RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 06/ 2021

  1. WTM Launches a "Platform for Change" 
  2. Climate Change: time to adapt?
  3. Building back better 
  4. Decarbonising Aviation 
  5. New Responsible Tourism School Launched 
  6. The Regional Awards in the Global Responsible Tourism Awards
  7. Covid-19 is not going away
  8. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance 
  9. World Heritage in Danger 
  10. Miscellany

Apply & Nominate here.

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1.WTM Launches a "Platform for Change"

Booking.com’s latest global research suggests that we have reached a “potential watershed moment for industry and consumers”.  Their research shows that travellers and holidaymakers want to travel sustainably and look for businesses and destinations that take responsibility for providing them with those opportunities. 48% say they find it harder to make sustainable choices while on vacation than in their everyday life. We need to make it easier for them, for commercial and sustainability reasons. more

John Swarbrooke has written on the WTM Responsible Tourism blog about why sustainable tourism failed  The Responsible Tourism movement has since 2002 sought to encourage businesses and destinations to do tourism better and the  Responsible Tourism Awards (open for entries this year until August 31st) have since 2004 been recognising those who have developed tried and tested ways of making tourism more sustainable.  The Platform for Change has been launched to provoke discussion about the issues which need to be addressed and the solutions which been tried and tested. Since 2004 Responsible Tourism Awards have been presented at WTM London each year and now also at WTM Africa and WTM LAT. Over the last couple of decades, many solutions have been developed and tested. In this decade, there needs to be more replication in order to tackle the challenge of sustainability. The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of resilience. If you have solutions you wish to contribute please contact us.

One of the biggest challenges confronting our sector is aviation, it is for this reason that it is our first platform. Aviation emissions, both domestic (40%) and international (60%), are the Achilles’ heel of the tourism industry. Tour operators, tourism authorities, and destinations need to demand that air transport providers remove carbon and other climate-harming emissions, not just to claim green credentials but to assure the industry’s future. Aviation is responsible for about 2.4% of the world’s CO2 emissions and 3.5% of human-induced climate change when other greenhouse gases and contrails are accounted for. In March 2020, the respected German consultancy Roland Berger forecast that if other industries decarbonise in line with current projections, aviation could account for up to 24% of global emissions by 2050 unless there is a significant technological shift. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are only a stopgap and carbon offsetting is beset with theoretical and practical difficulties, both designed to enable business as usual. The Platform presents the case for hydrogen and Airbus's initiative to decarbonise aviation.

Ubuntu matters in travel & tourism – WTM’s new Platform for Change will enable us to share solutions

Large companies are now taking leadership on the sustainability agenda - see for example this conversation  with Shannon Guihan, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer, at The Travel Corporation, USA

2. Climate Change: time to adapt?
Three decades of climate mitigation and we haven't bent the global emissions curve. Forget the theory and the forecasts we continue to pump greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, the evidence is clear. We are making our Earth more inhospitable for us - and many other species. We shall not destroy the planet, we are just making it more difficult for us to live here. Take a look at the graph.  Many scientists and activists understandably argue that we should not be focused on adaptation, that we must stay focused on mitigation, reducing the severity, seriousness of climate change. Others argue, and young people in particular, that it is time to adapt to climate change. Clover Hogan in a 12 minute TEDxLondonWomen speaks powerfully about how young people are falling into despair while adults make sense of their situation through denial -someone else will fix it.  It is now time to face up to the question: Is it time to adapt to climate change?
The US Drought Monitor map released on July 1st reveals how extensive the issue is.  “Already, scientists have discovered that across Pakistan and throughout the Persian Gulf, regions have reached combinations of temperature and humidity that are literally beyond the human threshold of survivability. The term for this measure is “wet-bulb temperature… ”  Raymond, Matthews & Horton revealed in May 2020 in Science Advances the health and morbidity consequences of extreme humid heat and that occurrences have ”  more than doubled in frequency since 1979.” As temperatures reached  49.6C (121.3F) in Lytton, British Columbia, with a “Heat Dome” over the Pacific northwest President Biden has understood that the heatwave is tied to climate change and has announced a plan to update the country’s infrastructure network. more

On climate change, President Biden is clear about urgency. He has pointed out that  “… scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis… the world beyond 1.5 degrees means more frequent and intense fires, floods, droughts, heatwaves and hurricanes – tearing through communities, ripping away lives and livelihoods, increasingly dire impacts to our public health…. We can’t resign ourselves to that future.  We have to take action, all of us.” Now we’ve seen the wildfires and other consequences for human health, other species and the environment in the Pacific northwest. It is no longer an academic debate about the science of climate change – the change is upon us and we need to adapt to it. The agenda for action is no longer only about mitigation, we have procrastinated for so long that we have now to mitigate and adapt. more

Meanwhile, the United Nations has announced that it has recognized a new record-high temperature of 18.3°C or 64.9°F set on the Antarctic continent last year,  set at Argentina's Esperanza base on February 06, 2020. more Warming is a global issue. George Monbiot has clinically, and with substantial evidence, laid bare the chasm between  the rhetoric and extravagant PR commitments, "higher targets appear to be a substitute for action." Having targets and policy objectives is not enough - we need to implement them. On 30 June Channel4 News in the UK reported "ExxonMobil’s lobbying war on climate change legislation"

3. Building back better

As our sector begins to emerge from the pandemic and learns to live with Covid a range of different responses is emerging, and of course, many places remain locked down.

In Amsterdam, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst, regulations have been used to prevent tourist souvenir shops from displacing those which serve residents, to prevent residential accommodation from being converted to holiday lets and to restrict the building of new hotels. more
  Barcelona has developed a free app for mobiles to receive real-time information about visitor numbers at Barcelona’s landmarks and cultural attractions. The best way to visit the city and avoid the queues and crowds! And they are promoting local shops, eco-friendly transport [sustainable mobility], and blue & green Barcelona/

Airbnb has been fined 8 million euros over unregistered Paris rentals for allowing over 1,000 listings to flout rules to register their rentals. more Florence has banned evening walks in the most popular nightlife areas for those who have been eating or drinking in the area and there have been calls street food stalls to be taxed. The ban will remain in place until the end of the pandemic. more   In the Hawaii Archipelago, Maui County Council has imposed a moratorium on building permits for new visitor accommodations in South and West Maui.

The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland have launched a campaign reminding UK drivers to plan ahead before embarking on their staycation in Scotland this summer.  In Scotland, the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) is spending £5.8m  on improving infrastructure and creating jobs at a number of Scotland’s popular visitor destinations and nature hotspots, at least partly in response to the issues which have arisen during the pandemic from very large numbers of domestic tourists in areas ill-equipped to receive them.  more In Perthshire a civilian force of seven 'visitor rangers' now patrol Perthshire preventing the pressure of tourism spoiling the county's increasingly popular countryside, to promote responsible tourism and help prevent ‘dirty camping’.
The North Coast 500 billed as Scotland's answer to Route 66, the scenic 516-mile (830km) circuit was developed as a way of increasing visitor numbers to lesser-trodden corners of the Highlands and helping boost the economies of remote communities. Launched in 2015 the NC500 is estimated to be worth more than £22 million annually to the Scottish economy. Now it is too successful, ditches have been dug around Applecross in Wester Ross to stop motorhomes parking in environmentally sensitive places, the route is dividing the community. more
In Wales, Denbighshire is encouraging visitors to plan, prepare and pre-book to ensure a positive experience, coastal safety tips, and outdoor safety messages to ensure people have the right skills, knowledge and gear before venturing out. In Northern Ireland the Economy Minister has launched a new visitor pledge to encourage safe and responsible tourism. Visitors are asked to show their support by signing up to the pledge and committing to the three core guidelines: Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of the Land, and Take Care of Local Businesses. Director of Marketing at Tourism Northern Ireland Naomi Waite added: "The launch of the visitor pledge will help to boost consumer confidence by setting out simple steps that we can all take together to make a difference. Whether it is social distancing, cleaning up litter after enjoying the outdoors or shopping local, I encourage all residents to take the pledge to support local businesses and our local environment.

4. Decarbonising Aviation
The Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki has spoken out about the importance of reducing aviation emissions. "Phantom Credits": In May Greenpeace UK's journalism project Unearthed published an analysis of carbon offsetting projects used by major airlines using satellite analysis of tree cover loss conducted by McKenzie Intelligence Services suggesting that the schemes lack verification and questioning their carbon offsetting impact. There is more on doubts about carbon offsetting as a viable mitigation strategy here. Bristol Airport has announced that it will be the first net-zero UK airport with three key commitments to be a net-zero airfield, with net-zero buildings and operate a net-zero fleet of vehicles. [cf. Climate scientists: concept of net-zero is a dangerous trap]

Shell and Rolls-Royce had agreed to work together to  "expand and accelerate several existing areas of cooperation between the companies such as advancing the use of SAF. This includes Rolls-Royce’s new SAFinity service, for which Shell is the exclusive SAF supplier, and working together on demonstrating the use of 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” solution."  Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park in Rhineland near Cologne has Europe’s largest Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyser today began operations at, producing green hydrogen. The electrolyser was manufactured by ITM Power in Sheffield, UK, and includes parts made in Italy, Sweden, Spain and Germany. The European consortium backing the project consists of SINTEF (co-ordinator), Shell, ITM Power, Sphera and Element Energy. more

Alternatives to flying continue to be developed. A French start-up founded by Adrien Aumont and Romain Payet, the duo behind French crowdfunding website KissKissBankBank, has revealed plans for a new network of overnight services from Paris to 12 European destinations, including Edinburgh and Porto. Midnight Trains hopes to reinvent the overnight train experience completely by launching a "hotel on rails" that offers a greener alternative to flying as well as a more comfortable alternative to the basic night train services long associated with Europe. more The New York Post ran a feature on Responsible Travel's around the world tour, without flying.

