Responsible Tourism News – April 2015

 Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

Responsible Tourism News is a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important Responsible Tourism stories of the month. Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can subscribe  here. If you wish to contribute a story email harold@haroldgoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page.

1.World Responsible Tourism Awards

Time to Act! Nominations for the World Responsible Tourism Awards presented at World Travel Market close on April  20th.  Nominate here

The Irish Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the family of Awards which use the same criteria and judging processes as those used in the World Responsible Tourism Awards, this year’s Gold and Silver award winners demonstrated the quality of the Irish experience. Results

The Africa Responsible Tourism Awards long list published here.

2. TUI: Why Responsible Tourism Matters

Garry Wilson, Mainstream Product & Purchasing Director at TUI Group, explains why responsible tourism matters to TUI and tourism development in Calvia, Mallorca. Video

3. RTD11 Opens in Cape Town alongside WTM Africa

Councillor Roxanne Hoorn, Mayor of Cape Town will open the 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations at the Cape Town International Conference Centre on 14th April - international speakers include Matthias Leisenger VP Corporate Responsibility, Kuoni; Tim Williamson of responsibletravel.com; Adama Bah ICRT West Africa. The conference over two days is co-located with WTM Africa and is focused on how producers can best implement Responsible Tourism practices and benefit local communities.

Garry Wilson, Mainstream Product & Purchasing Director, for the TUI Group argues in an interview specially recorded, for Cape Town and Africa, that Responsible Tourism is now core, mainstream business for TUI. Video

4. Achieving Change Through Responsible Tourism

The theme of RTD9, the 9th International Conference on Responsible  in Dublin was achieving change, which was explored through themes based around communities, destinations, transport, business and Responsible Tourism in practice. There were some excellent presentations and some great examples of RT in practise. Videos of the presentations are on line here.

5. Kerala first data on the Local Economic Impact of Responsible Tourism

Rupesh Kumar of the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies has provided some data on the Village Life Experiences which have been developed as part of Kerala's RT strategy.  Details

6. The Living Wage is an Issue in the UK election campaign

Potential future Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson said to the Evening Standard: “I think it is madness that we have big corporations that pay chief executes huge sums of money, and their lowest paid workers are subsidised by the tax payer. These companies can afford to pay the living wage.” The election in the UK has brought the issue of zero hours contracts and the casualization of work to the fore, with particular concerns about asymmetrical zero hours contracts where the workers are unable to take other work, but the employer is not required to find them 35 hours. The employer gains a flexible labour supply, the workers get a low and unstable wage and is subsidised through the welfare system by taxpayers.  The taxpayer is again subsidising the employer. This will increasingly challenge some employers in the tourism sector' Read more

7. Latest edition of Progress in Responsible Tourism published

Latest edition contains articles on the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards, child protection and orphanages, township tourism and a range of views on the England's WiseGrowth strategy.

Progress in Responsible Tourism in published open source - download a copy here

8. Berlin: Pantomime Artists and  the Division of Misappropriated Apartments

There is growing resentment in Berlin about the hordes of  partying tourists, noisy and some of them lewd. From May Berlin will be using pantomime artists to roam the streets of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg acting out a call for common courtesy and consideration, accompanied by trained mediators on hand to explain - if need be - what it’s all about and why the people who live in areas popular with tourists deserve to be shown some respect. more

12 million tourists visited Berlin in 2014, it is estimated that there are 18,000 vacation rentals the Division of Misappropriated Apartments in the city council is enforcing the ban on unregistered vacation rentals, a ban introduced to tackle gentrification and to maintain a housing stock for local people.  read more

9. Fair Booking

In the UK Cumbria, the New Forest, the Lake District and Cornwall are encouraging tourism  businesses  to join "a revolution in ethical direct bookings." Fairbooking UK has been founded by the New Forest Destination Partnership, Cumbria Tourism & Visit Cornwall. They are a co-operative partnership of UK visitor destinations. The aim of the partnership is to create the best possible range of local visitor experiences at the best possible price direct to consumers, and that all of the financial benefits go towards supporting local economies, their environments, residents and businesses.

10. Iceland

There are several sessions on RT at the 24th Nordic Symposium of Tourism and Hospitality Research to be held in Iceland in October. The deadline for  for submitting paper abstracts is May 1st 2015.

 


Responsible Traveller South Africa
Irish Responsible Tourism News April 2015

 

Responsible Tourism News September 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

The Responsible Tourism Programme for WTM 2014 is now launched

The WTM Responsible Tourism Programme this year is the biggest yet with panels on Partnerships for Better Tourism in Destinations, Increasing the Local Economic Impact of Tourism, Reducing Energy and Water Consumption – Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line, How to use Responsible Tourism to drive sales, Everyone Deserves a Holiday: Social Inclusion,. Better Wildlife Tourism, Tourism Take and Animal Welfare, River & Lake Cruising, Employment Conditions in the Tourism Industry, and How to Choose a Responsible Volunteering Opportunity Abroad.

