Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 06/2020

  1. Covid-19 remains a crisis in many parts of the world
  2. The World Responsible Tourism Awards in the Year of Covid-19
  3. Tourism in a Covid World 
  4. Decarbonising Aviation 
  5. Racism in Tourism
  6. Responsible Tourism in India
  7. Build Back Better?
  8. Wildlife & Biodiversity 
  9. Travel Tomorrow
  10. Involving your clients in sustainability

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Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on RT. 

1. Covid-19 remains a crisis in many parts of the world
As The Economist pointed out at the beginning of the month poorer countries account for some three-quarters of the 100,000 or so new cases detected around the world each day. "Richer countries can do much to help. Some stricken places will need donations of simple supplies like testing kits and protective gear. Others will need debt relief, to free money to fight the disease." The tourism industry and our clients could help too. In the good times we sell these destinations, we should support them in the bad times too.
As this newsletter goes to pres there are close to 500,000 deaths and 10,000,000 confirmed case. The date is regularly updated on The Guardian website.

The Caribbean, Africa
At end of May Rafat Ali of Skift wrote that "we have to examine the controversial and unmistakable role of our industry of travel — the movement and the gathering of humans — in this, especially as the reopening of travel is gaining momentum every day. We can’t just hurtle into reopening with fingers in our ears. After all, our industry’s output, the globe of travelers, has been the biggest vectors of spreading the virus around the world. " And "We have to be willing to say that cruises were a super-spreader of the virus, despite knowing the risks of continuing with the sailings for weeks and months. We have to be willing to say restarting cruises early is the worst idea ever, and the industry’s biggest death wish if rebound “virus cruises” happen again." We should but will we?
As Steve Witt of Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise has argued in Travel Weekly responsible travel must now embrace " our new found respect for freedom, health and each other’s space." And hopefully: "Responsible tourism means a greater respect and support for those in the tourism and hospitality industry who need to make a living with more costs and potentially less customers."
African tourism has been put on ice by coronavirus – here’s how some countries are reviving it more
In Indonesia the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging the survival of thousands of small and medium enterprises in tourism that will need creative crowdfunding philanthropic investment to stay afloat financially. more

WTM Responsible Tourism Awards

2. The World Responsible Tourism Awards in the Year of Covid-19
Covid has revealed the importance of tourism. When it stopped the contribution which tourism made, until the crisis,  to the livelihoods of local people and the maintenance of wildlife and habitat became all too apparent.  Some tourism businesses have taken responsibility and used their assets and their relationships with travellers, agents and suppliers to support communities and conservation. This year the World Responsible Tourism Awards have been refashioned to address the Covid-19 crisis. We are looking to recognise and commend those who have seen the impact of the crisis on communities and wildlife and responded.

There is a crisis: local people and wildlife dependent on tourism need your support
The Awards are open for nominations until 3rd August, you can nominate yourself and others simply by sending us a few details, and you can nominate as many times as you like.  Remember if you are not nominated, by yourself or someone else, you can't bb recognised or be commended.

3. Tourism in a Covid World
Hopefully there will be a vaccine and Covid will be controlled.  But for now, and for some time to come, we have to live with Covid-19.
WTTC has, with multiple partners, developed  'Safe Travels': Global Protocols & Stamp for the New Normal. #SAFETRAVELS. The protocols will be published  in phases  for at least eleven industries, including; Hospitality, Attractions, Outdoor Retail, Aviation, Airports, Short Term Rentals, Cruise, Tour Operators, Convention Centres and MICE, Car Rental and Insurance.
Inge Huijbrechts leading on the responsibility and safety & security agenda for the Radisson Hotel Group. Hear the latest thinking on post-Covid-19 hospitality, managing hotels and the supply chain and about advancing the responsibility agenda when resources are limited. video

Kempinski Hotels has produced a video explaining what they have done to ensure client and staff safety in their hotels.