HYDROGEN-POWERED AVIATION: PREPARING FOR TAKE-OFF  In Brussels a Technical Workshop “Hydrogen-powered aviation Research and Innovation” has developed a technical roadmap focused on demonstrating fuel cell-based propulsion for regional aircraft architectures, and hydrogen direct burn based propulsion for short-medium-range aircraft architectures. "The first phase (2022-mid 2025) would consist of maturing technology enablers (e.g. MW-scale fuel cells system, H2 storage) and design hydrogen propulsion and aircraft configurations. Following a maturity assessment and concept selection at halfway through  the programme (mid-2025), the second phase (mid 2025-2030) would consist of maturing technology enablers, and adapting, integrating and demonstrating in order to achieve ‘frozen’ hydrogen propulsion and aircraft configurations by end 2029." more

5 New Responsible Tourism School Launched
The School for Responsible Tourism is a hub where tourism business owners, destination managers and industry thought leaders can access up-to-date resources and training. Established by Sarah Habsburg, a graduate of the Responsible Tourism Masters, t
he School for Responsible Tourism will become a space filled with valuable, inspiring, and motivational online tourism courses that will support you in your quest to make a difference. By detecting where and how you can make change you begin to enhance your offer, generate increased customer satisfaction, and improve sales through authentic marketing. The Advisory Panel includes Harold Goodwin and John Swarbrooke.

6 The Regional Awards in the Global Responsible Tourism Awards
!Khwa ttu, the "embassy" of the San of southern Africa were recognised in the RT Awards, in the video they explain what it meant to them

2021 brings the launch of Global Awards for each category, selected from the Gold winners in each of the regions. There will be Gold and Silver awards in each of the four regions, and the judges’ may also identify “ones to watch”. The judges can only choose from amongst those that apply. You can nominate others or your own business, destination, or organisation on the awards page which also has details of the categories here. Closing date 31 August

Two winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards explain here why they entered and how it benefitted them. 



Those businesses, destinations and organisations which win Gold in the four regional awards in Africa, India, Latin America, and the Rest of the World will automatically be entered into the Global Awards. There will be regional panels of judges and the global judging will be done by a panel drawn from the regional panels. All the panels will be chaired by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, to ensure that the same processes are followed rigorously in all panels.

There are regional awards pages for  India, and Latin America Portuguese & Spanish.

Everyone enters via the WTM's global hub where you will find an entry guide, and buttons to nominate businesses and destinations which you think should enter and a button to enter. 

7. Covid-19 is not going away
Uneven vaccination rates are creating a new economic divide. The World Bank's Ayhan Kose describes a “tale of two recoveries”.  "In the world’s poorest 29 economies (including 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa), only 0.3% of the population has received even one dose of vaccine. This group’s growth prospects have deteriorated. Their combined gdp is set to grow by 2.9% this year (not 3.4% as forecast six months ago). That would be their second-worst performance in the past two decades. Their worst was last year." more
In America,  only around 30% of Mississippians and Alabamans are fully protected.

As the Economist points out "Delta, first spotted in India, is two to three times more infectious than the virus that came out of Wuhan. Cases spread so fast that hospitals can rapidly run out of beds and medical staff (and sometimes oxygen), even in places where 30% of people have had jabs. Today’s variants are spreading even among the vaccinated. No mutation has yet put a dent in the vaccines’ ability to prevent almost all severe disease and death. But the next one might."  Looking at the legacy The Economist quotes the work of Nicholas Christakis of Yale University. He "identifies three shifts: the collective threat prompts a growth in state power; the overturning of everyday life leads to a search for meaning; and the closeness of death which brings caution while the disease rages, spurs audacity when it has passed." "Very roughly, rich-country governments paid out 90 cents for every dollar of lost output." Coivd accelerated changes which we already underway before the pandemic; the digital revolution, the impact of climate change and the rise of China.   more

In the EU a vaccine passport system is up and running to enable people to travel. The Economist has created a normalcy index*, to June 24th 2021, pre-pandemic level=100. The index "now sits at 66, implying that only half of the disruption caused by covid-19 has been reversed.  "America is at 73, the EU 71, Australia 70 and Britain 62. Elsewhere, the range is wider. Both Hong Kong and New Zealand, the leaders at 96 and 88, enjoy nearly full normalcy." more  Post the G7 summit in Cornwall, seven-day case rates have risen rapidly for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, increasing from 4.9 per 100,000 people on 3 June to 130.6 per 100,000. Outbreaks among students, as well as the impact of people travelling to and from Cornwall during half term, are believed to have significantly contributed to the rise. more

The UNWTO reports that international tourist arrivals were down 83% in the first quarter of 2021 UNWTO has estimated GDP losses by country due to a pandemic-related reduction in tourism, those countries most dependent on international tourism are hardest hit. Turkey down 9.1%, Ecuador 9%, South Africa 8.1%, Ireland 5.9%, Switzerland 4.3%, South Korea 3.8%, Australia/New Zealand 3.7%, France and  UK 3.2%. more

8. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
The SHA has published a water stewardship factsheet and identified the steps necessary for hotels to become good water stewards.  And a new training resource to support disadvantaged young people to build a better future. The resource is freely available to qualified organisations to tackle the global issue of youth unemployment and help more young people who face additional barriers to employment to start their career journeys.

9. World Heritage in Danger
The main purpose of UNESCO's World Heritage listing system is to ensure that sites on the list are respected and protected by national jurisdictions. Sites are placed on the World Heritage in Danger list  - there are presently 53 properties on the list including the Historic Centre of Vienna, the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone,  Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City, the Selous Game Reserve and Everglades National Park. Seven new sites may be added to the list including Venice, Budapest. Ohrid, and Stonehenge. more  The Great Barrier Reef is also threatened with being listed as in danger.

Lakshadweep is not a World Heritage Site but there is concern about tourism development in the Lakshadweep archipelago of 36 islands in the Arabian sea. The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021. It provides for the development of townships as well as acquisition, alteration and transfer of landed properties owned by Lakshadweep residents. more

10. Miscellany

    1. Holly Tuppen has published a consumer article in inews :  How to plan a holiday that benefits everyone involved – including the planet
    2. A herd of 13 elephants born and raised in a Kent zoo are about to get on a plane to travel almost 4,500 miles to Kenya in order to reintroduce them to the wild in a first-of-its -kind operation.
    3. ResponsibleTravel's new trade collection features a thousand holidays spanning across more than 80 countries, giving agents access to a unique collection of global holidays, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.
    4. Manchester's Jewish Museum has just reopened following a £6 million redevelopment project. Katy Marks, director of Citizens Design Bureau, believes the reimagined museum“serves as an architectural expression of the idea that we have more in common than that which divides us and we’re excited to finally share the building with everyone”.
    5. TravelTomorrow is just one year old and now has around one million subscribers
    6.  Adrienne Harris has asked practitioners to write to her about how development agencies could improve their tourism practice
    7. World Female Ranger Day 
    8. Ideas.TED.Com has produced a catalogue of 12 climate change documentaries and series that will give you an up-close look — and some solutions
    9. The European Travel Commission has published a Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit

 

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RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 05/ 2021

  1. If not now, when?
  2. Addressing Overtourism 
  3. Madhya Pradesh Webinar on Regenerative Tourism 
  4. Living with Covid-19
  5. Biodiversity and Telling the Wrong Stories About Africa, WTM Africa 
  6. Inclusive Tourism: Growing the Local Economic Impact
  7. Progress in Aviation?
  8. Sustainable Hospitality Handbook Booking.com
  9. 100% Pure Future—New Zealand Tourism Renewed
  10. Miscellany

Apply & Nominate here.

The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of July
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism.
Subscribe to RT News here  You can update or amend your mailing preference at the foot of the email which delivers RT News to you.


  1. If not now, when?
    As US President Joe Biden asserted this is the “decisive decade” for tackling climate change. “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis… The need for action is increasingly urgent. The longer we procrastinate the more damage we shall do and the greater the cost. more
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported on 27 May that there is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time. WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “Increasing temperatures mean more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heatwaves and other extreme weather, and greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development,” more
    An Inconvenient Truth: Net-zero is a dangerous trap the bath analogy works because even if we reduce the flow into the bath, the bath can still overflow. As long as emissions are added to our atmosphere faster than they are removed then concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase and climate change worsens.  Collectively the research scientists Dyke, Watson and Knorr have spent more than 80 years thinking about climate change.  "… the idea of net-zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier “burn now, pay later” approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar."
    WTM, as part of its forthcoming Platform for Change, has published Time for Effective Action to Remove Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation.
    The European Union has recognised that it now needs to adapt to Climate Change "setting out the pathway to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. While the EU does everything within its power to mitigate climate change, domestically and internationally, we must also get ready to face its unavoidable consequences. From deadly heatwaves and devastating droughts to decimated forests and coastlines eroded by rising sea levels, climate change is already taking its toll in Europe and worldwide."
  2. Addressing Overtourism
    Barcelona
    has launched a new app to enable visitors to avoid congestion, visitors and residents alike can access real-time information about how busy the tourist sites are and the availability of tickets. The new app aims to prevent congestion at tourist sites and offer alternatives to visitors. The Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona has published its report on the results of the Survey on the profile and habits of tourists visiting Destination Barcelona during 2020 Turisme de Barcelona launched its campaign “Barcelona like Never Before”, to reposition Barcelona with a story about the recovery and re-boot of the city after its closure.
    Geotourist
    has an app that enables you to present and explain your places to the world, their platform enables you to provide interpretation, disperse visitors away from honeypots, bring tourists to unknown places, celebrate local history and culture, wildlife and landscapes, and discover the studios of artists and artisan workshops. The only limits are your time and imagination.
    In Hawaii  there was a move to cut the tourism promotion budget, defeated by councillors arguing that “We want our tourists when they come to come and be pono [righteousness] and responsible tourists. And when we take away this money, we are not going to be able to articulate that message,” said Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz, citing recent examples of bad behavior, or cluelessness about dangers, from visitors at Waipio Valley and Four Miles park."
    In Tahoe Jesse Patterson, chief strategy officer with the League to Save Lake Tahoe says “People leaving litter or other things behind, crowding places that are already crowded, parking and traffic issues related to that which become safety issues when you’re on a highway, near a cliff or on a boat for the first time ever with a bunch of other people on boats for the first time ever.” A travel pledge has been launched: “Demonstrate mindful travel. Be fire safe. Become a steward of Lake Tahoe,”  Shared stewardship with residents and visitor alike taking responsibility. “Locals play just as much of a part in this,” notes Devin Middlebrook, Mayor Pro Tem of the city of South Lake Tahoe. “We are also recreating. We are also going out and driving our cars around the Tahoe Basin. It’s not a visitor’s problem. It’s an ‘everyone’ challenge that we’re all working to solve.”
  3. Madhya Pradesh Webinar on Regenerative Tourism
    Webinar Registration
  4. Living with Covid-19
    Global coronavirus cases continue to rise, deaths have also been rising, however official figures may not fully reflect the true number in many countries. As the World Health Organisation constantly reminds us, a global pandemic requires a world effort to end it – none of us will be safe until everyone is safe. There are still many destinations around the world reliant on tourism for nationally significant numbers of livelihoods and precious foreign exchange, which dare not open their borders. For the less developed countries learning to live with Covid is a major additional burden. Most of the world remains unvaccinated. The BBC has an interactive web page with graphics showing the continuing rise in cases and progress with vaccination.