Stephen Sackur will be interviewing Charlie Mayhew of Tusk and Colin Bell of Africa’s Finest about what the industry can do to assist the conservationists in defeating the poachers before the announcement of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. The debate this year is about what more the industry could do take more responsibility for child protection. The programme will be, by turns, inspirational, educational and provocative. There is the Responsible Tourism networking event after the debate on the Wednesday. Programme available on line here and here

World Responsible Tourism Awards Shortlist Published

This year’s short list will be published in the next couple of days on the Awards website

UN Climate Change Talks

There were over 2,000 climate change protests around the world to draw attention to the issue as UN talks opened in September and over 300,000 marched in New York. Read more

Very little came out of the UN Meeting – the New York Times has seen a leaked copy of a draft of the next IPCC Report “Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report.” Read the New York Times report

MSc in Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan

As the first cohort on the new MSc in Responsible Tourism in the Centre for Responsible Tourism at MMU completes the first module a new cohort is signing up to begin the programme on November 1st. The course is going well with students in UK, Europe and Arabia and the next cohort has students from South America, the South Pacific and Africa. You can see the scope of the course by taking a look at the contents of the first module. The MSc programme is online

The Controversy Around Captivity and Sea Mammals Continues

At the end of September Richard Branson launched the Virgin businesses’ Sea Mammals Pledge they will “only continue to work with suppliers that pledge to no longer take sea mammals from the wild.” This has been criticised by, amongst others, the World Cetacean Alliance. They counter that Virgin is merely reaffirming its original pledge issued in February 2014, and stating that it will no longer do business with individual suppliers that do not sign the pledge, thereby agreeing not to acquire dolphins directly from the wild on or after February 14, 2014. However, the pledge does not require the termination of captive breeding programs, and makes allowances for acquisition from the wild for rescue, emergency relocation, or species conservation purposes. WCA
For some of the background read more

Resolving the conflict between consumerism and sustainable development

One day conference in Manchester 7 November 2014, 9.30pm–4.30pm – focusing on Tourism, Retail and Air Transport. Harold Goodwin of the Centre for Responsible Tourism and Michael Ball analyst & consultant will be talking along with Graham Heyes & Callum Thomas of the Centre for Aviation, Transport and the Environment. Details here

Irish Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference and Responsible Tourism Awards

11th March 2015, Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin This full day event will see a wide range of national and international speakers, all industry leaders, discussing topics around the theme of 'Achieving Change'. This conference will be the 9th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations and will be co-chaired by James Chilton (Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism) and Professor Harold Goodwin (Manchester Metropolitan University and International Centre for Responsible Tourism). More

TUI Travel ranked fourth in the FTSE 100 for carbon reporting and performance

Carbon Clear assessed the best practice carbon reporting processes, strategy and performance of FTSE 100 companies, by scoring publicly available information from each company in the FTSE 100 against 67 reporting criteria. The details of what TUI has done to reduce its carbon footprint is available online.

Best Responsible Tourism Forums online

Jeremy Smith has produced an annotated list of good places to discuss issues related to responsible tourism with active, thoughtful, respectful users. As with everywhere online, they have their good days and bad, sometimes discussions take fire, sometimes they get ignored. And they get spammed from time to time. link

World Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Manchester September 2015

The “World Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation” will focus on “innovative approaches to implement climate change adaptation”, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field. Would you like to contribute? More

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RT Voices at WTM

Irish Responsible Tourism News #6

peopleandplaces Spring Newsletter

WTM Responsible Tourism Newsletter

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Adama Bah is fund raising to build a home for the Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia and the ICRT West Africa - he has the land, now he needs to raise the money to build it. Details of the build can be found here.

Responsible Tourism News August 2014

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 

Responsible Tourism News July 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

WTM Responsible Tourism Programme Announced

WTM has just announced the Responsible Tourism Programme for WTM London in November, for the first time it is taking place over all four days. 15 sessions of discussions about issues ranging from partnerships for better tourism in destinations, through local economic development, social inclusion, wildlife conservation, animal welfare, employment conditions and more. It is a broad agenda – but it is all focused on making tourism better for local people and tourism, for hosts and their guests. More

RTD9 will be in Dublin in March 2015

The 9th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations will be held on the 11th March 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Golden Lane in Dublin. Save the date. Further details shortly. ICRT Ireland

Child protection to be debated at World Travel Market

We are going to be discussing what the outbound industry can do to take responsibility for children neglected by the pool or abused by their parents whilst away from home. We’ll ask what advice should the industry give about child beggars and how to respond to them in the street. We’ll question whether or not tourists should be visiting orphanages. And we will be addressing paedophilia, which the industry sometimes unwittingly facilitates. We’ll be asking Elise Allart of TUI Benelux about the campaign she headed working with the Dutch Border Police to encourage travellers to look out for and report child trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. More

Lawyers file landmark claim for child victims against abuser’s employer

ECPAT UK has documented numerous cases detailing how British nationals exploit charitable activities in schools and orphanages in developing countries to access and sexually abuse children. Law firm Leigh Day has claimed that a British Airways pilot played a key role in administering donations to schools and orphanages on behalf of British Airways and that British Airways should be liable for abuses against children carried out by their British pilot during stopovers in East Africa.More

Welsh Government puts people at the heart of sustainability

Perhaps the crucial challenge for environmentalists is to put people at the heart of their work. The Welsh Government has done just that. Earlier this month the Welsh Government introduced a Bill to ensure the sustainable development of Wales, they put the Welsh people at the heart of it. The Well-being of Future Generations Bill has people-centred objectives: a prosperous; resilient; healthier; more equal Wales; with cohesive communities; and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Wisely the Welsh Government is defining the long term development path for Wales in human terms, promoting the economic, social and environmental wellbeing and enhancing people’s quality of life in Wales. What will this mean for tourism in Wales?  More

The Wales we want

RTNews on Facebook

If you have a news item you’d like to share post on the RTNews Facebook page for immediate distribution – but please no advertising. There are recent stories there on possible legislative action in the USA on cruise lines and child protection workers calling for end to ‘orphanage tourism’ in Cambodia. Link

Have you had a bad Volunteer experience?

