Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism: London Travel Week Special

The next edition will be out on 9th November, for Virtual  WTM
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism 

This year's London Travel Week and WTM, London are virtual, there is no need to travel to London nor to find board and lodging away from home. You can participate from anywhere in the world over the extended hours, the only carbon emitted will be from the electricity you and the internet consumes, and some of that is renewable.

Register for WTM Virtual 9-11 November includes London Travel Week with World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th

You can find the full 2020 WTM Responsible Tourism (4, 10, 11 November) programme here

  1. World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th register
  2. World Responsible Tourism Awards register
  3. Responsible Tourism at Virtual WTM November 10th & 11th register
  4. Tourism and Racism 
  5. Covid-19 still rampant in the northern hemisphere 
  6. Developments in Kerala 
  7. Employing the differently-abled and the disadvantaged in India 
  8. Developments in Aviation 
  9. Tourism and Wildlife 
  10. Miscellany 

1. World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th register
11:45 Sir Tim Smit, the Co-Founder of the Eden Project
gives a keynote address explaining why responsible business and Responsible Tourism make good business sense.
This is followed by a series of short conversations with leaders in Responsible Tourism.
12:00 Wolfgang Neumann, on the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance,
12:15 Martin Brackenbury, on Resilience and Covid-19
12:30 Justin Francis on Making Tourism Better
12:45 JoAnna Haugen on storytelling and why narrative matters
13:00  Charlotte Weibe about the TUI's work in Responsible Tourism
13:15 Gustavo Segura Sancho on Costa Rica
16:00 Garry Wilson CEO of EasyJet Holidays about how the company has been coping with Covid, the future of leisure travel by air and of course why taking your business in a responsible direction makes perfect sense.
16:30 Clare Jenkinson on ABTA's Tourism for Good report
16:50 Harold Goodwin looking forward to the RT programme on 10 & 11 November.

The full programme in detail can be found here 

2. World Responsible Tourism Awards register
In this year, when the world faces a global pandemic, it seemed inappropriate to continue with the World Responsible Tourism Awards as usual. It is not Business as Usual, and the crisis is likely to continue for some time. This year the judges decided to commend businesses and destinations which are taking responsibility and addressing the challenge of Covid-19 and to Highly Commend and Commend businesses and destinations. The judges wanted to recognise those who have taken responsibility and addressed the many challenges of the pandemic. The Awards will be announced at 15:30 GMT on November 4th here:

3. Responsible Tourism at Virtual WTM November 10th & 11th register
10th November: 4 live panels Resilience & Covid 19; Build Back BetterTourism and Biodiversity, Friend or Foe? & Decarbonising Aviation.
11th November: 4 live panels Responsible Tourism in India; Racism in Tourism; Certification and Consumer Choice;  & Can we make tourism better – a manifesto for change.
10th & 11th November, four on-demand, pre-recorded sessions: Inclusive Employment for differently-abled people and the disadvantaged; Responsible Tourism in China;  and two on animal welfare

The full programme in detail can be found here  More in the next edition of RT News 9th November 

4. Tourism and Racism
Alex Temblador is moderating a panel on Tourism and Racism at WTM, London (11th November 14:00-15:00). Martinique LewisnPresident of the Black Travel Alliance is on Alex's panel. Findings from the Black Travel Alliance's (BTA) #PullUpForTravel campaign released on October 13th. They collected KPIs for employment, conferences & tradeshows, marketing campaigns, press and philanthropy. Key findings

  • "Black people are under-represented at all levels within the travel industry and there is a great need to address the imbalance.
  • There is, for the most part, lip service paid to diversity and inclusion and it is time for allies in the travel industry to join forces with organizations like the Black Travel Alliance and push for positive change in the travel industry – and the world at large."  more

5. Covid-19 still rampant in the northern hemisphere
As this edition of RT News goes to 'print' with London Travel Week just opening in the UK, the government has announced a more intense lockdown and banned all leisure travel as the pandemic runs rampant across the UK, Europe and most of the northern hemisphere.  As with influenza, it appears that Covid-19 is more virulent in autumn and winter. In June and July a coronavirus variant - 20A.EU1 - originated in Spanish farmworkers and spread rapidly and is now one of the most prevalent in Europe.
"It is important to note that there is currently no evidence the new variant's spread is due to a mutation that increases transmission or impacts clinical outcome," stresses Dr Emma Hodcroft of the University of Basel, lead author of the study. The researchers believe that the variant's expansion was facilitated by loosening travel restrictions and social distancing measures in summer....From July, 20A.EU1 moved with travelers as borders opened across Europe, and has now been identified in twelve European countries. It has also been transmitted from Europe to Hong Kong and New Zealand." more
Prof Devi Sridhar, the chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, said there were flaws in the UK government’s approach to travel over the summer. “Numbers were really low and that was our chance to keep them low,” she said. “The virus moves when people move.” more

6. Developments in Kerala
Launched by sustainable and socially-driven platform NotOnMap and tour operator and destination management consultant Help Tourism, in association with The International Centre for Responsible Tourism, India, the initiative aims to educate rural communities and property owners to get back on their feet so they can maintain their properties and work towards reviving the tourism industry while maintaining hygiene guidelines and safety precautions. The initiative is being backed by and aims to cover all stakeholders of the rural tourism sector in India. Read more in Outlook Traveller