    In an effort to take the nationalist politics out of the discussion of Covid-19. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead has argued that "No country should be stigmatised for detecting and reporting variants, the UK Kent variant is now Alpha, the South African variant is Beta, the Brazil variant, Gamma and the India variant Delta. full list
    None of the transition to living with Covid-19 is going to be easy. There are reports in the mainstream press of more than 1,200 vendors operating in the UK and worldwide, offering false documents for as little as £25. more  Border staff ‘catching 100 fake Covid certificates a day’ at UK border. more  People thinking about travelling internationally need to answer at least six questions: 1) Am I fully vaccinated? 2)  What are the local entry requirements? 3) Can I visit the attractions I want to see? 4) What’s the current COVID situation at my destination?  5) Where will I get a COVID test? 6) Can I quarantine after returning? 7) Can I afford the cost and time to quarantine? 8) Where should I sit on the plane? 9) Can I get adequate insurance? Caroline Bologna has asked whether it is ethical to travel internationally before the world is vaccinated? 
    The UNWTO has published a series of Inclusive Recovery Guide – Sociocultural Impacts of Covid-19,  I: Persons with Disabilities; 2  Cultural Tourism 3: Women in tourism 4: Indigenous Communities  download them here 
  5. Biodiversity and Telling the Wrong Stories About Africa, WTM Africa
    Tourism and Biodiversity: Friend or Foe?
      Africa is still blessed with much of the world’s charismatic megafauna, the Big 5 and a host of other species which tourists will pay top dollar to see. There can be no doubt that at least some of Africa’s biodiversity is highly valued. Too highly valued perhaps. Some species are worth more dead than alive as trophies, for decoration or “medicine”. As Shaun Vorster pointed out “When it comes to protecting our biodiversity, it is not about zero impact. It has to be about mitigating negative impact and making a positive impact in communities, be it economic, social or ecological.”
    We tell the wrong stories about Africa. We are a storytelling species. Storytelling matters; it creates meaningful connections, we need to do it better. We need to have more diversity in the experiences and stories we tell. Only through storytelling can we realise the ambition of Responsible Tourism to provide “more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.”We need to think about the stories we tell in the itineraries and places we recommend and market.  We need to take responsibility if travel is to broaden the mind rather than reinforce prejudices.
  6. Inclusive Tourism: Growing the Local Economic Impact
    Joanna Haugen points out in Rooted,  there is a new emphasis on going local learning about and understanding "the nuances of locality in the destinations tour professionals work is an important first step in promoting offerings that meaningfully and intentionally support the people who live there." In Kerala the "West Coast Canal to be made Tourism Water-Highway" as many as 50 tourism spots will be created along the banks, local cuisine, culture, folk arts and handicrafts will be promoted so that local community reaps the benefit. At WTM Africa there was a panel discussing: How can tourism create more value for local communities?  "Let tourism create more value for local communities"
  7. Progress in Aviation?
    The International Energy Agency has just published NZE Net-Zero by 2050: a road map for the global energy sector. "The NZE assumes that aviation growth is constrained by comprehensive government policies that promote a shift towards high‐speed rail and rein in the expansion of long‐haul business travel, e.g. through taxes on commercial passenger flights" - there is more detail pp.135-6.
    In February Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and the environment at Cambridge University wrote to the Financial Times. to argue that the only way the UK can get to net-zero by 2050 is with a substantial period of no aviation at all. Rather than relying on new technologies, the sector should work to reduce emissions using existing technologies. Back in 2019 Absolute Zero warned: "All current aviation activity will be phased out within 30 years, which creates an extraordinary opportunity for other forms of international communication (for example using the technologies of today’s gaming industry to transform today’s backwards-looking video-conferencing), for the travel and leisure industry to expand more localised vacations and for developments in non-emitting mid-range transport such as electric trains and buses".
    Joanna Haugen in Sustainable Brands quotes Dr. Giulio Mattioli, faculty of spatial planning in the Department of Transport Planning at TU Dortmund. “Alternative fuels and propulsion systems may well help with climate mitigation but it will probably be a long time before they are deployed at a scale that makes a difference..... “The aviation industry has a long history of exaggerating how soon new clean technologies will be available, and how much they will help in reducing emissions, in order to deny the fact that travel-demand management measures will also be necessary.”
    A team of researchers at the University of Oxford have revealed what they say is a cost-effective and efficient way of producing jet fuel from carbon dioxide, using an inexpensive iron-based catalyst. The Oxford researchers believe the new method could produce a competitively priced fuel that could potentially eliminate the high emissions burden of air travel. more
  8. Sustainable Hospitality Handbook Booking.com
    Booking.com's 2020 survey found that demand for sustainable accommodation is growing year on year:  82% of global travellers identified sustainable travel as important to them and 70% say they’re more likely to book accommodation if they know it’s eco-friendly – even if they weren’t looking for an eco-friendly property in the first place. Half of those surveyed believe there are not enough sustainable travel options available to them, and 38% don’t know how or where to find such options. Booking.com has just published a Sustainability Guide which they describe as "the first step on our shared journey to change the travel industry together."
  9. 100% Pure Future—New Zealand Tourism Renewed
    Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on New Zealand tourism. But the industry was already troubled by unchecked growth and questionable governance that has put pressure on the environment, infrastructure and communities. To thrive, the tourism sector needs to radically rethink its role in our natural environment, society and economy. Its greatest opportunities lie in tackling its greatest liabilities...  Video
  10. Miscellany

The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub, which provides easy links to Responsible Tourism on the WTM websites and RT Partnership.

RT News carries the top ten stories on RT – the are many more links to RT stories here.

Sponsored by @WTM_WRTD
WTM Monthly RT Newsletter

RT News Video Channel

 

Responsible Tourism Partnership one of "5 Meaningful Voices In The Push For Responsible Tourism"

 

 

 

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town
Climate Change in 7 charts

Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa

Subscribe to WTM’s RT Update here 

WTM Responsible Tourism Blog

Responsible Tourism News is a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important Responsible Tourism stories of the month. 8,000 people subscribe to receive it every month.  Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can subscribe using the box on the right if you wish to contribute a story email harold@haroldgoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page.

You are receiving this email because you have been receiving RT News for some years or have recently subscribed online. Your name and email address is kept securely by our agent and used only to send you a copy of RT News. We will never sell or give your mailing address to any other organisation. Every edition of RT News sent by email comes with an unsubscribe function so if at any time you wish to cease receiving RT News, please unsubscribe. Our mailing list contains only your name and email address.

If you have any queries, please email harold@responsibletourismpartnership.org

Harold Goodwin’s Responsible Tourism Blog
Harold Goodwin blogs regularly on the  WTM Responsible Tourism Blog
Twitter: @goodwinhj  & @WTM_WRTD #RTourismNews

RT NewsWTM

RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 04/ 2021

  1. Global Responsible Tourism Awards Launched
  2. Aviation, Time for a Step Change to Decarbonise
  3. Covid part of the new normal 
  4. Climate Change
  5. Responsble Tourism at WTM Africa
  6. Consumer Trends
  7. 20 years of Responsible Travel
  8. Overtourism post-Covid, the challenge of staycations
  9. 100% Pure New Zealand
  10. Miscellany 

The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of June
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism.
Subscribe to RT News here  You can update or amend your mailing preference at the foot of the email which delivers RT News to you.

25th May 09:00 to 12:00 GMT  there is the founding online event of a new initiative to RESET Tourism. Reviewing sustainability in tourism and tourism destination development. Making sure your offer is Good for People Planet and Place, and that your guests and tourists know. more

1. Global Responsible Tourism Awards Launched
In 2021, for the first time, we are launching Global Awards for each category – selected from the Gold winners in each of the regions. There will be Gold and Silver awards in each of the four regions, and the judges’ may also identify ‘ones to watch’. The judges can only choose from amongst those that apply. You can nominate others or your own business, destination, or organisation on the awards page here. Those businesses, destinations and organisations which win Gold in the four regional awards in Africa, India, Latin America, and the Rest of the World will automatically be entered into the Global Awards. There will be regional panels of judges and the global judging will be done by a panel drawn from the regional panels. All the panels will be chaired by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, to ensure that the same processes are followed rigorously in all panels. They are free to enter.  Categories: 1) Decarbonising Travel & Tourism, 2) Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic, 3) Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID, 4) Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?, 5) Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment and 60 Growing the Local Economic Benefit. The Awards close 31 August 2021. Apply & Nominate here.

 

2. Aviation, Time for a Step Change to Decarbonise
In March 2020, the respected German consultancy Roland Berger forecast that if other industries decarbonise in line with current projections, aviation could account for up to 24% of global emissions by 2050 unless there is a significant technological shift. Airlines, highly influential in the International Civil Aviation Organization, have sought to continue with Business as Usual and initially passed responsibility to their consumers to offset their emissions voluntarily. Carbon offsets are popular with some in the aviation sector because responsibility passes to the end consumer and removes any pressure for the aircraft manufacturer or the airline to reduce their emissions. And they are very cheap – too cheap. If offsets tempt you, look at the scientific arguments against them. 10 myths about net-zero targets and carbon offsetting, busted.
The aviation industry is the travel and tourism sector’s Achilles’ heel. Tour operators, tourism authorities, and destinations need to demand that air transport providers remove carbon and other climate-harming emissions, not just to claim green credentials but to assure the industry’s future.