Seb Drobse writes “Do you know any irresponsible Volunteer company/Organization? If yes, HERE you can bring attention to your experience. Vote for a Volunteer company or Organization you would not recommend to others and let us know why! Please share the survey, we need to bring attention to the companies that use volunteers and poverty to make big business!” Link

Best online places to discuss issues related to responsible tourism

In addition to the panels, debates and round tables which WTM is now offering on Responsible Tourism at its events in London, Cape Town and Sao Paulo the WTM Responsible Tourism website now hosts a list of some of the best online sites to discuss and debate Responsible Tourism year round.  Link

Second Catalan Responsible Tourism Awards

The 2nd Catalan Responsible Tourism Awards are inspired by the World Responsible Tourism Awards, to apply them locally and recognize responsible tourism practices in the region. Nominations close 15th September (this year the form is only in Catalan) but international nominations are welcomed through the easy nomination form.

Aquest 2014, se celebra la segona edició dels Premis de Turisme Responsable de Catalunya, uns guardons que distingeixen les bones pràctiques de la indústria turística catalana. L'objectiu és promocionar aquella gestió turística que redueix l’impacte negatiu i augmenta els beneficis, no només per a l’empresa, sinó també per a la comunitat local, el medi ambient i els turistes. Vols participar-hi? És molt fàcil tens fins el 15 de setembre, a través de la web aquí."

Time to register as a supporter of WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day

The Responsible Tourism Programme at WTM in London in November attracts 2,000 participants – it is the world’s biggest Responsible Tourism event. It is time to register your support, apply for the logo and get noticed for what you are doing, through tourism, to make the world a better place. More

Responsible Tourism News June 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

TUI Travel’s latest Sustainable Holidays Report

TUI Travel’s second year of progress against their 2012-14 Sustainable Holidays Plan which comprises 20 challenging and measurable commitments, underpinning four over-arching and stretching goals. These are to operate Europe’s most fuel-efficient airlines and reduce carbon on the ground by 20,000 tonnes; to take 10 million customers on ‘greener and fairer’ holidays; and to be considered a leader in sustainable holidays by colleagues and customers. Read the report

WTM Responsible Tourism Newsletter launched

World Travel Market has launches a new monthly RT Voices at WTM – get the first edition and sign up here

Sustainable September

Sustainable September is a month-long exploration of sustainability in all its forms. The month will bring together interested parties, enlightened investors and consumers, professional service firms, City institutions and managers, leading sustainable businesses, the media, policymakers, philanthropists and thought leaders. Five stimulating and thought-provoking events. There will be four debates on our core subjects – one per week, covering spending, travel, energy and investment. The month will conclude with a TED-style conference with sustainability’s thought leaders. More

Salli Felton is the new CEO of the Travel Foundation

Salli Felton has worked for the Travel Foundation for the past three years, initially managing the organisation's programmes of work before stepping up to the role of CEO in February 2013 to provide maternity cover. Previously, she worked at Virgin Holidays as Responsible Business Manager and at BAA managing environmental projects. She has been appointed through a highly competitive selection procedure.

Stand Out from the Crowd with Responsible Tourism

Walking through the aisles at WTM the extent of competition faced by business in the travel and tourism sector is very apparent – destinations and businesses have to make major efforts to be noticed with eye catching stands and by arranging meetings. But the meetings need content and Responsible Tourism is an important part of the offer – the operator or agent needs to be assured that they won’t be embarrassed by selling your product.
Responsible Tourism increasingly makes good business sense

Apply for the WRTD Supporters Logo and stand out from the crowd

Alternative Technology and Tourism

Anke Winchenbach has taken a demanding role with the Travel Foundation and no longer has time to develop the Facebook group which the Responsible Tourism Partnership has established to enable people to share reliable information about alternative and appropriate technology for the travel and tourism industry – from composting toilets to LEDs. There is a Facebook page If you are interested in taking over form Anke email

Zero hours contracts in Tourism

According to the latest Travel & Tourism Survey conducted by MHA, the UK-wide association of chartered accountants and business advisors, around one third of staff working in guest houses, hotels, restaurants and pubs are now employed on zero hours contracts. MHA’s survey suggests that well over 60% of these staff regularly work 20 hours or more – with more than three quarters of them routinely employed for 40 hours per week.

56% of businesses reported improved profitability in the last 12 months and 58% predicting that 2014 will be better still. However, 50% cited turnover either stagnant or growing by less than 5% over the last 12 months.

Queen’s Speech promises legislation to tackle modern-day slavery

The UK government has committed to new anti-slavery and anti-trafficking legislation which will help to improve prosecutions of traffickers and will improve support for their victims. Read more

Floating wheelchairs are a big hit at Dubai beaches

Floating wheelchairs are providing the full beach experience for those previously land-bound. Dubai Municipality has unveiled 15 “swimming wheelchairs” at Al Mamzar and Jumeirah beaches to help the elderly, those with special needs and even adults who cannot swim to enjoy the water safely. Read more

Tour Operators for Tigers Awards

You have until Friday 18 July to make nominations for the TOFTiger Wildlife Tourism Awards nominate

Responsible Tourism News May 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

Time to nominate your winners for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014

Llegó la hora de indicar los ganadores de la premiación World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014

Chegou a hora de indicar os vencedores da premiação World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014

We are looking for the leaders, the innovators and the outliers, the people setting the pace, the people that the judges believe others should be emulating.

