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Responsible Tourism News August 2014

August 1, 2014
Harold Goodwin
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Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

The Draft of the Next IPCC Report is More Pessimistic

The New York Times has seen a copy of the late draft of next IPCC report sent to governments for review and due to be published in November after a final editing session in Copenhagen.
the new draft highlights the urgency of the risks that are likely to be intensified by continued emissions of heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide released by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
The report found that companies and governments had identified reserves of these fuels at least four times larger than could safely be burned if global warming is to be kept to a tolerable level.
From 1970 to 2000, global emissions of greenhouse gases grew at 1.3 percent a year. But from 2000 to 2010, that rate jumped to 2.2 percent a year, the report found, and the pace seems to be accelerating further in this decade.
A major part of the jump was caused by industrialization in China, which now accounts for half the world’s coal use. Those emissions are being incurred in large part to produce goods for consumption in the West.”
“The draft report found that past emissions, and the failure to heed scientific warnings about the risks, have made large-scale climatic shifts inevitable. But lowering emissions would still slow the expected pace of change, the report said, providing critical decades for human society and the natural world to adapt.”
Read more 

SeaWorld, Blackfish and Consumer Power 

A significant reduction in ticket sales at SeaWorld has resulted in falling profits and a serious decline in stock market value. The importance of consumer engagement through the extensive use of social media cannot be ignored by the industry. Social media empowers consumers; individual decisions not to purchase experiences which make consumers feel uncomfortable are amplified and spread through social media . SeaWorld has experienced reduced ticket sales and discounted heavily to seek to maintain numbers. “SeaWorld said on Aug. 13 that its parks welcomed about 600,000 fewer visitors in the quarter that ended June 30, and overall revenue fell 3.4 percent to $411.3 million.” In May 2014 SeaWorld’s shares were trading at $38.88, on August 29th they were trading at $29.59. SeaWorld asserts that they “can attribute no attendance impact at all to the movie,” and they deny their critics case. Nevertheless visitor numbers are down 600,000 and their stock is down $9.29. Read more

Naked Italian Tourists Spark Protests in Barcelona

Reports of naked tourists in La Barceloneta neighbourhood on 15th August were accompanied by photographs in the press. "We're tired of low-cost, drunken tourism," said Oriol Casabella, who leads the La Barceloneta neighbourhood association. "It's killing our neighbourhood and dissuading other types of tourists. It's Magaluf all over again." Barcelona had 1.7m tourists in 1990 and more than 7.4m in 2012. There are a mere 72 licensed tourist rentals in La Barceloneta, but there are many more unlicensed lets and residents have begun to confront the owners demanding that they cease this illegal business. "Imagine that you're in a tiny house, with three children, unemployed with no money for vacations and you have to put up with the screams and fiesta of tourists next door. It's unbearable," said resident Andrés Antebi. Read more in The Guardian

Elephants and tourism - right or wrong?

responsibletravel.com has published a review of the ethical issues around elephant rides following consultations with NGOs, experts and tour operators who offer trips through responsibletravel.com. It will no longer promote elephant riding trips – Justin Francis explains why they’ve published “We believe endangered elephants will continue to be taken from the wild as long as tourist demand for such activities remains in place, and chains and unethical training methods will continue to be used to control the elephants around tourists.” Read the guide online Geoff Manchester, Co-Founder & Director at Intrepid Travel will be on the Better Wildlife Tourism - Whose Responsibility? panel at WTM talking about Intrepid’s policy on elephant rides.

Webinars on Reducing Food Waste for Hotels

According to UNEP, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. In the UK alone, this is estimated to cost hospitality businesses £2.5bn a year. With a few simple steps a hotel or restaurant can save money, reduce its impact on the environment and often support community initiatives. Tying in with Green Hotelier’s Talking Point on Food Waste in September, the International Tourism Partnership and Considerate Hoteliers are conducting free webinars on how to reduce food waste, and cost, in hotels, and better manage food waste. For more information and to register.

Entry Fee for Venice?

Italy's undersecretary of culture, Ilaria Borletti, is reported as having said that tourists should pay an entrance for the privilege of visiting the UNESCO listed World Heritage city as increasing numbers of tourists are opting for a quick day trip to avoid the costs of staying in the city. Only one third of Venice’s tourists stay in a hotel. The director of the hotels’ association is reported to back the idea but the governor of the Veneto region, which surrounds (and includes) Venice, opposes the idea “"We have to guarantee access to Venice to all social classes… The idea of a Venice becoming an "exclusive club" for a few tourists is shameful and disgusting." Read more in The Telegraph

Marriott Sustainability Report shows 10%+ reduction in water and energy usage since 2007

The Green Hotels Global tool used by Marriott International worldwide was made a brand standard in 2013. The tool tracks the environmental footprint of each hotel in the company’s portfolio, including water and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling and over 100 property-level environmental practices. against a 2007 baseline, including a nearly 13 percent decrease in water intensity, 11 percent decrease in energy intensity, and a 12 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions intensity. One of Marriott’s key environmental goals is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy and water intensity by 2020 – commendable though this is it does not achieve the rate of progress which the IPCC says is essential if we are to avoid an increase in average global temperatures of +2°C. Read more

Only 2.5% of visitors to Australia offset their carbon emissions

Research by Griffith University reveals that only 2.5% of visitors to Australia offset the carbon emissions from their flights in 2010, down from 2.7% in 2009. This may be because travellers recognise that carbon offsetting is a defective instrument or because they don’t care. Read more

Cruise industry regulation on the agenda in Washington

Senator Rockefeller is promoting a bill on new cruise line regulations to improve consumer safety and security in the wake of several high-profile incidents. USA Today cites a “15-year-old autistic girl sexually assaulted. A mother who collapsed in front of her daughter and eventually died because she couldn't get timely medical treatment. A woman stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for days in unsanitary conditions with more than 2,500 other distraught passengers.” Read more

New Handbook on Sustainable Tourism Planning

GIZ has published a new Handbook on Sustainable Tourism Planning on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The handbook is based on years of experience in working on issues of sustainable tourism development, and critical reflection brought together in a practical tool. Download a copy 

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