Flying is not the problem, its greenhouse gas emissions are the problem. Some new companies are developing planes that do not rely on fossil fuels and Airbus‘s ambition is to create the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. Decarbonising aviation is vital to the future of the travel and tourism sector. The aviation sector needs to decarbonise itself, and it is demonstrably failing to make progress fast enough. This failure jeopardises the future of travel and tourism for the outbound industry and destinations. COP26 is the opportunity for aviation to be brought under the control of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC.

The longer the aviation industry delays taking effective scalable action the bigger the crisis will be when governments act to curtail emissions. The aviation sector is now behind others in addressing climate change and their preferred solutions, carbon offsettingSustainable Aviation Fuels, and net-zero, have significant weaknesses and are not credibly scalable.
WTM, as part of its Platform for Change, has published Time for Effective Action to Remove Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation.

The Guardian, Can the aviation industry really go carbon neutral by 2050? has reported on an investigation conducted with  Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative arm, found that although many forest projects were doing valuable conservation work, the credits that they generated by preventing environmental destruction appear to be based on a flawed and much-criticised system, even though these credits were being used to back up claims of “carbon-neutral flying” and net-zero commitments.

3. Covid: part of the new normal 
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announce a Destination Tracker in preparation for the restart of international travel. The tracker available on both UNWTO and IATA's websites will have information about infection rates, positivity rates, and vaccination roll out by destination/country;  test and quarantine requirements; and Destination Measures, including general health and safety requirements such as the use of masks, transit through a country, curfew, or regulations related to restaurants and attractions, provided by national tourism organizations.

The John Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Centre data demonstrates the overall toll of coronavirus on a country over time.

Their cumulative cases by date plotted as confirmed cases per 100,000 population demonstrates that Covid-19 remains a major global challenge.

A recent IATA survey, reports that 72% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible.

The European Parliament has urged the rapid restoration of free movement in the EU as one of the pillars of the single market enshrined in the European treaties. A new name, “EU COVID-19 Certificate” has been agreed to make it clearer to EU citizens and also limit the certificates’ use to during the pandemic. more

4. Climate Change
Climate scientists: concept of net-zero is a dangerous trap

"... the idea of net zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier “burn now, pay later” approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar. .... by 2009 it was becoming increasingly clear that it would not be possible to make even the gradual reductions that policymakers demanded. That was the case even if carbon capture and storage was up and running. The amount of carbon dioxide that was being pumped into the air each year meant humanity was rapidly running out of time.
Current net zero policies will not keep warming to within 1.5°C because they were never intended to. They were and still are driven by a need to protect business as usual, not the climate. If we want to keep people safe then large and sustained cuts to carbon emissions need to happen now. That is the very simple acid test that must be applied to all climate policies. The time for wishful thinking is over." Research scientists Dyke, Watson and Knorr 

BBC Weather's Ben Rich explores the impact of coronavirus on the global climate.
French legislators have voted in favour of legislation that will ban domestic flight services that trains are able to cover in less than two-and-a-half hours. The French government has provided a bailout for Air France which for EU approval will require that it relinquishes some slots at Orly Airport 
Canada's Edmonton International has signed The Climate Pledge which it plans to achieve by switching to green electricity and recuign consumption.

5. Responsble Tourism at WTM Africa
We can learn much about tourism in and from Africa – celebrating diversity and inclusiveness, growing the cake to create more value for neighbouring communities, living with and benefitting from biodiversity (some of it dangerous), and the importance of transparency. One of the few benefits of a virtual programme is that we can have speakers from around the world on the panels at WTM Africa and that they can be shared worldwide.
WTM Africa's Responsible Tourism programme this year was virtual with very international panels and all of it recorded and available free online.
Leaders discussed Progress in Responsible Tourism and the role of certification more, and there is an interview with Lisa Scriven about Fair Trade Tourism. The question Tourism and Biodiversity, Friend or Foe? was discussed and experts from across Africa, and Rupesh Kumar from India, shared their experience in creating more value for local communities moreThe cultural diversity of Africa is undervalued by the tourism industry at WTM Africa this year we addressed the question Whose diversity is it? and there was a discussion about Storytelling. All the videos from WTM Africa are available here 

6. Consumer Trends
Booking.com's latest report is entitled: Impact awakening: the rise of responsible travel

Booking.com
commissioned research and conducted among a sample of adults who have travelled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries were polled. 53% said that they were looking for more sustainable ways to travel; to avoid travelling during peak season (51%), overcrowding (48%) and overly busy tourist attractions (63%). More than half (53%) of global travellers are willing to reduce their waste and recycle their plastic when travelling, I want to travel more sustainably because COVID-19 has opened my eyes to humans’ impact on the environment. Ranging from 74% in Colombia and 27% in the Netherlands.I expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options. Ranging from Colombia 86% to Denmark 47% 
WTTC reports that in 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.4% to global GDPa share that decreased to 5.5% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. Domestic visitor spending decreased by 45%, while international visitor spending declined by an unprecedented 69.4%.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park visitor survey 2020 revealed some significant changes in visitors. Visitors came mainly from urban areas on the edge of the National Park. There was a rise in the number of first-time visitors with 20% saying their first-ever visit to the Dales was in 2020 (14% in 2017). It has also shown an increase in younger people, and people from different ethnic backgrounds visiting.

The 2020 report released by Statistics South Africa, reveals that foreign arrivals dropped by 71% from just over 15, 8million in 2019 to less than 5 million in 2020. It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the tourism industry quite hard around the world and in South Africa, mainly due to the lockdown and travel restrictions that were imposed.

7. 20 years of Responsible Travel
In April Responsible Travel celebrated twenty years of Responsible Travel, a company I co-founded with Justin Francis. From the outset, it was an activist company wanting to demonstrate that there was a market for Responsible Travel. It was, and is, a simple concept: better holidays for consumers, better for communities in destinations and better for the environment and nature.

At the heart of Responsible Travel and Responsible Tourism is the principle that better places to live are better places to visit – in that order. Back in 2001, when we launched the company, many were sceptical and expected the company to fail. It didn’t. It has grown and has generated profits. Responsible Travel has proven that it was possible, in travel and tourism, to be responsible and to be profitable. more Justin Francis has published his reflections on the first two decades. Responsible Travel: How sustainable tourism has changed over the past 20 years  I sold my shares and ceased to be a director well over a decade ago, recognising that this financial interest conflicted with my academic and consultancy work.

8. Overtourism post-Covid, the challenge of staycations
Staycation is now used with two different meanings, originally coined to refer to day trips from home it is now widely used to refer to domestic tourism. VisitScotland is encouraging staycations, slow travel, eco-holidays, wellbeing and wellness, and nature-based experiences. They are also promoting workcations, "if you can work from home you can work from anywhere now."

In common with many other national tourism offices, VisitBritain is encouraging domestic tourism, inspiring consumers to book a short break. Visit England has produced a series of cartoons to encourage more responsible behaviour, I have not seen any being used yet. more


Scotland In early April with lockdown rules in place, the police were able to "move on" and disperse people planning to wild camp at a popular beauty spot, Mennock Pass, but 'stay local' rules were lifted on April 26 when managing wild camping will become much more difficult.  Increased numbers of wild campers travelling by car and motorhomes are expected as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

VisitScotland has brought together local authorities, Police Scotland, Nature Scot and many others, to develop plans for new infrastructure and to coordinate a whole package of visitor messaging being targeted at potential visitors. the Highland Tourism Partnership (HTP), whose priorities include "delivering a world-class customer experience" and marketing the region as a responsible tourism destination. The HTP comprises the  North Coast 500 Ltd, VisitScotland, Highland Council, NatureScot, Wester Ross Tourism, Venture North, Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Cairngorms Business Partnership, Visit Moray Speyside, SkyeConnect and Lochaber Outdoor Capital of the UK, representing more than 2000 Highland businesses from across all sectors involved in tourism – including hotels, B&Bs, visitor attractions, guided tours and food-and-drink providers. Local communities are at the heart of HTP's approach to "looking after and developing the Highlands for the long-term sustainable benefit of our special area and its people".

Chris Taylor, has explained that VisitScotland wants "to inspire Scots to travel responsibly once current restrictions ease; encourage them to tread lightly in the places they visit and educate visitors on responsible actions to ensure tourism remains a sustainable industry, well into the future." There is significant investment in countryside rangers, new parking, visitor interpretation, upgraded and accessible toilets and new facilities to help manage motorhomes. A holiday voucher scheme will be created to support a more socially sustainable and inclusive tourism industry. In Ireland, RTE published advice for their listeners, with the government continuing to advise against international travel, it is inevitable that this summer will see an internal migration en masse to our coasts. It is a good time to think about how we might staycation in a more responsible manner this summer. Be friendly with the locals ¦ Be considerate of nature ¦ Be safe ¦ Spread the load ¦ Sound intelligent to your friends: maybe avail of those locally-led biodiversity walks and events, take time to read the heritage boards, or simply chat with the locals over the hedge. "It doesn’t hurt to be friendly, kind and considerate to both your hosts: Nature and communities." Kevin Lynch NUI Galway Revenge Travel and the Hunt for Responsible Tourists 

In the Lake District campers leave behind tents, empty bottles and sleeping bags. At Thirlmere the Lakes Plastic Collective removed 13 bin bags of rubbish. A 'motorhome code of conduct' has been introduced in the Lake District. Demand for motorhomes soared during the pandemic. The new code, set out on the Visit Lake District website, asks visitors to plan their route and respect their surroundings: "most of all, think like a local, We are asking visitors to value and support our local communities and take the opportunity to explore them, using local farm shops and eateries and, when safe, visiting attractions." More than 250,000 walkers trek up Scafell Pike (978m)  every year, more are expected post-lockdown as people holiday at home and take staycations. A helicopter has been used to take a digger up the side of Scafell Pike, to help National Trust rangers and Fix the Fells repair damage to one of the main routes to the top.