This year there are eleven categories – there will be an overall winner and a People’s Choice as well. New categories include animal welfare, beach tourism, city hotel, short film and best for people with disabilities: new this year we are looking for examples which will inspire change. This is about a great deal more than wheelchair access. The judges are looking for a tourism attraction or facility making holiday experiences accessible and enjoyable for all, making everyone equally welcome whatever their physical or mental challenges.

Read more        Nominate           Take responsibility, take part. Nominate

Privatizing the Greek Coast

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) is reported to be inspecting various popular Greek beaches with a view to them being sold as private property. Some of the beaches on the list for potential sale are: Yalova in Messinia, Tsampika and Agia Agathi in Rhodes, some of the most beautiful beaches in Halkidiki, Agios Prokopios in Naxos, Galissas in Syros and the accessible beach in Irakleia in the Cyclades. Read more

A draft law prepared by the Finance Ministry on coastal development in Greece will do away with long-standing prohibitions against building on the seafront and open the way for beaches to effectively be privatized. It is reported that the new law will also remove the right of citizens to access the sea-front. This is a right clearly enshrined in the Greek constitution which deems the shoreline as public property which citizens have a right to access. The bill would allow private companies to obtain exclusive right of use of beaches requiring only that conditions are imposed ‘which will secure the public’s access following reasoned balancing of the interests which are facilitated or impaired.’
Read more

The Economist has a low opinion of zero hours contracts

The UK government has launched a consultation of zero hours contracts, the leader of the opposition has promised a crackdown if the Labour Party wins the next election. According to a snapshot taken by the Office for National Statistics in January 2014 1.4m UK jobs were based on zero hours contracts. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has reported that 4% of workers in the UK could have been forced to accept zero hours contracts. Their survey showed that nearly half (48 per cent) of employers in the hotel, catering and leisure sector had used zero-hours contracts. Read more

Press reports suggest that not all companies in hospitality and leisure in the UK operate zero hours contracts – successful businesses which do not use zero hours contracts include Whitbread, Café Rouge, Bella Italia Mitchells & Butlers and Stonegate. Read more

The Economist is critical “the recovery will not cause unwanted zero-hours contracts to disappear. Some workers will never have much negotiating power: they are constrained by geography, family commitments and lack of competition for their skills among a small number of big employers. Zero-hours contracts make it easier for employers to abuse their labour-market power. Some use them to avoid statutory obligations such as sick and maternity pay. Workers are penalised for not being available when requested. And some contracts contain exclusivity clauses which prevent workers from taking additional jobs. These can harm other employers as well as workers, and actually reduce labour market flexibility. That, at least, is worth doing away with.”  Read more

Liverpool Conference: Mind the Gap - Addressing the Tourism Divide

VisitEngland, Tuesday, 10 June 2014 from 10:30 to 16:15 ,Liverpool, free
The conference will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing the regional growth of tourism around the country. Headline speakers include: The Lord Shipley OBE, Deputy Chair, Regional Growth Fund Independent Advisory Panel, Helen Grant MP, Tourism Minister and Evan Davis, Economist, Journalist & BBC presenter. With London booming, where does that leave the rest of England? Experts from destinations, transport and the tourism industry will debate how we can work together to address the widening gap between the capital and the rest of England. Read more 

Where next for the Olympics and FIFA?

Problems in Sochi with the Winter Olympics and in Brazil and Qatar with the FIFA World Cup following on the strikes in South Africa before and after the FIFA World Cup in 2010 raise the issue of who can now afford to stage such lavish sporting events. The main beneficiaries appear to be FIFA and the International Olympic Committee rather than the host countries. The Guardian reported that from Krakow to Stockholm, cities are pulling out of holding the 2022 Winter Olympics. Read more

Bogus Orphanages are now an issue in the mainstream media

Over the last few years a number of NGOs and companies have campaigned about orphanage tourism, raising awareness about how the money donated by tourists and paid by tourism businesses for orphanage visits has encouraged internal trafficking in children. The headline on the story in The Guardian ran “Nepal's bogus orphan trade fuelled by rise in 'voluntourism' - Poor parents routinely duped into sending children to homes where owners use them to extract money from foreign visitors.” Read more

The Phnom Penh Post carried a report on 26 May that the American director of the Hope Transitions Christian orphanage in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district was in court accused of abusing boys after they were brought to stay at the orphanage. All were under 15 years of age at the time of the alleged assaults. Are any tourism businesses still supporting this orphanage?

The sexual exploitation of children is not just a developing country issue

16 victims between the ages of 12 and 16 were released in Kent (the country I live in in England) following raids on an "organised criminal network" believed to be behind child sexual exploitation in the Slovakian Roma community have resulted in 22 arrests in Kent. Read more

If you want to keep up with the Child Protection issues in tourism there is very active Facebook group

Campaign against the keeping of dolphins and whales in captivity for entertainment

reponsibletravel.com’s campaign against the keeping of dolphins and whales in captivity has received mainstream press publicity and travellers appear to be expressing concern on ethical rather than welfare grounds. Read more

The Daily Mail has covered the issue too: “Free Willy! Eighty-six per cent of tourists no longer want to watch killer whales and dolphins performing tricks in captivity”. Read more

Free Tibet campaign broadens its boycott campaign about labour rights in international hotels in Tibet 

The Free Tibet campaign has broadened its campaign against the compliance of international hotel groups in Lhasa (Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Starwood, Wyndham and Shangri-La) with an instruction from the police to report all Tibetan guests from certain politically-sensitive areas to the security forces. Read more

Charity Treks, Charity Holidays – are they charitable?