The UNWTO has published a One Planet Vision for the Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector structured around six lines of action to guide responsible tourism recovery for people, planet and prosperity, namely public health, social inclusion, biodiversity conservation, climate action, circular economy and governance and finance. UNWTO's Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism were published at the end of May.

Spain has introduced a self-certification stamp of approval for businesses  which assert their compliance with official guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health. There no monitoring of compliance, but the seal must be renewed every year. more
In the UK VisitBritain has launched a ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place. Coupled with a a ‘Know Before You Go’ public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling. more
Aran islanders have chose  ‘health over wealth’ as businesses remain shut, an Inis Oírr poll showed 92 per cent don’t want to risk a coronavirus outbreak with tourism return
Iceland is offering a choice: 14 days of quarantine or a a COVID-19 test upon arrival
St Lucia is implementing a responsible reopening plan 

4. Decarbonising Aviation
Arctic Circle temperatures have hit new highs reaching a scorching 38C (100F) in Verkhoyansk, a Siberian town. The Arctic is believed to be warming twice as fast as the global average. We cannot self isolate from climate change. Some airlines, for example KLM, have responded to challenge but most want to carry on with business as usual. In the UK Alok Sharma the the government minister responsible for business and climate change said earlier this month that "“COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a fairer, greener recovery from the effects of Covid-19. A recovery which delivers for both our people and our planet.” Hew was luancing the COP 26 Race to Zero UNFCC campaign.

The UK government has launched a Jet Zero Council:, a new collaborative initiative to decarbonise aviation;  a coalition of Ministers, businesses, trade bodies and environmental groups who will collaboratively work to align the aviation sector with the 2050 net-zero target. The UK Sustainable Aviation Coalition recently published a roadmap to achieve net-zero. Their roadmap focuses on fuel from waste, gives a low priority to electric aircraft and insists  that the UK’s aviation sector can grow by 70% over the next three decades without breaching climate targets – the UK Committee on Climate Change rejected this plan for business as usual.
For too long the aviation industry has been told that there is no alternative. TINA has been dominant. That is changing. There is an alternative. 
WTM hosted a symposium on  decarbonising aviation with presentations from leading research scientists, engineers and policy makers on the zero carbon fuels which are now within our reach. Aviation is not the problem. The problem is the dirty fuel they burn. The transition to clean fuels needs to begin now. Brief reports of the contributions from each of the speakers can be read here and videos of their presentations  are here.

5. Racism in Tourism
Alex Temblador has explained the problem eloquently. "The travel industry tends to think of itself as a space of leisure, fun, and escape where such things like racism are left behind for good times. The problem is, for black individuals and people of color, escaping racism is not something they can do by taking a vacation. Racism, like in many other sectors of society, has been built into the travel industry, both knowingly and unknowingly." more
The tourism industry needs to take responsibility and address racism throughout the sector. PwC and TTG have published a report arguing the business case for doing so. Download  Conde Nast Traveler  are reporting that the Black Travel Alliance has launched a  Black Travel Scorecard, which will evaluate destinations and travel brands under five key areas and they are promoting  Black-owned businesses, including tour groups like Experience Real Cartagena and African Lisbon Tours, which seek to amplify Black history or culture in a destination. Read the views of ten BAME people about the issues we need too address .

Justin Francis has described the broad agenda, changing attitudes, opening up travel, ensuring that more money finds its way into local hands,  finding ways to address and stop conscious or unconscious racist behaviour towards travellers of colour, ensuring that BAME communities are consulted about the impact tourism has on them. more

We need to take responsibility and address racism, in tourism 

6. Responsible Tourism in India
RT in India is often mistakenly assumed to exist only in Kerala. It is true that Kerala is the world's leading destination for RT but there are examples of award winning RT experiences all over the subcontinent. You can find a growing list of RT Award winners online.  ICRT India has a series of webinars with speakers from all over India. You can find details of the webinars on the Responsible Tourism Partnership website and set an alert to receive details.  In India as elsewhere "Community-based tourism organisations have been at the
forefront of providing relief to those most affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. They need your support to continue providing financial aid to help the most vulnerable." Details and donations here.

