While countries such as the US and the UK feel more from social scrutiny.” More|
  8. Wheelchair Accessible Gondola
    Gondolas4all gave its first ride last April in Venice.  “We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do,” says Dalla Pietà, simply. “For a wheelchair user, arriving in Venice can be like landing on the moon. We wanted to make a statement: That if we could make a gondola, of all things, accessible, you can make anything accessible. You just have to use your brain.” more
  9. Sustainable Development for Rural Development Conference Bergamo. Italy
    15-17 February 2017. Bergamo, Italy. Rural Tourism is already an important part of the European tourism sector. But many assets and resources for recreation in rural areas are yet not used, or remain undetected. This conference is a step to broaden the view and unleash the full rural potential for leisure through a holistic approach that includes hospitality, food, gastronomy, culture, active tourism, and any other relevant aspects. More
  10. Over Tourism is the Emerging Issue
    Overtourism has emerged as a major issue in 2016 and will feature strongly at WTM London in November. Fáilte Ireland is recognising that they are not tackling these issues to satisfy some external sustainability agenda, but rather to ensure the durability of the Wild Atlantic Way itself and to maintain its own ‘production capability’. More

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Harold Goodwin blogs regularly on the  WTM Responsible Tourism Blog
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