The BBC magazine has been questioning why “walks to Everest base camp, skydiving, and other high-octane experiences” should be regarded as charitable – the main beneficiaries are often the holiday makers and the companies which arrange the trips. “It is arguable venturing up Machu Picchu or cycling around Australia are not charity events, they are activity holidays. Gemma Carter, a nurse from Wolverhampton agrees. ‘A friend asked for sponsorship to swim with sharks," she said. "As far as I'm concerned, that is asking me to pay for her hols.’” Read more 

Responsible Tourism News April 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

Reports of RTD8 now available on line

Reports of the 8th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations are now available on line. Harold Goodwin's inaugural lecture was videoed as were all the session on the Friday and they are available to watch, many of the Power Point presentations and reports by TTG and Blue&Green are available at www.crtmmu.org/rtd8/

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014

Details of the categories for the 2014 World Responsible Tourism Awards will be announced on May 7th when nominations open - full details will be on the Awards website - pay your part and make a nomination.

Progress in Responsible Tourism published

Volume 3 (1) contains papers on Factors for success and failure in donor funded tourism projects; questioning whether CBT is delivering the goods in the developing world; issues of environmental and social governance in investor relations; the reasons for the judges decisions in the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards; a content analysis of Australian and Costa Rican official tourism websites; the attitudes of Polish owner-managers towards environmental engagement; and en ecotourism case study from Kalimantan. Progress in Responsible Tourism is published open source and is free to download thanks to sponsorship by responsibletravel.com

WTM WRTD Supporters Facebook Page Launched

WTM Responsible Tourism has set up a Facebook page for past, and present, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day Supporters to share the ways that they are highlighting the day, as well as their responsible tourism tips and best practices. We would love to hear from you all throughout the year and will be inviting you to join the group and share your experiences with us.

Can all-inclusive holidays be truly inclusive?

The idea of an all-inclusive holiday is still difficult for many to accept as Responsible Tourism. Perhaps this Brazilian example will cause people to think again. This all-inclusive holiday is just that – everyone is welcome, treated with respect and enabled to participate in an activity holiday at an all-inclusive resort. It is accessible tourism made inclusive for all. Families and friends can holiday together and share a host of activities – people of all abilities can play together. This is a resort that wears the all-inclusive badge with pride, where everyone is treated with respect and enabled to enjoy adventure activities. The elderly and infirm, children and paraplegics can ride white water, horses and zip wires together – all are included in these adventure activities. www.parquedossonhos.com.br

1st World Summit Destinations for All

The 1st World Summit on Destinations for All in Montreal in October aims to take the current dialogue on accessible tourism to a new and exciting level. By bringing together key players in tourism, culture, and transportation, the Summit aims to identify and implement the necessary measures to establish international tourism that is inclusive and accessible. 15% of the world’s population live with a disability, and with a greater aging demographic, this number will only increase. It is time to think of tourism no longer solely as a luxury, but as a need shared by everyone.

Swimming with Dolphins

The industry is starting to wake up to the fact that there is more to dolphin watching than dollar signs, and usually it is a good skipper at the helm that makes all the difference between a responsible trip and a totally irresponsible one. Read more

Cruise Industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting

65% of the 80 cruise companies worldwide do not mention corporate social responsibility on their websites nor report elsewhere, and only 12 brands publish corporate social reports, belonging to only four companies: Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean International, TUI and Disney Cruises. The report analyses the industry’s lack of corporate social disclosure and ranks companies through analysis of their corporate social responsibility reports and websites to provide the first cruise sector sustainability-reporting index. More

 Is Tourism Ruining Barcelona?

"A new documentary called Bye Bye Barcelona, however, shows some long-term residents wondering aloud how much longer they can stay where they are. The problem? Tourism, specifically a local industry that has become so dominant it risks stifling ordinary, everyday life in the city's heart. Panning across street after street of pedestrian gridlock, fast food joints and souvenir shops, the film's record of locals shooed away by the constant visitor footfall offers a cautionary tale for any city that tourists love." Read more in Atlantic Cities  Watch the video

The Dark Side

Travel Weekly reported some of the comments made at the WTTC meeting this month:

Julian Caldecott, director of environmental services firm Creatura is reported to have complained of "the rapid unplanned development of destinations", of "investors cutting corners . . . [or] collaborating with organised crime, powerful individuals awarded construction contracts for developments without proper process" and "developments that ruin the landscape". Caldecott said: "The list continues : the suffocation of coral reefs, the crushing of aquifers, the run off of sewage into local water supplies. Good planning and good regulation is essential to tourism development."

Responsible Tourism News March 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

Latest IPCC Report published

“Some climate-related impacts on development are already being observed (e.g. changes in agriculture, increases in coastal vulnerability). Added to other stresses such as poverty, inequality, or diseases, the effects of climate change will make sustainable development objectives such as food and livelihood security, poverty reduction, health, and access to clean water more difficult to achieve for many locations, systems, and affected populations”20.2.1

The latest International Panel on Climate Change focuses on eight key risks refer to possible deaths, injuries and health impacts associated with, for example, flooding in low-lying coastal zones or heat waves. The breakdown of infrastructure following extreme weather events; the disruption of food production and supply; and the negative impact on communities that depend on threatened ecosystems - such as coastal fisheries - also make the list.