Manish Pande of Village Ways is one of the leading lights in the newly energetic ICRT India - there are a couple of interviews with her here. Rupesh Kumar has been widely recognised as a leader in RT having successfully led the RT Mission in Kerala since 2008. He too is a leader in the ICRT India, you can read an interview with him here. Incredible India is incredible in part for its rich diversity. Kerala locked down early and brought the virus under control. CGH Earth Hotels went further, Jose Dominic winner of a Judges' World Responsible Tourism Award characteristically went further than most. Out first and foremost responsibility is not the customer; it is our staff and people. We shut the hotels... We told all the employees to go home..." and maintain social distancing. more

Post-Covid Kerala is marketing to tier-II cities in south India. The campaign will project domestic travel as the best bet to break the lockdown fatigue among citizens. Kerala Tourism is planning to launch packages to extend length of stay through a focus on ‘learning experiences.’ Art, craft, culture, culinary skills amd martial arts are all planned. more The monsoon remains an under-marketed experience - enjoy it virtually.

7. Build Back Better?
The UNWTO's #TravelTomorrow message, "embraced by so many, is one of responsibility, hope and determination." However, with international arrivals estimated to be down by up to 80% this year there are plenty of people hoping that tourism will grow back better, in a greener and more sustainable way. The UNWTO's regional estimates are depressing/. WTTC is predicting 100m job losses with 75% of these in the G20 countries. Industry leaders, politicians, government and those who depend on tourism to feed themselves and their families. BAU, business as usual will be seen as the best way back. There are some signs of changes in a relatively few places and we should celebrate those, but this will be rare.  There is aspiration, for example in Thailand, is real, but delivery and implementation will be the bigger challenge.

In Venice Paola Mar, the city’s councillor for tourism is urging officials to use  the pause to rethink “an entire Venice system”, with sustainability and quality tourism at its core.
"Part of the plan is to lure locals back to live permanently in the city. The mayor is in discussions with universities, aiming to offer tourist rentals to students, and old buildings are being restored for social housing. Measures to control visitor numbers – including a tax on day trippers, which was due to be introduced in July – will go ahead next year, while the debate around cruise ships continues.   “Our goal is to trigger a renaissance of the city,” said Mar. “We want to attract visitors for longer stays and encourage a ‘slower’ type of tourism. Things can’t go back to how they were.”  more  The issue of overtoursm remains a major concern in Venice   Venice is empty and some want it to stay that way.

Venetian protesters formed a human chain along one of the city's iconic canals, demanding responsible tourism in the post-coronavirus period. Amsterdammers have launched petition to tackle overtourism. Launched on June 9th by 28 June there were close to 30,000 signatures. This proposal will now have to be considered by the city council. There is a broad citizens' movement to control tourism in Amsterdam. more
In Amsterdam the mayor urged extreme caution in reopening to tourists, while nonprofit group Amsterdam&Partners believes the tourist hiatus pushes to the top of the agenda plans to cut numbers, give Amsterdam back to locals and attract the “right” kind of visitor, and has launched a sustainability taskforce to map the way forward. “The main focus is that we want a sustainable visitor economy that doesn’t harm the livability of our city. If you have the right balance between living, working and visiting, you can have the right visitor economy. That’s what went wrong in the last years in the old city centre, and we have to entice locals to discover their city centre again.” more

Toronto in common with many cities in countries with a domestic tourism market the focus is on the local tourist. In Barcelona Mateo Asensioof the Barcelona tourist board. “Our first task is getting locals back out into the city, then the domestic market and our neighbours. When the international market returns, we’ll focus more on specific sectors. It’s an opportunity to change the rules.” more  Athens: two new bike lanes are to be created. The centre is being at least temporarily pedestrianised and the space made available for local restaurants, cafes and bars to expand. Prague is taking steps to rebrand itself as a cultural and gastronomic destination.  Berlin is introducing 14 miles of new bike lanes. Paris is increasing cycle lanes. There are fewer examples of initiatives outside of cities.