Even during the Covid pandemic the fact that tourism is a polluting industry has been obvious. Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, says: “What residents saw here in the Lakes and the Dales the last time the ‘stay at home’ message was relaxed last Summer was absolute carnage. “Inconsiderate parking led to chaos on the roads and on some occasions, emergency service vehicles were unable to get passed. Litter and dog mess was left to clutter up paths and pavements. Farm gates were left open, fires and BBQs led to damage to the local wildlife, and the household water supply polluted. There were people camping overnight playing loud music into the early hours and other anti-social behaviour.

9. 100% Pure New Zealand
Navigating the future of tourism (David Simmons)  for the long haul, carbon proofing NZ tourism (Susanne Becken) and improving national park management (Dave Bamford). In 100% Pure Future – New Zealand Tourism Renewed (published November 2020), nine writers outline their visions for sustainable tourism that puts the environment first and creates more meaningful exchanges between visitors and their hosts. Four contributors share their thoughts in this webinar.

10 Miscellany

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub, which provides easy links to Responsible Tourism on the WTM websites and RT Partnership.

RT News carries the top ten stories on RT – the are many more links to RT stories here.

Sponsored by @WTM_WRTD
WTM Monthly RT Newsletter

RT News Video Channel

 

Responsible Tourism Partnership one of "5 Meaningful Voices In The Push For Responsible Tourism"

 

 

 

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town
Climate Change in 7 charts

Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa

Subscribe to WTM’s RT Update here 

WTM Responsible Tourism Blog

Responsible Tourism News is a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important Responsible Tourism stories of the month. 8,000 people subscribe to receive it every month.  Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can subscribe using the box on the right if you wish to contribute a story email harold@haroldgoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page.

You are receiving this email because you have been receiving RT News for some years or have recently subscribed online. Your name and email address is kept securely by our agent and used only to send you a copy of RT News. We will never sell or give your mailing address to any other organisation. Every edition of RT News sent by email comes with an unsubscribe function so if at any time you wish to cease receiving RT News, please unsubscribe. Our mailing list contains only your name and email address.

If you have any queries, please email harold@responsibletourismpartnership.org

Harold Goodwin’s Responsible Tourism Blog
Harold Goodwin blogs regularly on the  WTM Responsible Tourism Blog
Twitter: @goodwinhj  & @WTM_WRTD #RTourismNews

RT NewsWTM

 

RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 03/ 2021

  1. One year on living with Covid- the new normal?
  2. Multilateral action is required to rebuild trust and travel
  3. The world's most sustainable destinations 
  4. WTM Africa Virtual 7, 8, 9 April
  5. Building Back Better? Regenerative Tourism?
  6. Biodiversity the world's most dangerous animal can make a difference. 
  7. Decarbonising travel & tourism: Hydrogen 
  8. Scotland adopts Responsible Tourism 
  9. Changing perceptions of ourselves and others. 
  10. Miscellany 

The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of May
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism.
Subscribe to RT News here  You can update or amend your mailing preference at the foot of the email which delivers RT News to you.

  1. One Year On Living with Covid- the new normal?

XinhuaNet
As Coronavirus deaths in the UK approach 145,000, bereaved families have begun painting a vast memorial wall in an “outpouring of love” opposite the Houses of Parliament. The wall mural will stretch to nearly half a kilometre along the Embankment opposite Parliament. more

John Hopkins has now recorded close 140m cases and 2.85m deaths this pandemic is far from over. Countries will continue to move in and out of lockdown and new 'variants of concern' which may result in changes in transmissibility, clinical presentation and severity, or impact public health and social measures (PHSM). more

Source: Visual Capitalist
As Covid-19 is spread by social contact travel and tourism, domestically and internationally, is inevitably going to be subject to restrictions within countries and across borders. There are reports of an EU Vaccine Passport by  June 15th, designed to save the summer tourism season.  Everything you need to know about the proposal Digital Green Certificate.
In a trial project, SimplyGo (which enables travellers to pay using contactless), has partnered with SITA to make use of SITA Health Protect.  It looks likely that there are going to be multiple schemes. Vaccine nationalism has arisen, world leaders have called for an international pandemic treaty to build cross-border cooperation.  "The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe." Vaccine Apartheid threatens us all.

As the Visual Capitalist's graphic of the first year of the pandemic shows it is far from over. Take a look at the original

Dutch travel company Sunweb has announced that it plans to take 187 people for an eight-day holiday in Greece, to see whether tourism is feasible, despite the rise in contagion cases in several European countries. Participants will not be allowed to leave the resort and will have to quarantine for up to 10 days when they return to the Netherlands.

In 2009, after the financial crisis, international tourism declined by 4% in 2020 numbers dropped by 73.9%.  more

2. Multilateral action is required to rebuild trust and travel
As Taleb Rifai has pointed out for travel and tourism to recover "we need is a new multilateral system, a more harmonized, fair, and equitable system, because it’s not important how successful every country is on its own. If one cannot travel from one place to another, what countries do independently is of no consequence. This is the nature of travel. It connects people and places." “We have to function as one. We cannot have one country insisting on quarantine, while its neighbours are demanding a vaccination passport, and a third country is requiring simply a 72-hour testing proof before arrival. ..... We need to rebuild a new multilateral system from the bottom up, brick by brick. We need to build a system that does not depend on the principles of the haves and the have nots." more

Zurab Pololikashvili, Taleb's successor as UNWTO Secretary-General, recognising that:  "We can only restart tourism if we restore trust in travel. People want to feel safe and looked after when they travel," has begun work on an International Code for the Protection of Tourists. The first two chapters on definitions and seven core principles have been agreed upon. The code has been drawn up by representatives of over 100 countries, the European Commission, UN agencies, IATA and a range of other travel industry associations. It is difficult to permit tourism when a virus spread by contact between people is prevalent and particularly so when new variants of concern emerge, health trumps travel for government and most tourists.

3. The world's most sustainable destinations 
Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research. at Euromonitor talks about their new sustainable destinations work. Euromonitor's Consumer Lifestyles survey in January 2021 found that 66% of consumers, that is a global average, want to have a positive impact on the environment through their daily actions.
Euromonitor looked at 99 countries through the lens of environmental, social and economic sustainability, country risk as well as sustainable tourism demand, transport and lodging and used 57 data indicators to determine their comparative performance.
 

Harold Goodwin discusses the research findings with Caroline.

4. WTM Africa Virtual 7, 8, 9 April
We can learn much about tourism in and from Africa – celebrating diversity and inclusiveness, growing the cake to create more value for neighbouring communities, living with and benefitting from biodiversity (some of it dangerous), and the importance of transparency. One of the few benefits of a virtual programme is that we can have speakers from around the world on the panels at WTM Africa and that they can be shared worldwide.

There are six Responsible Tourism panels at WTM Africa this year focussed on progress in RT, certification, biodiversity, how  tourism creates more value for local communities,  and  cultural diversity and storytelling

The Responsible Tourism programme at WTM Africa can be accessed here   You can register for the event here

5. Building Back Better? Regenerative Tourism?

There is much talk of regenerative tourism the latest buzzword, an alternative to build back better and to be welcomed for that. However, like so many labels that come and go, and  it remains largely aspirational. What is needed is action, people taking responsibility to make the changes essential to a healthy travel and tourism sector and healthy peoples on a healthy planet.

6. Biodiversity the world's most dangerous animal can make a difference. 

7. Decarbonising travel & tourism: Hydrogen 

8. Scotland adopts Responsible Tourism
In November 2020 Visit Scotland, along with Wild Scotland and Sail Scotland, declared a climate emergency, the first national tourism organisation to do so. In April 2019, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency on behalf of the Scottish Government, the first time this had happened at a national level anywhere in the world. VisitScotland has now launched #RespectProtectEnjoy Scotland and Scotland's Responsible Tourism Promise, designed for those visiting or holidaying in Scotland it aims to keep Scotland special. The focus is on what the visitor can do to avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging the environment, to respect the locals and their resources, shop local and avoid crowded places and come back when it's less busy.

The campaign has received widespread support in local news media for its £124,000 campaign. The Inverness Courier reported that the  "campaign will ask visitors to leave no trace as it looks to counteract some of the issues seen as a result of a new, homegrown audience of visitors discovering and enjoying Scotland’s countryside.

9. Changing perceptions of ourselves and others.

10. Miscellany

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub, which provides easy links to Responsible Tourism on the WTM websites and RT Partnership.

RT News carries the top ten stories on RT – the are many more links to RT stories here.

Sponsored by @WTM_WRTD
WTM Monthly RT Newsletter

RT News Video Channel

 

Responsible Tourism Partnership one of "5 Meaningful Voices In The Push For Responsible Tourism"

 

 

 

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town
Climate Change in 7 charts

Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa

Subscribe to WTM’s RT Update here 

WTM Responsible Tourism Blog

Responsible Tourism News is a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important Responsible Tourism stories of the month. 8,000 people subscribe to receive it every month.  Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can subscribe using the box on the right if you wish to contribute a story email harold@haroldgoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page.

You are receiving this email because you have been receiving RT News for some years or have recently subscribed online. Your name and email address is kept securely by our agent and used only to send you a copy of RT News. We will never sell or give your mailing address to any other organisation. Every edition of RT News sent by email comes with an unsubscribe function so if at any time you wish to cease receiving RT News, please unsubscribe. Our mailing list contains only your name and email address.

If you have any queries, please email harold@responsibletourismpartnership.org

Harold Goodwin’s Responsible Tourism Blog
Harold Goodwin blogs regularly on the  WTM Responsible Tourism Blog
Twitter: @goodwinhj  & @WTM_WRTD #RTourismNews

RT NewsWTM

RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 02/ 2021

  1. The Critical Decade: we are in clear and present danger
  2. Climate Change is a Cumulative Problem 
  3. Biodiversity Loss is Bad For Us Too
  4. Covid-19 will be part of the new normal
  5. Resilience and Responsibility 
  6. Perfect Storm: Climate Change and Tourism
  7. International Women's Day
  8. OECD Manual: Sustainable & Inclusive Tourism
  9. 2021 India Responsible Tourism Awards & Ethical Travel Awards
  10. Miscellany 


The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of April

The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism.
Subscribe to RT News here  You can update or amend your mailing preference at the foot of the email which delivers RT News to you.