8th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

Leaders in Responsible Tourism have been attracted to Manchester for this year’s conference. Amongst the speakers on Thursday 3rd April are James Berresford, the CEO of Visit England, Peter Lane of the British Destinations Executive, Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability at ABTA, Manda Brookman of CoaST and Jane Lady Gibson of Visit York – there are a series of panel discussions and debates on the impact of OTAs on DMOs, what WiseGrowth means in practice and whether destinations are used by tourism or can benefit from it. On Friday 4th April industry speakers include Elise Allart Manager Sustainable Tourism TUI Nederland, Martin Brackenbury President IFTO 1990-2010, Chairman Federation of Tour Operators, 1984 – 2006; Paul Britton Marine Operations Manager – Thomson Cruises & Island Cruises; Andy Cooper Director of Government and External Affairs, Thomas Cook Group; Stephen Farrant, Director at Business in the Community & International Tourism Partnership; Justin Francis ICRT & CEO responsibletravel.com; Stephen Miles, Founder Hotel Future The National Hospitality Training Academy and a host of others in a day looking at how we can make tourism more responsible. Details

TripAdvisor launches GreenLeaders in Europe

TripAdvisor has launched its GreenLeaders programme in Europe, this will be a game changer if it encourages businesses to communicate more transparently about what they are doing to reduce their negative environmental impacts. If the scheme works as planned, and TripAdvisor can avoid being used for greenwashing, it will advance responsible business practice, particularly if the established schemes encourage their members to use the GreenLeaders badge to promote their responsible practices.

New MSc in Responsible Tourism launches

The new Masters in Responsible Tourism was validated at Manchester Metropolitan University this month, enrolment takes place in April and the first cohort of students commences the course in May. The new MSc places tourism in the broader context of responsible business and is strongly focused on leadership and achieving change in the sector. more

Responsible Tourism at WTM Latin America 23-25 April Sao Paulo

There are three panels on Responsible Tourism with speakers form Latin America and further afield
23 Apr 3.45pm – 4.45pm Responsible Tourism: Good Business
24 Apr 6.45pm – 7.45 pm The Tourism Industry and Child Protection
25 Apr 3.00pm – 4.00pm Wildlife Tourism in Latin America: opportunities and constraints.
WTM Latin America

1st Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism Conference

The inaugural Irish ICRT conference attracted over 100 participants to the Radisson Blu in Dublin for a conference about the opportunities for Responsible Tourism in Ireland. The event attracted a diverse and enthusiastic group form the tourism sector and beyond. There are some great initiatives in Ireland engaging communities in tourism to diversify and strengthen local economies – the conference heard about developments in the Burren, Loop Head and Blackstairs Ecotrails. Conference presentations on line

Kuoni 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report Published

In 2013 Kuoni joined the UN Global Compact and it has conducted human rights assessments, developed action plans for Kenya and India and revised both the Kuoni Code of Conduct and their Supplier Code of Conduct. There is a new Statement of Commitment on the Environment and a Kuoni Water Champion manual on sustainable water management in hotel operations.
The report is online

Responsible100 Launches

Responsible100 is piloting its new approach to responsible business based on transparency and allowing consumer feedback. Companies explain how they respond to the social, environmental and ethical challenges they face and there is an opportunity for people to comment. Full details of their transparent process are on the site.

Wild Asia launches 2014 Responsible Tourism Awards

There are four categories this year: Community Engagement and Development, Cultural Preservation; Responsible Tourism Operator; and Responsible Tourism Initiative. Closing date: 23 May 2014 More details

2 minute travel guides

reponsibletravel.com has launched more of its ground breaking two minute travel guides which suggest when, and when not, to go; what they rate and what they don’t; and really useful knowledge on local issues and tips on about the destinations: Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have been added to the destinations and there are guides to volunteering and whale watching. Online

Responsible Tourism News February 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

RTD8: International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

With the conference just over one month away the registrations are flowing in and we are putting the finishing touches to the programme, we are also in discussions with two countries in Africa and a Mediterranean island about where the next conference will be, it is unlikely to be in the UK again for many years. As usual the conference brings together senior managers at major mainstream companies and industry organizations -Jane Ashton of TUI, Andy Cooper of Thomas Cook, Stephen Farrant of the International Tourism Partnership, Nikki White of ABTA - with Responsible Tourism practitioners, consultants and academics to discuss the major issues.

Day 1: This year we are partnering with VIsitEngland to address the issues which are impacting on the management if destinations with debates about sustainability, the impact of the internet on the future of DMOs and the opportunities brought by Google Glasses and augmented reality and whether tourism benefits local communities or tourism exploits communities and their natural and cultural environment. Programme for Responsible Tourism in Destinations

Day 2: Taking Responsibility, Achieving Change with major speakers form industry and academia we focus on how to achieve change, how do we win the arguments and make the case for responsibility? A day of learning from others about what works, what doesn't and why? We are looking at a range of issues from carbon and climate change, through local economic development and wildlife to human rights and social inclusion to review our experience to date.

Day 3: A day for Responsible Tourism Practitioners to network and develop their initiatives for the next five years. Join us

Responsible Volunteering has made it to the broadsheets

Research by Vicky Smith and Xavier Font into the way volunteer travel is marketed got aired in The Guardian this month with a useful consumer education piece by Will Coldwell. This is a sector where consumers need to take particular care over the choices they make – ask about where the money goes, ask for evidence that previous volunteers have made a difference, if you aren’t qualified to do it in the UK, don’t do it abroad, be way of short engagement and be sure that the community’s needs are put ahead of yours. This is an area where we need a good deal more consumer education.