As Justin Francis has pointed out the  first rule of being a great city break destination is to focus on becoming the best place to live – and trust that tourism will follow.  The death of the office and the further depopulation of city centres is a major threat. Justin has published 11 steps to city resilience. How many will take them?

GLP Presents #TourismStrong Video Series. A series of hopeful and honest conversations to inspire you as they’ve inspired us. They have published a free report with key takeaways from their travel industry peers—TourismStrong: Insights to Survive & Thrive Post-COVID-19

8. Wildlife & Biodiversity
"Pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature, according to leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF International, and the world has been ignoring this stark reality for decades." There has been a series of warnings since March, with the world’s leading biodiversity experts saying even more deadly disease outbreaks are likely in future unless the rampant destruction of the natural world is rapidly halted. more  We have seen many diseases emerge over the years – such as Zika, Aids, Sars and Ebola – and although they are quite different at first glance, they all originated from animal populations under conditions of severe environmental pressures. And they all illustrate that our destructive behaviour towards nature is endangering our own health – a stark reality we’ve been collectively ignoring for decades. Research indicates that most emerging infectious diseases are driven by human activities. more  World Animal Protection  organised 200 organizations to sign an open letter to the UN World Tourism Organisation urging them to call for all captive wildlife entertainment to be completely phased out of the global tourism industry. To minimise the risk of future pandemics, protect the health of tourists and tourism workers and to protect all wildlife species. Read the full open letter here.

The conservationist Chris Sandbrook spells out the problem, in stark terms: "The nature based tourism sector has collapsed, fieldwork is often impossible, and donors are withdrawing funds. This represents a serious challenge to conservation, which will endure for years to come. At the same time, there may be a glimmer of hope in that the situation could open up new possibilities for transformative change in relations between people and non-human nature."  He concludes "The covid-19 has triggered a crisis for public health, for biodiversity, for the economic system, and for the conservation sector. The world will never be quite the same again. The question is, what kind of world will emerge?"  What will the tourism sector contribute to secure the future of the wildlife and habitat which is such a key part of our sector but for which we have paid too little, for too long

In Thailand captive elephants are being led into the mountains to find food. more  The Spanish multinational company Iberostar Group has become the first tourism business to fund the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

9. Travel Tomorrow
António Buscardini explains Travel Tomorrow balancing sustainability and economic recovery post C-19. The tourism of tomorrow will be rooted in local communities. In neighbourhoods , villages and cities that thrive, and as a result, enjoy welcoming enthusiastic visitors. A flourishing community is very much connected to its specific place; where people work together, where visitors feel at home and residents can nurture and share their love for the place. 

 

10. Involving your clients in sustainability
Christopher Warren, aka the Green Butler, explains why culture and engaging clients in responsibly managing their resource use is good for business.

 


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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 05/2020

  1. Reputation Matters: Taking Responsibility in the face of Covid-19
  2. The World Responsible Tourism Awards in the Year of Covid-19
  3. Climate Change is as big a threat as Covid-19
  4. What future for Aviation?
  5. The Economic Impact of Covid-19
  6. Recovery - time to press the reset button?
  7. Immunity Passports?
  8. Resilience relies on others, it cannot be achieved by tourism alone
  9. Covid-19 will not be the end of overtourism
  10. The Covid-19 pandemic threatens wildlife too 

This month sees the launch of a new Responsible Tourism Hub providing quick links to curated material on RT. 

