1. World Responsible Tourism Day Wednesday 8th November
2. Survey – what are the major Responsible Tourism issues?
3. Orphanages, trafficking and slavery
4. The Code has tightened its rules on voluntourism
5. Venezia Unica, launched the #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign
6. Responsible Tourism campaigning in China
7. Animal Welfare
8. Paris has tightened regulation on Airbnb
9. Diary Date – Conference on Overtourism Dublin October 26th
10. More difficult trading conditions in UK outbound tourism.
- World Responsible Tourism Day Wednesday 8th November
This year WRTD reverts to Wednesday, the day opens with the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards which this year focus on the sector’s Sustainable Development Goals impacts and the round tables and panels will focus on the contribution that tourism makes to sustainable development. The day closes with the usual Responsible Tourism networking event. There is a new Responsible Tourism Theatre this year with a crowded programme of panels discussions and debates – the full programme will be out for the next edition of RTNews.
- Survey – what are the major Responsible Tourism issues?
On Tuesday 7th November there will be a round table discussion about the major issues which need to be addressed in the sector over the next five years. We have an online survey, please help shape the debate and prioritise the issues which matter to you. Complete the very brief survey here.
- Orphanages, trafficking and slavery
The highly influential US Government Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report – for the first time ever – has recognised that orphanages are a destination point for trafficked children, which historically has never been acknowledged before. At present this has only been recognised in one country – Nepal – where orphanage trafficking was first documented by child rights activists at the end of Nepal’s civil war (1996 to 2006).more Shiva Hotels have published a General Manager Action Pack to address modern slavery. In August an Inquiry into Establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Melbourne opens, “But the costs of production of the tourist experience are often glossed over. And modern slavery practices are especially evident in the tourism supply chain in developing countries” more Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network has launched a website and resource hub
- The Code has tightened its rules on voluntourism
The Code does not accept membership of organisations involved in voluntourism activities which: (a) include orphanages and other forms of residential care for children in settings with minimal support or supervision or (b) have orphanages and other residential care centres incorporated (or with the possibility to incorporate) in tourism programs or packages. more
- Venezia Unica, launched the #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign
Signs and posters will be displayed throughout the city centre and main tourist zones in 10 languages including English, Chinese, Arabic, and Korean. The campaign is reinforcing rules and regulations that have been in place for years and telling tourists that they’ll potentially face hefty fines of $29-$580 (€25 to €500) if they don’t follow them. more There will be two panels on overtourism at WTM London in November.
- Responsible Tourism campaigning in China
QYER, which provides travel services to over 80 million Chinese nationals, has announced the establishment of the “Responsible Travel Alliance”; formed from government tourism departments and private travel operators including the Australian Tourism Bureau, the New Zealand Tourism Board, the Swiss National Tourism Administration, Singapore Airlines, Australia Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and U-Tour World. They have published a Responsible Travel guide pointing out that travellers are merely visitors to a destination and as such have an inherent responsibility to ensure that their visit is conducted sustainably. The guide showcases a “Responsible Travel” initiative which combines the three main approaches to sustainable travel: social responsibility, cultural responsibility and environmental responsibility. more
- Animal Welfare
A report by World Animal Protection has highlighted the suffering inflicted on the elephant in Asia “Three out of four elephants surveyed in south-east Asia’s popular tourist destinations are living in harsh conditions where they are being used for rides, with mostly steel or wooden saddles, and tied in chains less than three metres long.” more The Tui Care Foundation and World Animal Protection have joined forces in an effort to protect about 1,500 Asian elephants in captivity by 2020. While focused mainly on Thailand, the initiative is aimed at five other key countries covering the largest part of the population of captive Asian elephants – Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. “Elephant tourism is ‘fuelling cruelty’”. There will be a panel of Animal Welfare at WTM London in November.
- Paris has tightened regulation on Airbnb
Paris City Council ruled that locals wishing to rent their apartments on sites like Airbnb must register the property with the town hall. As of Dec. 1, potential landlords must obtain a registration number from the town hall before posting an advertisement for a short-term rental on a website, and renters must pay the traditional French “tourist tax.” more
- Diary Date – Conference on Overtourism Dublin October 26th
The ICRT Ireland with Failte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, is organising a one day conference on Overtourism in Dublin and on the Wild Atlantic Way– more details in the next edition of RTNews.
- More difficult trading conditions in UK outbound tourism~
ATOL protected bookings was marginally down in 2016, following five years of steady growth, and there were 19 failures, up from 10 in 2015. Michael Medlicott, Chair of the Air Travel Trust, said: “In the last 12 months the UK travel industry has faced a number of challenges, including unfavourable currency exchange movements, limited economic growth and a reduction in consumer confidence. Furthermore, there are a number of on-going geo-political situations, which are having a significant impact on key destinations and these continue to present concerns for holidaymakers. In the light of all these factors, the travel market has held up very well, which reflects the high priority consumers attach to their holidays” more
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