'What does responsible tourism have to offer Ireland?'

The Irish Responsible Tourism Conference takes place in Dublin on 19th March. This is an opportunity to discuss the way tourism is developing in Ireland and to debate what Responsible Tourism has to offer Ireland, speakers include Paddy Mathews, Failte Ireland, David MacNulty and Robert Cleverdon of Tourism Development International, Carol Gleeson, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Harold Goodwin of the Centre for Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan. It promises to be an interesting discussion about the way tourism is developing in Ireland.

WTM Africa leads with Responsible Tourism

WTM Africa which launches in Cape Town this year at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre 2-3 May is leading with WTM Africa’s own World Responsible Tourism Programme (WRTP). This year’s panels are on why Responsible Tourism makes good business sense; environmental responsibility and social responsibility focused on child protection.

TUI continues to make progress on carbon reduction in aviation

Across TUI’s airlines relative carbon emissions were reduced by a further 3.2% since 2012, The average CO2 per revenue passenger kilometre was 70.7g – making it one of the most carbon efficient airlines in Europe. They took over 3.8 million customers on ‘greener and fairer’ holidays, up 1.8 million from 2012. More.

Change at the Travel Foundation

Sue Hurdle, the Travel Foundation's Chief Executive since its inception 11 years ago, has announced that she will not be returning to the role, following time away on maternity leave. Hurdle, who gave birth to twin boys in March last year, said that it was a "very difficult decision not to return" but the Foundation's "strong and experienced team" would continue to deliver, with exciting times ahead. Salli Felton, acting Chief Executive, will continue in her interim role. The new Chief Executive. be recruited through a competitive process, with advertising expected in March. In the ten years since the Travel Foundation launched they have worked on 35 projects in 24 countries and report that revenues passed the £1m mark just before the end of 2013, their 10th anniversary year.

Cruise ships are going tax free in the Caribbean

With increasing numbers of floating beds in the Caribbean Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, has argued that room taxes and import and export duties have “stalled” the growth of land-based tourism in the Caribbean, while cruise ships are only made to pay a few dollars per passenger to the destinations into which they sail. “Our competition is not the hotel down the road, it’s the cruise ships that get everything tax free.” Royal Caribbean International countered arguing that “the reality is cruise companies bring thousands of people every week into multiple destinations around the world and the cruise guests spend a lot of money.” Read more Butch Stewart   RCI

Trading in Rhino Horn – debunking the myths

With reports of 57 rhino killed in South Africa in 31 days the species is threatened by the illegal trade in rhino horn. Tourism provides a non-consumptive economic value for many charismatic species from rhino to tigers. If we get the economics of rhino trading wrong; rhino in the wild will be gone. Colin Bell writes “The idea that selling lopped-off horns from farmed rhinos will curb poaching is untested, unproven, unlikely and something pro-traders avoid like that proverbial elephant in the room.” Time for Plan B Read Rhishja Cota-Larson’s blog on the why trading in rhino horn will not help conserve the species

Reduced cost of permits to climb Everest – don’t celebrate

The Nepalese government has just announced that it is reducing the cost of a permit from £15,000 to £6,500 – a reduction of more than 50%. This makes no sense when the costs of managing tourism on the mountain has to be met – there is much debris to remove. The numbers of climbers may be small but they have an army of staff and the cumulative pollution is striking. Cutting the cost of the permits will increase numbers and pollution – it would be more rational to set fees at a level which covers the costs of managing the climbers and cleaning up after them. more

The Brighton WhaleFest 14-16 March 2014

The WhaleFest takes place at the Brighton Hilton where the world’s governments gathered in 1982 to suspend international whaling. In 1991 Brighton Aquarium’s captive dolphins were freed back to their Caribbean home. The WhaleFest raise money to support the work of the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA). With Jean-Michel Cousteau as Honorary President the WCA has a focused strategy to end captive Killer Whale entertainment at marine parks, and to save threatened species – such as the world’s last 50 Maui’s dolphins in New Zealand. Check out the festival programme

Australia for All website updated 

This open stop shop for accessible tourism in Australia has recently been updated with accommodation, venues, restaurants, cruises, car hire and package tours from around the world. Updates The site has lots on accessible tourism in Australia and it has a strong international section

Responsible Tourism News January 2014

Professional Masters in Responsible Tourism

RTD8: details of the 8th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

Details of RTD8 which runs from 3rd to 5th April in Manchester are now on the conference website www.crtmmu.org/rtd8/ More detail and a booking page will go live on Monday 3rd February.

Day 1. Thursday 3rd April 10:00 – 18:00 Responsible Tourism in Destinations
VisitEngland is partnering with the Responsible Tourism Partnership to address the challenges of tourism development and management. This is VisitEngland’s English Tourism Week conference.

Thursday 3rd April Professor Harold Goodwin’s inaugural lecture at MMU: Taking Responsibility for Tourism

Day 2. Friday 4th April 09:30- 18:00 Taking Responsibility, Achieving Change.
During the day we shall address three topics and three challenges in order to learn more about how to encourage individuals and organisations to take responsibility and to achieve change

Topics: carbon pollution and climate change; local economic development; human rights and social inclusion. Challenges:  (i) Agreeing what the problem is. (ii) Securing consensus about the solution. .

(iii) Achieving action and reporting progress.