  1. The Critical Decade - we are in clear and present danger
    Tom Clancy popularised the phrase "clear and present danger" when he used it for his 1989 political thriller. It was the US Supreme Court Justice Holmes who formulated the “clear and present danger” test in a case heard in 1925 asserting that it is a "question of proximity and degree." It was back in February 2010, over a decade ago,  that UN Secretary-General told the UN Environment Programme’s Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum that that "climate change is a clear and present danger."  In 1972 the Club of Rome published Limits to Growth which used a computer simulation to forecast the consequences of the exponential economic and population growth with a finite supply of resources.In 2016, a report published by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth concluded that "there is unsettling evidence that society is still following the 'standard run' of the original study – in which overshoot leads to an eventual collapse of production and living standards". Download  There is still debate about the limits to growth, debates about individual elements of the science on climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, pollution and what Kate Raworth has conceptualised as Doughnut Economics.

    We have 'known' since 1972 that although we see ourselves as having dominion over nature and our planet which we can exploit for our benefit, individually and collectively, we have known since we first saw those Apollo photographs of  Earth in 1968 that our planet is finite. It is not infinite. Urgent action is required to tackle the connected global threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, and mounting inequality. We have had decades of procrastination and prevarication. This is now the critical decade, we have delayed action for decades refusing to adopt the precautionary principle and paid lip service to sustainability.

    We face a perfect storm of threats to ecosystems, systems which we rely on for human health, welfare and prosperity. We express more concern about the scale of the financial debt burden we leave to future generations, paper debt, than we do about the real material consequences of the greenhouse gas emissions we are bequeathing our children and their children. A debt that will make human life more and more difficult to sustain.

  2. Climate Change is a Cumulative Problem
    Climate change results from the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The science now is irrefutable, the burning of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution has increased the quantity of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere to a level where we are changing our climate. Our pollution is changing our climate and making our planet less habitable for ourselves and many other species. We are bequeathing the consequences of our pollution to our children and their children's children. The CO2 we are putting into our atmosphere now will take generations to be removed by natural processes. Getting to zero carbon emissions by 2050 is not the point. We need to cut now the number of greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere.

    The UK track recorded reveals the scale of the problem. In the 2008 Climate Change Act, the UK Pledged to cut net emissions by 80% by 2050. The Act established the Climate Change Committee (CCC) as an independent, statutory body. Back in December 2020 it published its Sith Carbon Budget for the period 2033 to 2037. Meeting the Budget’s requirements will require a cut of 78% in emissions by 2035. All new cars, vans and replacement boilers to be zero-carbon in operation by the early 2030s. UK electricity production must then reach net-zero by 2035, in line with the National Grid ESO’s vision, and the majority of existing UK homes will need to be retrofitted in some way also.The CCC has deliberately front-loaded the targets reduce the cost of the transition, as technologies would mature sooner and investors would have the policy certainty needed to provide support at scale. more The Stern Report on the Economics of Climate Change, in 2006 a decade and a half ago, made very clear that delay increased the cost of mitigation and adaptation.As Anderson, Broderick and Stoddard  have pointed out the mitigation plans of even ‘climate progressive’ nations, in this case, the UK and Sweden, fall far short of Paris-compliant pathways given the international community’s obligations accepted under the Paris Agreement and "the small and rapidly dwindling global carbon budget."Like Covid-19 climate change kills people, although generally not “us”.In January, the UN Secretary-General reported that extreme weather and climate-related hazards had killed more than 410,000 people in the past decade, the vast majority in low and lower-middle-income countries. A paper last month in Science Advances reports that vulnerabilities are seen across human and natural systems, including both wealthy and poor communities, and both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and a higher probability of extreme weather events many in areas with large human populations, high human vulnerability, and/or high biodiversity.It is a rare thing for the industry to call for stronger regulation. Last month the Fuelling Flight Project which includes NGOs and major airlines (AirFrance, easyJet, Finnair, IAG & KLM) pointed to 'the risk of massive capital investments in things that increase emissions compared to fossil fuels and/or that become stranded assets’ and called for ‘future proof sustainability requirements’ higher than the ones in the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive including ‘clear exclusions of unsustainable feedstocks and pathways such as biofuels from dedicated cropland and PFAD [Palm Fatty Acid Distillate]’.The group, including airlines,  has called for higher sustainability standards before SAF is prioritised and ramped up. As they assert: “Competition for limited resources, particularly in relation to international transport, will not solve the global climate challenge.”

    In February David Attenborough gave a stark warning on climate change to the  UN and called for co-operative international action -sadly in a world experiencing a resurgence in nationalism.

    There is plenty of reason to be concerned. The New York Times has reviewed the scientific research being undertaken into changes in the Gulf Stream, currents swing west from Africa, ultimately influencing weather patterns from Caracas to Miami to Europe. The Gulf Stream propels the heat of the Caribbean past Cape Hatteras before bending toward the British Isles. The fear is that melting Greenland ice will tip the delicate balance of hot and cold that defines not only the North Atlantic. "Without this current — a heat pump on a planetary scale — scientists believe that great swaths of the world might look quite different."

    And some reason for optimism. The most recent  Climate Action Tracker reports that in the last few months of 2020, about 35 countries plus the EU27 submitted an updated or second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC, unfortunately, 10 did not increase the scale of their ambition/ Insert imageJustin Rowlatt, the BBC's chief environment correspondent has expressed optimism pointing to COP26, the fact that counties including Chia are committing to more substantial cuts, the falling costs of renewables, the changes businesses are making and low-interest rates could facilitate a major drive top build back better. A fortnight earlier. Matt McGrath, Rowlatt's colleague at the BBC, filed a story with the headline "'Not enough' climate ambition shown by leaders." Things may be changing but it is too early to tell.

    BP plans to cut oil and gas production by 40pc this decade and push BP further into renewable energy, amid growing public clamour to tackle global warming. Charles de Gaulle airport has abandoned plans for a new terminal.UNDP has conducted a major international survey in 50 countries - the Peoples' Climate Vote. 64% of people said that climate change was an emergency – presenting a clear and convincing call for decision-makers to step up on ambition. Not surprisingly, The highest level of support was in SIDS (74%), followed by high-income countries (72%), middle-income countries (62%), then LDCs (58%). Making companies pay for pollution had high support in seven of twelve high-income countries, led by the United Kingdom (72%) and Canada (69%).

  3. Biodiversity Loss is Bad For Us Too
    Revenues from tourism matter to conservation
    , the Coivd-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important revenues from tourism are to the conservation of habitat and species.  Ecotourism is not good enough: We must take responsibility and distance ourselves, and our industry, from the ‘take only photographs, leave only footprints’ ethic. Tourism needs to put resources into conservation and benefit local communities to recompense them for the opportunity costs of living with wildlife and we need to work harder to counter the illegal trade in wildlife. moreUNEP has just published Making Peace With Nature: "A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies”. They argue that we must improve our relationship with nature, understanding its value and putting that value at the heart of our decision- making" - we need to stop being at war with nature.This is a high-level report with only five references to tourism.Costa Rica is promoting an international coalition that seeks to establish codes so that interactions between tourists and wildlife are safe and ethical. In Agra, Wildlife SOS has launched a campaign to promote responsible and cruelty-free wildlife tourism in India. Domestic cats, lions, tigers, mink, dogs and gorillas can catch Covid-19. The majority of gorilla selfies that researchers found on Instagram violated social distancing rules meant to keep the endangered great apes safe.

    In the UK some areas saw a huge increase in “wild toileting”. Cash-strapped councils, which have no obligation to provide toilets, have been shutting them for years and relying on shops, pubs and cafes to fill the gap. Closed during the pandemic the shortage of public toilets in the UK was revealed.  The Clifton Downs in Bristol have suffered heavy damage in the past year as hoards of visitors flock to the popular spot for fresh air and exercise during the pandemic. Walkers have churned up the grass and vans parked on grass verges have caused two drains to collapse. “The amount of trampling/wear and erosion to the ground has gone from being only in a few key places and at certain times of the year, to be in all parts of the Downs throughout the year.

  4. Covid-19 will be part of the new normal
    Living with pandemics.
    For the future of travel and tourism, we need the world to be much better equipped to deal with pandemics as they emerge. Those countries with recent experience of epidemic diseases have generally been more successful than those which have not. We have learnt to live with and manage influenza; hopefully, we will learn to live with and manage Covid-19 too. The development of broad-based vaccines is likely critical to maintaining the open borders essential to our industry. Otherwise, we may face uncertainty with periodic panic, lockdowns and forced quarantine as a regular hazard for travellers and holidaymakers.This pandemic has revealed just how vulnerable travel and tourism is to diseases spread by people. Although it is also clear that those countries that locked down effectively and quickly had fewer deaths, the travel and tourism sector were still hit hard.With flights cancelled and travellers facing quarantine abroad or on return some become stuck overseas. UKOther nationals have been hit much harder. There are nearly 40,000 Australians stuck overseas because of government caps on international arrivals, transit-country restrictions and expensive and cancelled flights. Although the roll-out of vaccines in the richer countries is proceeding apace there is real concern about how quickly vaccines will get to poorer countries.

    On Feb 24, 2021, 600 000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Ghana. 2 days later, 500 000 doses of the same vaccine landed in the Ivory Coast. The West African nations are the first countries to receive the product as part of the COVAX initiative, a joint endeavour between WHO, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which aims to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines are equitably distributed around the world. Demand for the vaccines will far exceed supply this year and there are growing concerns that poorer countries will get left behind. Even if everything goes according to plan, countries relying on COVAX alone cannot expect to vaccinate more than 20% of their population. more

    In the meantime travel agents in the UK are reporting that they have clients who are still travelling despite the lockdown. In a TravelMole poll of agents, almost 35% said their clients were travelling on business but a further 30% said some clients were taking leisure trips, even though this is against the law. The UK government has tightened regulations on foreign travel. Travellers leaving the UK will have to show a  new permit proving they are travelling for essential reasons in a move to stop Easter holidays being taken abroad. In Kent, there is concern about Airbnb hosts in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay rent rooms out for illegal breaks. Images of large crowds and overflowing bins on Whitstable seafront were shared widely on social media, prompting calls for “spectacularly selfish” visitors to be stopped from flocking to the coast.