WTM Responsible Tourism Awards

1. Reputation Matters: Taking Responsibility in the face of Covid-19

Covid-19 and Tourism

Successful travel companies invest time and money in customer service to offer a quality experience knowing that repeat business and referrals are driven by people's perceptions of the business. These are very difficult times for the sector with demand having collapsed. UNWTO reported that by the end of April 100% of destinations had restrictions on international arrivals and domestic tourism. Tour Operators have delayed payments to suppliers and procrastinated over consumer refunds, a voucher is of little use to customers who have lost their incomes, the vouchers can't be used buy food.  James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid, penned an open letter recognising that there are aspects of the crisis that they had not handled well. "For any customers who feel disappointed with our response to their enquiries during this time, who feel as though we have taken their trust for granted, or who feel like we’ve let them down, I hear you, and I apologise." He has taken responsibility, apologised and taken action. People remember how you deal with problems - reputations are built and damaged by the ways companies deal with their customers and suppliers in crises.

Last month's RT News carried examples of companies and destinations maintaining meaningful connections with their client base. Ilha Blue, recognised in the 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, is working during the pandemic to keep their people safe, to use the time to create new experiences and to imagine and create the future they want – more women in their workforce, leadership on environmental issues, new more transformative travel offerings and increased connectivity with their global network of friends/volunteers/travellers. They are doing good and telling their clients and agents about it.

The impact of Covid-19 on holidaymakers is that they don't get a foreign holiday and in many countries any holiday. Of course only a minority ever have a holiday year after year, a holiday is in a fundamental sense a luxury good. In the destinations large numbers of people are put out of work, in larger companies, able to access government funds, they may be furloughed, but the vast majority of tourism is delivered by SMEs, micro enterprises and sole traders. As Justin Francis has argued there is far less welfare support for those who lose their livelihoods in developing countries, there are altruistic and self-interested reasons to act. "The developed north relies on many less developed countries to deliver travel "product". Recovery here requires it there – we need to rebuild together."

Fair Trade Tourism South Africa has pointed out that the "crisis has shone a light on many of the unFair Trade dynamics in the sector and the pause over the coming weeks gives us all time to reflect, to assess, and to redefine how we want travel and tourism to look going forward; to acknowledge the impacts we have; and to unpack the trade dynamics that need to be addressed. It has given us time to remember that humanity comes before commerce and that we need to look out for each other however we can." They list many businesses which have launched fundraisers to offset lost income (and tips) for their staff Coffee Shack Backpackers  & Umlani Bushcamp, stepped up their philanthropic efforts  Uthando (Love) SA , Spier has continued to support its partnerships with local communities, Sani Lodge Backpackers,   Isibindi Africa Lodges is raising funds to purchase and deliver masks, sanitisers and food parcels to its neighbours. Bulungula Lodge completely repurposed the lodge, it was closed to travellers and converted into a Safe Home for the elderly and those deemed most vulnerable. Ubuntu Beds has united hospitality businesses (and their empty beds) with the healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.

South Africa has so far very effectively addressed Covid-19 with a lockdown and a ban on international arrivals and inter-province travel. it has close to 20,000 confirmed cases (close to 4,000 of whom have recovered) and under 200 deaths. But the lockdown has a price. Tourism was seen as an important employer in post-apartheid South Africa, a relativity labour intensive employer which could create employment in urban and rural areas. The travel bans have resulted in real hardship particularly for the community owned lodges often built on restituted land.  Trans-frontier Parks Destinations (TFPD) is approaching clients, operators and agents who sell community owned lodges to contribute to relief funds incentivised by entry into a draw for a fully-inclusive stay and a guaranteed discount on their next booking. !Xaus Lodge is the pride and joy of the local ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge is owned by the Batlokoa community in Phuthaditjhaba.

There are opportunities to do good, and build reputation, in the originating markets too.  Airbnb has encouraged its property owners to offer  healthcare staff and first responders places to stay that allow them to be close to their patients – and safely distanced from their own families. In Los Angeles 300+ hotels have volunteered more than 30,000 rooms to the LA County Department of Public Health and other agencies as temporary shelter to support the region’s COVID-19 response, stepped up their philanthropic efforts.