"The prime objective of the initiative was to assist the rural communities, Kumar Anubhav, Founder and Director, NotOnMap, said. This will be done by capitalizing on untapped culture and value heritage in rural areas. Many industry experts are conceptualizing design and execute Project Travival. This project consisted of more than 150 training videos, Anubhav said.
The videos have been framed in over 18 regional languages divided into 12 modules for Homestay owners, village Panchayats, teachers, youth, and women of villages and travellers across India thus covering all stakeholders of “Rural Tourism” in India. The videos not only cover topics around homestay and personal safety and hygiene but also educate people on sustainable practices and homestay business during Covid-19. It is inclusive of all points by international bodies and the government guidelines, includes policies to be followed by the hosts to maintain a guaranteed safe stay." Read more in the Financial Express

7. Employing the differently-abled and the disadvantaged in India
Back in 2016 Lemon Tree Hotels won Gold in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London for their commitment to barrier-free employment – they were also overall winners that year.  Patu Keswani, Chairman & Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels challenged his managers to find ways to employ the differently-abled and disadvantaged Indians because  “the brand should stand for more than ‘just profit’.” Lemon Tree is a large, successful and growing company encompassing several brands, 8,000 rooms in  91 hotels across 49 destinations; and it is committed to barrier-free employment. Their initiative started in 2007. By May 2018, approximately 21% of their employees were Indians who are opportunity deprived in some way. The interview with Aradhana Lal is available on demand during the Virtual WTM 10 & 11 November – it tells about the programme, explains how it was developed and discusses replication within and beyond the sector. more



8. Developments in Aviation
Bain & Company is predicting that demand for transatlantic flights will not recover until at least 2026, leaving the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic particularly exposed. more Back at the beginning of October British Airway's last 'Queen of the Skies' Boeing 747 was flown into retirement. in 1998 there were 986 Boeing 747s in service around the world. Only 33 remain in passenger service, with 122 in storage, and nearly 300 in service flying cargo. The 747 helped make air travel more available to ordinary people.  more
At Virtual WTM (10th November 15:30) there is a panel on Decarbonising Aviation.

Airbus has announced that it is planning to evaluate three concept planes each of which would be primarily powered by hydrogen. The goal is to figure out an aircraft design and manufacturing process so the hydrogen plane could potentially enter commercial service by 2035. Hydrogen is energy-dense, plentiful and it burns cleanly, although it will create contrails which research suggests have a warming effect, trapping heat.  Hydrogen is highly flammable and will need stronger fuel tanks, requiring redesign of aircraft,  and new logistical infrastructure will be necessary to supply it.
The final decision on whether a hydrogen plane is ready for commercial service will “come down to the economics and the supportability and, quite frankly, our customer interest,” Amanda Simpson, Vice president for research and technology at Airbus Americas. said. “Showing the technology is feasible and that it’s economical is key.” more

9. Tourism and Wildlife
TRAFFIC has engaged in smart tourism technology through its Wildlife Witness App, created in partnership with the Taronga Zoo. The app allows tourists and locals to report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinning the location of an incident, and sending the details to TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC has also partnered with Instagram on a programme that will warn people who hashtag selfies with certain animals about animal exploitation. more

Jane Goodall in conversation with G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip, pointed out that "As the world got wealthier and more people started to travel, they were destroying the world by sheer numbers. Culturally and environmentally, travel was going wrong. ... “One of the things to avoid is more people - the secret is tourism that is controlled. The number of people that are allowed in, and how long they can stay, and that is tough, but it has to be,” said Dr Goodall. During the pandemic, poaching has increased and she argued that “This pandemic has shed light on the way we have mistreated and disrespected animals and the environment. We have brought this pandemic on ourselves by forcing animals into contact with humans as we destroy their habitat, hunting them, eating them, killing them, trafficking them, selling them for food for medicine, exotic pet trade, selling them as skins. And factory farms for domestic animals. All of these things create the perfect conditions for a pathogen, like a virus, to jump from an animal to a person.” more

Marius Swart, a safari guide since 1992, has written a powerful piece about the ethics of guiding around wildlife " Guest experience and ethical guiding are not mutually exclusive, but finding the balance is everyone’s responsibility, and this cannot be done under a cloud of ignorant complicit". Read the article in Africa Geographic here.

10. Miscellany

〉  Visit Durango (in Colorado)  has launched an Extended Stay marketing campaign inviting  visitors to “Extend their Stay to Play an Extra Day.” “Get More of Durango.”  The campaign doesn’t encourage new visitation but rather increases the economic impact of the visitors who are already there. As Rachel Brown of VisIt Durango explains "Because it does not actually increase the quantity of visitors who come to the area, there is minimal threat of new germs being introduced into our population. By encouraging these visitors to stay longer, we increase the economic impact without risking the safety of our residents. With visitors extending their stay the hotels win, the restaurant wins, and the local economy wins. Visit Durango’s mission is to increase overnight stays in the county, but this goal of economic impact should never be at the detriment of our locals’ quality of life." more

South Korea has launched "untact travel" which emphasises wide outdoor spaces, from botanic gardens (such as Hwadam, pictured above) to bamboo forests and golden sandy beaches. The term ‘untact’ was coined earlier this year from the longer phrase ‘undoing contact’ to describe any travel destination or experience designed to facilitate social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.  more

Nonprofit media platform Voices of Rural India has found a way to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity by upgrading digital skills among rural storytellers to create alternative livelihoods. more

〉 With the support of Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)  a group of Portuguese children and young adults have brought an unprecedented climate change case against 33* countries to the European Court of Human Rights. They are appealing for financial support. 

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Responsible Traveller, South Africa
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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 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; 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

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


RT Voices at WTM

Irish Responsible Tourism News #6

peopleandplaces Spring Newsletter

WTM Responsible Tourism Newsletter


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? has published a review of the ethical issues around elephant rides following consultations with NGOs, experts and tour operators who offer trips through 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