19:00 Conference Social Networking Opportunity

Day 3. Saturday 5th April 09:30-16:00 Networking Day
An opportunity for those involved in organised around the issues and themes which participants bring to RTD8 – if you would to suggest a topic or challenge you would like to explore please contact Harold Goodwin

Launch event for ICRT Ireland in Dublin on 19th March 09:30-17:00

One-day conference aiming to stimulate debate and discussion around the concept of responsible tourism in Ireland co-hosted by the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism and the Green Hospitality Programme. Speakers include Lorena Arias, Maurice Bergin, James Chilton, Robert Cleverdon, Carol Gleeson, Harold Goodwin, Catherine Mack, David MacNulty, Paddy Matthews and Cillian Murphy For more details and to register Ideally the ICRT in Ireland will be driven by the industry, highlighting best practice and acting as a hub for the promotion of the principles of responsible tourism - making Ireland a better place to live in and to visit. www.icrt.ie

Kerala Honoured for its Achievements in Responsible Tourism

Kerala Tourism was awarded for its path-breaking Responsible Tourism project in Kumarakom, where the Department has demonstrated leadership in working with business and the communities to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Their initiative has successfully linked the local community with accommodation providers encouraging the creation of local employment and local sourcing of goods and services for the industry in Kumarakom. The Department of Tourism in Kerala has successfully established a model which has empowered the local community to secure development and to manage the environmental impact of tourism on the farming land and the Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Kerala, heavily trafficked by houseboats. more

ResponsibleTravel.com launches new destination guides

responsibletravel.com has launched a new series of destination guides, best time to visit, maps and highlights, things to see and do. standard fare perhaps but well written and insightful. What makes these guides stand out is the Responsible Tourism tips and issues - which tell it as it is, and there is an opportunity to comment if you think they've got it wrong. There should be more of this kind of honest commentary for travellers, enabling them to travel like a local. California Gozo Helsinki Jordan KwaZulu Natal   Peru New York State Destination Index

Details of new distance learning MSc in Responsible Tourism now available

This new Masters programme is designed to develop leaders in Responsible Tourism, change makers able to make a real difference to the way tourism works, to use tourism to make better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit – in that order. This MSc focuses on tourism but the skills learnt and much of the knowledge is transferable to other sectors.

The MMU Masters in Responsible Tourism (subject to validation) will be offered part-time over two years and is designed as CPD with a strong emphasis on professional engagement and development – we are developing and supporting change-makers. Full details on the website

Authoritative Advice for Hotels on Trafficking

The International Tourism Partnership has published advice for hoteliers to help them to understand and address the issue of trafficking, ITP has produced a Know How Guide and Guidelines for Checking Recruitment Agencies.

Responsible Tourism on the Agenda at WTM Africa in Cape Town 2-3 May 2014

WTM. Means responsible tourism. World Travel Market is extending its Responsible Tourism programme to WTM Africa in Cape Town. There will be panels RT: Good Business; Environmental Responsibility; and Child Protection.

Industry needs to move beyond business as usual

As Stephen Farrant argues in the 2014 Hotel Year Book we need to move beyond business as usual. "The opportunity to drive real competitive advantage is there for us all to seize. And yet, within that competitive space, the whole industry has a collective interest in ensuring that “green” and “sustainable” become aspirational for customers, as well as drivers of continual improvement for business. Over time, that is likely to take the leaders in the industry to shift the focus from incremental reduction targets to describing “net positive impact,” from low-carbon to carbon-positive hotels, from water efficiency to water stewardship, from entry level jobs to career paths of choice, from community engagement to measurable social value."

"Embedding the movement within “business as usual” compliance or risk management functions won’t get us there; creativity, innovation, risk-taking – and anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s marketplace – most certainly will."

TUI Travel exceeds its carbon reduction target

TUI Travel PLC has exceeded its latest airline carbon reduction target (9% by 2015 on a 2008 baseline). Across its six airlines, the Group has reduced its relative carbon emissions by 9.3% in 5 years, Average CO2 per revenue passenger kilometre now stands at 70.7g- an improvement of 3.2% since 2012, making us one of the most carbon efficient airlines in Europe and beyond. In the 2013 atmosfair Airline Index, TUIfly was named the most climate efficient airline worldwide with over a million passengers and most climate efficient charter airline (for the second year in a row), and also ranked Thomson Airways as the second most climate efficient for short haul flights. more

China is now the largest tourism originating country

Ninety-seven million Chinese traveled abroad in 2013, beating the 2012 mark by roughly 14 million, according to the China National Tourism Administration. The number is expected to surpass 100 million this year. According to the Tourist Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that China's tourists have had the world's strongest purchasing power since 2012. They overtook German and US tourists as the world's biggest-spending travelers in 2012, spending $102 billion overseas, a 40-percent increase from 2011. Chinese tourists spent on average $7,107 per person during their trips in the US in 2011, well above the average amount of spending per tourist in the USA of $2,440.

With increased spending and traveling by Chinese travelers, more travel service providers in foreign countries are reported to be adjusting their business models. Hotel groups, including Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, have designed new services specifically for Chinese customers. By August 2013, all of Hilton's hotels worldwide were providing a service called "Hilton Huanying" that provides Chinese tea pouches and teapots in guestrooms. Chinese food is also being served in its hotels. Domestic tourism is reported to have reached 3.2bn more

Denmark and the Slaughter of Dolphins - urban myth

Stories circulating on the web about the slaughter of dolphins in the Faeroes and Denmark appear to be an urban myth. Unless snopes.com have it wrong

Urban myths are remarkably pervasive there are 10 more here. They may make you smile