Justin Francis, CEO of Responsible Travel has pointed to the "new community spirit fostered under the crisis, particularly about how we are all looking out for each other and the vulnerable" and expressed the hope that travel consumers "reward travel companies who can demonstrate they care about local residents, culture and environments throughout their entire operations (not just through token donations to charity)." He reports that the consumer feedback on Responsible Travel demonstrates that "customers find a deeper connection with places and more authentic experiences as a result of tourism designed together with local communities."

2. The World Responsible Tourism Awards in the Year of Covid-19

World Responsible Tourism AwardsThe ambition of the Awards has always been to recognise businesses and destinations which are making tourism better and to spread good practice – to educate, inspire and challenge others to do likewise or do more. In this year when the world faces a global pandemic, it seemed inappropriate to continue with the World Responsible Tourism Awards as usual. Its is not Business as Usual, and the crisis is likely to continue for some time. This year the judges have decided to commend businesses and destinations which are taking responsibility and addressing the challenge of Covid-19.

This year we shall be taking recommendations from anyone keen to tell us about destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals which are using tourism, or tourism facilities, to address the challenge of Covid-19. To nominate your own business or one you know to be taking responsibility go the Awards page. Remember we can only choose from amongst those that are nominated 

3. Climate Change is as big a threat as Covid-19

The global pandemic has, at the time of writing taken the lives of 280,000, it will likely to take many more. It is an urgent crisis. But Covid-19 is not the only crisis confronting us. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, pointed out on Earth Day, that the toll taken by the virus is both "immediate and dreadful". But the crisis is also a wake-up call, "to do things right for the future." He argues that "Public funds should be used to invest in the future not the past." The subsidies to businesses which damage our environment must cease and polluters must pay for their pollution. Climate risks must be at the heart of all public policy. Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, has pointed out that 'We can't self-isolate from climate change'.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the world will use 6% less this year - equivalent to losing the entire energy demand of India. Analysis by Carbon Brief, suggest that emissions this year will fall by 4-8%, saving somewhere between 2 and 3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas. The drop in oil consumption has been fives times larger than in the 2009 recession. more  In the UK the government's Committee on Climate Change has advised that investment should be in broadband rather than roads, that unemployment should be tackled by creating green jobs and pointed out that: "Many sectors of the UK economy do not currently bear the full costs of emitting greenhouse gases. Revenue could be raised by setting or raising carbon prices for these sectors.”.  Different countries will move on from Business As Usual to different degrees - the choices societies and their governments make will affect the climate we all share.

4. What future for Aviation? 

The Future for Aviation

The demand for jet fuel is down 65% year on year to April; in Europe flights are down 90%, in the US ~50%. Airbus still has a very healthy order book. "By April 30th, Airbus’ gross orders in 2020 totalled 365 aircraft. After cancellations the net orders stand at 299 aircraft. " It's ".. backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 30th April stood at 7,645."  The Lufthansa airlines group intends to reactivate 80 aircraft in June. Heathrow Airport has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme against a block on its plans for a third runway. The aviation sector is frustrated by airport closures, travel bans, social distancing and quarantine regulations but despite the calls for greener business they are preparing for a return to business as usual. The aviation industry remains our sector’s Achilles’ heel. Although some governments have pushed back on bailouts the sector has secured a great deal of funding with few environmental requirements. Greenpeace, Transport & Environment, and Carbon Market Watch using publicly available data have joined together to maintain a regularly updated, airline bailout tracker. Take a look.