  5. Resilience and ResponsibilityWhen there is a "clear and present danger" resilience matters.

    In three decades BlackRock has evolved from an eight-person start-up to a global company trusted to manage more assets than any other investment manager delivering long-term value for the clients and shareholders. Their latest report, Sustainable investing: Resilience amid uncertainty,  reaffirms their view that: "Combining traditional investing with environmental, social, and governance-related (ESG) insights to improve[s] long-term outcomes ... Companies with strong profiles on material sustainability issues have potential to outperform those with poor profiles. In particular, ... companies managed with a focus on sustainability should be better positioned versus their less sustainable peers to weather adverse conditions while still benefiting from positive market environments."For five decades we have mouthed sustainability, paid lip service to it, some have done more and taken responsibility to develop sustainable businesses and destinations. But most have not. We cannot collectively claim that we sustainably utilised resources in a way that avoids depleting them for future generations. We have failed collectively to take responsibility to meet the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and mounting inequality that were foreseen by natural and social scientists, but we have failed to act. The 1987 Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, defined sustainable development refers to development that meets our current needs without hindering the ability of future generations to meet theirs.  We have substantially failed to achieve this at the system level. So now have to cope with the consequences of climate change, biodiversity loss and limits imposed on resource availability by our finite planet.

    In the UK, Sir John Bevan, the chief executive of the Environment Agency said on 23rd February speaking to the annual conference of the Association of British Insurers that: "Much more extreme weather will kill more people through drought, flooding, wildfires and heatwaves than most wars have." He went on to say "The net effects will collapse ecosystems, slash crop yields, take out the infrastructure that our civilisation depends on, and destroy the basis of the modern economy and modern society."

  6. Perfect Storm
    We hear a bewildering amount about how businesses are reducing their carbon emissions. Confusion is a powerful tool in the hands of those wanting to continue with business as usual. There has been much chatter about greenhouse gas emissions having reduced during COVID-19 lockdowns. The continuous data set collected at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, reveals that even with the impact of Covid-19 we have not dented the growth in greenhouse gas emissions, for all the talk, their scientists report that the rate of growth is accelerating.Back in December Antonio Guterres pointed to our folly: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes,” he said. This is the bad news. The good news is that  “Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.” Last month the UN Secretary-General reported that extreme weather and climate-related hazards have killed more than 410,000 people in the past decade, the vast majority in low and lower-middle-income countries. moreThe IMF has recently published a Working Paper: Perfect Storm: Climate Change and Tourism  The IMF points out that: "While the world’s attention is on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change remains a greater existential threat to vulnerable countries that are highly dependent on a weather-sensitive sector like tourism. The paper concludes that as "extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe over time,.. Caribbean countries need to pursue comprehensive adaptation policies to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change."
  7. International Women's Day
    This edition of RT News is being published on International Women's Day  This year's theme is #ChooseToChallenge, challenge brings change.  We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Wildlife conservation has, until recently, been a male-dominated profession – but the landscape is beginning to change.  The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) estimates that men outnumber women by 100:1 in front-line conservation. In Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda women form a larger proportion of the conservation workforce and they are being promoted into leadership positions. Progress is being made but not fast enough.The Fifth Sustainable Development Goal is to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". 54% of the tourism workforce worldwide is female but they are often predominantly in low-skilled or informal work. Women "have felt the economic shock to tourism caused by COVID-19 quickest and hardest. UNWTO has produced a Series of Recommendations for an Inclusive Response to ensure that women are not left behind." more  Turisme de Barcelona is launching a Women’s Itinerary through Ciutat Vella and a viral action in social media with different working women’s voices on VisitBarcelona's website to highlight the important role of women in the tourism sector promoting equal opportunities.
  8. OECD Manual: Sustainable & Inclusive Tourism
    The paper published in January focuses on five main pillars of policy solutions, and best practices, to help destinations rebuild and flourish in this dramatically changed policy
    context for tourism development. Recommended policy solutions aim to: i) rethink tourism success, ii) adopt an integrated policy-industry-community approach, iii) mainstream sustainable policies and practices, iv) develop more sustainable tourism business models, and v) implement better measurement to better manage. The report presents 9 case studies on destination strategies to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery. The 9 case studies are Austria (Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park), Colombia, Finland, France (Corsica), Japan (Kyoto), Mexico, New Zealand (Bay of Plenty), Spain (Benidorm) and Switzerland.
  9. 2021 India Responsible Tourism Awards & Ethical Travel Awards

    Ethical Traveller describes the purpose of their awards: "Our goal is to encourage practices and mindsets that help create a safer and more sustainable world. Our Ethical Destinations Awards are given to the 10 that have shown the greatest improvement over the past year. They must also offer unspoiled natural beauty, great outdoor activities, and the opportunity to interact with local people in a meaningful, mutually enriching way." more

The 2021 India Responsible Tourism Awards were presented in Konark, Odisha. The winners and the judges' reasons can be found on the Responsible Tourism Partnership website.

 

10: Miscellany

 

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RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 01/ 2021

We enter 2021 confronted by four inter-connected crises, all of them global in their reach and consequences. Covid-19, climate change, biodiversity loss and mounting inequality. All of them accelerating. Tourism is a contributor to all of these crises and a victim of them. The development of vaccines and new treatments for Covid-19 and the various lockdowns and quarantine regimes have demonstrated that we can tackle crises. We have many solutions to these crises and there will be more. We now need to implement them.

"Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to 'reset' for... a more sustainable and inclusive future." Prince of Wales Terra Carta

  1. Climate Change Accelerates
  2. Coping with Covid-19
  3. The New Normal
  4. Tackling Biodiversity Loss
  5. Take Back Control - Manage Tourism, 
  6. The Kerala Approach extends to Madhya Pradesh
  7. Plastic Pollution Spreads 
  8. Responsible Tourism in Colorado, USA
  9. Brexit impacts on travel 
  10. Miscellany 

The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of February.
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  1. Climate Change Accelerates
    At the Climate Adaptation Summit in January, the UN Secretary-General reported that extreme weather and climate-related hazards have killed more than 410,000 people in the past decade, the vast majority in low and lower-middle-income countries. The S-G called for"a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience" and a transition to a "low-carbon, high-resilience future." He called for financial support for adaptation and resilience in the developing pointing out that: " Support for adaptation and resilience is a moral, economic and social imperative."  As he reminded us we "have the tools, skills and opportunity to deliver “more, faster and better” adaptation actions." We know what needs to be done. He concluded, "Let us live up to our responsibilities and jointly change course towards a sustainable, fair and resilient future." more
    January also saw the launch  of the Terra Carta charter r “provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future …. one that will harness the power of nature combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector.” Based on work by a “coalition of the willing” among global business leaders, the Terra Carta, is supported by the Bank of America, Blackrock, EY, AstraZeneca, Schroders, BP, and Heathrow Airport. The charter is designed “to bring prosperity into harmony with Nature, People and Planet over the coming decade.”
    The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service has reported that 2020 tied with 2016 as the world’s warmest year on record. In 2020, temperatures globally were an average of 1.25 degrees C  higher than in pre-industrial times, and the last six years were the world’s hottest on record. The Arctic and northern Siberia continued to warm more quickly than the planet as a whole in 2020, with temperatures in parts of these regions averaging more than 6C above a 30-year average used as a baseline. This resulted in an "“unusually active” wildfire season, with fires poleward of the Arctic Circle releasing a record 244 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, over a third more than in 2019. more
    The US experienced a record number of named tropical storms formed in the Atlantic, with a record 12 making landfall and its most active wildfire year on record leaving 262 dead. There were a record-breaking 22 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that struck the country in 2020. more
  2. Coping with Covid-19
    The Dominican Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Public Health, has announced new country-wide measures that it will begin offering free antigen testing to all international visitors staying at a hotel to meet the new Centers for Disease Control’s travel protocols requiring travellers from January 26, returning to the U.S. to present proof of a negative COVID-19 or antigen test prior to departure. Africa has been hit hard by the second wave of Covid-19 and the new variant 501Y.V2 which makes up to 90 per cent of new cases in South Africa.  As at 31 January, Africa has 90,4389 confirmed deaths and 3,553,032 confirmed cases to date. Data
    We are all vulnerable to new variants of the virus which may require new vaccines. As the WHO has been reaffirming for several months, a global pandemic requires no less than a world effort to end it. None of us will be safe until everyone is safe. Global access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments for everyone who needs them, anywhere, is the only way out. This is a historical stress test for global cooperation. But we are ready to meet this challenge. This is why we have launched the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator.
    There is very unlikely to be a post-Covid world, just as there is no post-flu world. Globally the World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year. We have vaccinations and treatments and we have learnt to live with it.
    As Thomas Crampton, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at The Commons Project has pointed out "You can be tested every time you cross a border. You cannot be vaccinated every time you cross a border." Covid-19 tests and vaccinations could become necessary for concerts, theatres stadiums and to cross national boundaries.  "Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are among the airlines that have already established partnerships with the Common Trust Network, an initiative that has been under development by the Swiss NGO The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum. The CommonPass is an app created by the group allows users to upload medical data such as a Covid-19 test result or, eventually, a proof of vaccination by a hospital or medical professional, generating a health certificate or pass in the form of a QR code that can be shown to authorities without revealing sensitive information. For travel, the app lists health pass requirements at the points of departure and arrival based on your itinerary." more
    But as The Economist has pointed out vaccine passports "are divisive, politically tricky and probably inevitable". The "yellow card" international certificate was created almost 100 years ago to record inoculations against cholera, yellow fever, typhus and smallpox. Many countries require a yellow-fever certificate as a pre-condition of entry. We don't yet know how effective vaccinations are against transmission. Vaccination passports will at least initially be divisive - those with underlying health conditions, over 60 and from wealthier countries will be vaccinated first and global parity in vaccination is a long way off.
    The Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank has researched the comparative performance of countries to answer the question: What impact have geography, political systems, population size, and economic development had on COVID-19 outcomes around the world? The answers are interesting  
  3. The New Normal
    So the new normal will involve learning to live with Covid-19 as we do influenza. Barcelona has recognised that confidence and safety are key elements for cities and tourist destinations in the post-COVID-19 context and made a tool available to them in order to minimise the risk of infection and to increase safety and confidence to reactivate the city’s economic fabric. Asserting that Barcelona never stops the city authorities are focussed on reactivating the economy and they are using the campaign slogan LET'S GET OUR CITY BACK
    Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourism Board (GNTB)  wrote in January about the way the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for global social and technological macrotrend accelerating the digitalisation of communication and information processes. As she points out "... sustainable consumption does not mean having to go without and does not require customers to put up with poorer quality or a poorer experience. Quite the opposite: Sustainability is a hallmark of quality and a competitive advantage because it directly improves the quality of life of locals and visitors alike." The GNTB commissioned research in October 2020 in their main source markets and 80% of all those surveyed said that they thought COVID-19 would lead to more sustainability in tourism. more