The dependency of aviation on government bailouts creates an ideal opportunity for governments to encourage and fund a step change and to develop new technologies which could provide sustainable jobs through green technology. The French government has adopted a progressive approach, their rescue of Air France is contingent on a reduction in domestic flying and Air France becoming "the most environmentally respectful airline". "When you can travel by train in less than two and a half hours, there is no justification for taking a plane." M. Le Maire, France's Minister of the Economy and Finance, said the coronavirus crisis provided an opportunity to "reinvent our model of economic development to ensure it is more respectful of the environment". 2% of the fuel used by Air France's planes will have to be derived from alternative, sustainable sources by 2025 and by 2030 the airline would have to cut its carbon emissions by half per passenger and per kilometre from 2005 levels. more

5. The Economic Impact of Covid-19

These are extraordinary times, a return to business as usual looks improbable. The IMF is predicting that the ‘Great Lockdown’ will result in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis. They say that there is considerable uncertainty about what the economic landscape will look like when we emerge from this lockdown. For tourism to be possible, the lockdown has to have been lifted at the same time in the source market and the destination. And the traveller needs to be confident that their destination is safe and that there is no risk of being trapped in the destination by a lockdown in the destination or at home. There are likely to be further lockdowns and compulsory quarantine for travellers whenever coronavirus spikes. The travellers will also need to be confident that the risk of catching the virus travelling to the airport, on the plane, coach, train or cruise liner is low. Fear will remain a major deterrent, and travel insurance may continue to be unavailable or too expensive for cover for risks associated with the pandemic, including being quarantined abroad. more

The International Labour Organization estimates that as many as 1.6 billion of the world’s two billion informal economy workers are affected by COVID-19 lockdown and containment measures and face the "dilemma of choosing between dying from hunger and dying from the disease." In the US the cruise industry has been denied bailouts, seen as a consumer luxury industry which is not fundamental to the American economy and an industry which is largely registered abroad avoiding paying tax in the US. New Zealand quickly locked down when Covid-19 arrived and managed to reduce its coronavirus cases to zero in seven weeks. It is now planning a travel bubble, or corridor, including Australia and some Pacific Islands to enable travel and tourism to begin again. At the beginning of May Skyscanner surveyed 2,200 people across three continents and found that travel "remains a priority once restrictions are lifted – with 33% travelling ‘more than ever’ once it’s safe, 31% travelling more cautiously and 22% more domestically."

6. Recovery - time to press the reset button?

There are reports of Airbnb bookings rebounding in  TexasColoradoTennessee, and Alabama all ended lockdown policies in late April. In South Africa, one of the few African countries with a significant domestic market,  Lee-Anne Bac, Director of Strategic Development and Advisory at BDO, is advising that "the industry needs to relook and gear towards catering and marketing to the domestic market" cautioning that "This means having more affordable products in the tourism industry. And, in order for it to be more affordable, there needs to be more flexibility.”

Confronted by the common challenge of restoring normal life without increasing infection rates, countries have responded in ways which reflect their circumstances, culture and their government structures. Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Kerala, Milan and York are all in different ways talking about pressing the reset button. more  Justin Francis has pointed out that the "vast majority of people who work in tourism, reputedly 1 in 12 globally, work in small or micro businesses (restaurant staff, taxi drivers, hotel room service and front desk, curio and craft sellers, guides for museums, etc) and not global corporations. "The economic impacts on them and their families should not be ignored". Jeremy Smith has asked whether tourism can be radically transformed and avoid generating xenophobia, racism, and individualism: "Acts of altruism and support for host communities must continue to be our defining characteristics in the months to come." He goes on to quote Guillaume Cromer who has asked: Instead of putting money back into the machine like we used to, couldn’t we… support citizens who are struggling to go on holidays?