    A new platform has been launched to position and promote the Caribbean as a unique, special and desirable place to live, work and play; and to consummate exchanges among consumers, businesses and exceptional players in the Caribbean. Exceptional Caribbean is designed to help Caribbean people fall in love with ourselves. We need to lift up and promote talent; to elevate the spirits and minds of our people; to love ourselves, and make the world fall in love with us. Earth  Changers has acknowledged that: "Every origin and every destination has different rules, and every accommodation, tour or transport provider will work in different ways specific to their location, business and the appropriate risk-based approach."  they have produced so good general advice for travellers. We are going to have to be Covid-aware when we travel and safety and trust will be major issues for transport providers, destinations and tourism businesses to address. Covid security will remain a major concern for the foreseeable future. Vanuatu has launched a global campaign under the slogan, ‘We’ll keep it Beautiful for You,’ until travel restrictions are lifted, and tourists can return to the islands. Vanuatu’s Sustainable Tourism Policy's objective is “to protect and celebrate Vanuatu’s unique environment, culture, kastom and people through sustainable and responsible tourism.” Thailand is promoting ‘SEXY’ tourism. To be rolled out during 2021-2022, the ‘SEXY’ tourism concept is in response to the changes in travel behaviour and TAT’s goal to restore Thailand’s tourism: S – Safety and Hygiene, E – Environmental Sustainability, X – Extra Experiences, and Y – Yield. This reflects TAT’s existing strategy to move the Thai tourism industry out of mass tourism and towards responsible tourism with an emphasis on revenue-generating quality tourists.

  4. Tackling Biodiversity Loss
    There is some good news. African Parks has released three cheetahs into Bangweulu Wetlands in Zambia. Two new Whale Heritage Sites have been awarded in Tenerife and California. Whale Heritage Sites are a global accreditation scheme developed by the World Cetacean Alliance and supported by World Animal Protection, that recognises outstanding destinations that offer and celebrate responsible and sustainable wild whale and dolphin watching. Whale Heritage Site status provides tourists with an easy way to select responsible whale and dolphin watching destinations; places where people can experience cetaceans in their natural habitat and in an authentic and respectful way. There are only two other Whale Heritage Sites in the world: The Bluff, South Africa, and Hervey Bay, Australia.


    The African Wildlife Foundation has grave concerns for the future of wildlife in Africa "Unless African governments can maintain strong networks of community conservation areas, supporting thousands of jobs dedicated to wildlife conservation, protected wildlife areas face a difficult road to recovery. The fear is that Coronavirus in Africa could reverse 30 years of conservation gains, including communal conservancy programs in multiple countries. Early data show the fractures in the system, but the full effect of travel bans, border closures and vacation cancellations on protected areas and the local communities co-existing with wildlands is just starting to sink in across the African continent. The large revenue streams that supported livelihood and a stable economy were abruptly cut off in late March. No job in these areas was left unscathed. COVID-19 has revealed the fragility of wildlife conservation in Africa. With limited funding for most state-run nature agencies, there has been an over-reliance on tourism to support efforts. more
    These issues were discussed at WTM London in November

  5. Take Back Control - Manage Tourism
    In Amsterdam, there are plans to crack down on growing numbers of low-budget “drug tourists” and organized crime, by forbidding the sale of marijuana to foreigners in its  166 coffee shops. Research commissioned by the city revealed that 57 % of foreigners visiting the center of Amsterdam say that visiting a coffee shop is a “very important reason” for their visit. The Mayor insists that “Amsterdam remains an open and tolerant and hospitable city, but we want to end the undermining effects of criminal organizations.” more   In Venice the Mayor has controversially decided to keep the Doge's Palace closed until April. more
    Venice has postponed a planned entrance fee for daytrippers until January 2022. Venice has established a "control tower" a Smart Contol Room to monitor tourism flows in real-time using mobile phone data to identify which countries they are from. more
  6. The Kerala Approach extends to Madhya Pradesh.
    Madhya Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kerala for replicating Kerala's pioneering Responsible Tourism initiative. Kerala's Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that RT was the “only tool for sustainable development of tourism” as it created better places for people to live in and visit. The Minister said the pact with Madhya Pradesh was “another milestone” for Kerala Tourism and its RT Mission. more  Madhya Pradesh's government has expressed its intent to adapt and implement the model, aimed at the development of village and local communities, eradicating poverty and emphasising women's empowerment. more
    In Kerala, performing artists were amongst the most affected by the pandemic, many have taken to performing and teaching virtually. " Nearly 18,000 artists under the government’s Responsible Tourism Mission, specialised in different art forms such as kathakali, koodiyattam, mohiniyattam, chavittunatakam and martial arts like kalaripayattu have been left with nothing after the tourism industry collapsed." more
  7. Plastic Pollution Spreads
    Further evidence that we have entered what future archaeologists will define as the plastic age. Digging at the Iron Age Castell Henllys site in Pembrokeshire; wrappers from well-known chocolate bars and snacks were among 2,000 items found trampled into the ground. In the Arctic Ocean scientists have found widespread pollution by microplastics. Roughly three-quarters of those fibres were polyester and resembled those used in clothing and textiles, highlighting how the laundry of synthetic clothes is polluting the oceans. A 2019 study estimated that 878 tonnes of plastic microfibers are released every year from household laundry in North America through wastewater treatment plants. The weight is the equivalent weight of ten blue whales. Other studies have found microplastics at the highest point on Earth, near the summit of Mount Everest, in penguins' bodies in Antarctica and in Alpine snow. more
    Scientists have now discovered the processes of clogging and dispersing through which plastics spread. Microplastic particles get stuck when travelling through porous materials such as soil and sediment but later break free and often continue to move substantially further. more
  8. Responsible Tourism in Colorado, USA
    Hawaii
    is setting the budget and "looking more for the higher dollar, higher spend kind of tourists". The House Consumer Protection and Commerce Chairman has said "We need tourism to be able to come back, but we also are exploring this so that we’re ensuring it’s the kind of tourists that are best for Hawaii, and it’s not necessarily mass, budget tourism where everybody’s looking for the cheapest prices and people are just coming here in droves,” and that "lawmakers are pursuing multiple goals at once with the bill, including funding climate change mitigation and “promoting responsible tourism.” Lawmakers are discussing taxing tourist through surcharges on "vehicles that are rented for six months or less, including mopeds, and would also apply to vans or buses that are used to haul tourists or luggage.
    Durango is a small city in southwestern Colorado, near the New Mexico border, they have a new tourism strategy combining management and marketing.  The strategy recognises that the "real measure of effective tourism is about the social and economic impact." "We know that tourism is doing its job when Main Avenue is bustling, the job market is healthy, affordable tourism is on the rise, and the cultural fabric ... is invigorated." "One of the ultimate goods of tourism is to increase quality of life for residents... In addition to implementing strategies  that avoid overcrowding, Visit Durango will also focus on environmental sustainability   and stewardship of the destination." Their marketing strategy focuses on high-value responsible travellers to "generate great economic returns  with less impact on the community."
    Breckenridge is a Colorado town at the base of the Rocky Mountains, known for its ski resort, year-round alpine activities and Gold Rush history which has left it with a Victorian core. The Town Council has committed to what the tourism office President Lucy Kay describes as  "responsible tourism". They are going post-pandemic to be "looking for ways we can target guests whose value sets align with ours,”  “… Figure out who are people who think about the environment, who think about other people, who think about the world in a similar way to us, and try to invite those people in first.” Event fatigue was an issue pre-pandemic, and Covid-19 has created an opportunity to reevaluate tourism. One summer resident has commented, "How would that happen, and who decides what the criteria are (political party, voting record, religion, race)? Sound pretty Orwellian to me." [The press report has been misunderstood. Ed.]
  9. Brexit impacts on travel
    The UK has taken back control of its borders, and so has the EU. Fast track lanes no longer available except by grace and favour and UK citizens no longer have any guarantee of entry, immigration procedures will be slower. " Now the official is required by European Union law to conduct deeper checks. They may ask for the purpose of the visit; where you plan to travel and stay; how long you intend to remain in the EU; how you propose to fund your stay; and whether you constitute a threat to public health." Travellers can take in no more than 200 cigarettes and a litre of spirits.  No “POAO”. This stands for Products Of Animal Origin, and the government specifically warns you cannot take food “containing meat or dairy (e.g. a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU”. The same applies to Northern Ireland.
    As the UK chose to become a third country, the EU’s long-standing “90/180 rule” has taken effect for British travellers. UK citizens can stay only 90 days (about three months) in any 180 (six months) in the Schengen area. The 90-day limit is not per country. It applies to the entire Schengen Zone.  In Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, and Spain, it appears that third country tour guides are simply not permitted. And from some point in 2022 UK travellers to the EU will need to register online and pay in advance for an “Etias“  permit under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. more
    None of this should surprise UK citizens; the remain campaign pointed out that these were consequences arising from third-country status.
  10. Miscellany

♦ Rooted's selection of the Best Readings, Ideas, and Solutions of 2020 "From decolonizing museums to urban biodiversity hotspots, 2020 moved the needle forward in a meaningful way."

♦ New Zealand has launched a campaign against "Travelling Under the Social Influence" to discover something new and think outside the box.

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