7. Immunity Passports?

In the UK the PM has confirmed plans to force all international arrivals, including returning holidaymakers, to self-isolate.  A position described by Oliver Smith in the Telegraph as "closing the stable door after the horse has bolted". Passengers arriving from abroad will have to provide an address where they will put themselves in quarantine for two weeks, enforced by spot checks and fines. This will not apply to arrivals from the Republic of  Ireland, the Channel Island and the Isle of Man, part of a common travel area, and very probably France.‡ It is not clear if this will apply to passengers who transit through Paris or Dublin. Airlines UK, UK-registered airlines have responded: “This [quarantine] proposal will effectively kill international travel to and from the UK and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy. Nobody is going to go on holiday if they’re not able to resume normal life for 14 days, and business travel will be severely restricted. It will also make it all but impossible for aviation to resume any time soon, thereby setting back the UK’s economic recovery still further.” There can be no leisure travel with quarantine rules in place, and very little business travel.

In the US the TSA is reporting on covid-19 precautions at airports and the numbers of staff who have tested positive, airport security requires a degree of proximity. Until there is a vaccine or effective treatment Covid-19 will constrain international and even domestic travel. Temperature checking cameras are in place at many airports and Heathrow is experimenting with their introduction. Testing at the airport immediately prior to departure may be an option, as is testing on arrival, the Advance Passenger Information system could be used to communicate the results and the testing service could be paid for by the traveller. It is not clear how a refund would be secured if a passengers was denied boarding or how a traveller tested positive on arrival would be treated. Travel insurance is unlikely to cover the Covid-19 risk.

Authorities in Greece, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands have talked about antibody-based passports to enable safe entry for tourists. In the UK Onfido, submitted written evidence on “the role of Digital Identity in Immunity Passports” to the Science and Technology Committee. There are major human rights and medical problems with this approach.  Thus approach would create a perverse incentive for infection in order to acquire antibodies and move about. The World Health Organization advises "There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection." And " People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice. The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission."

The Daily Telegraph reports that President Macron has threatened to impose a two-week quarantine on Britons visiting France, after the Government announced it had similar plans that could begin as early as next month. This would have resulted in a two week quarantine wither side of the Channel. Downing Street and the Elysée are reported to have  issued a joint statement agreeing quarantine measures would not apply between France and the UK "at this stage”. “The Prime Minister and the President agreed to work together in taking forward appropriate border measures. This co-operation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border, No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner.”

8. Resilience relies on others, it cannot be achieved by tourism alone

Tourism relies on source markets, domestic and international, to generate customers with money, time and freedom to travel; on safe and reliable transport being available to facilitate travel; and the destination needs to be seen as safe to visit.  There are only a few risks that tourism can address alone - the pandemic has demonstrated how reliant tourism is on the resilience of the source markets and destinations and the transport infrastructure. Businesses, DMOs and NTBs can take some steps to 'shock proof" the industry locally and to find alternative markets if one collapses, but resilience requires a much broader approach and collaboration.

Kerala has developed greater resilience in the wake of recent extensive flooding, and they were quick to bring Covid-19 under control. RT has been successful in Kerala in large part due to the strength of state and local government. Domestic tourists will arrive first, but the industry in Kerala can do little to hasten their arrival or that of the international visitors, many of whom repeat. Belize has, at the time of writing, had 18 cases of Covid-19 and 2 deaths. Their primary source market is the US (75%), where Covid-19 has not plateaued. They are encouraging domestic tourism and hoping to open for international guests from July with a Covid-19 test on arrival.

9. Covid-19 will not be the end of overtourism

In the growing literature on overtourism there is much emphasis on international tourism but domestic tourists too contribute to overtourism. In Cornwall in the UK  accommodation is already reported to be 85% booked for July and August. Even during the lockdown in the UK there have needed to be campaigns to discourage people from visiting beauty spots. more

Holidaymakers who previously have holidayed abroad can't, they will holiday at home. In the Huangshan mountain park in Anhui province on Saturday April 4 there were "thousands of people crammed together, many wearing face masks, eager to experience the great outdoors after months of travel restrictions and strict lockdown measures." Before 08:00 park managers  took the unusual step of issuing a notice declaring that the park had reached its 20,000 person daily capacity. more

In the UK the announcement by the PM of a relaxation of the rules on travelling for recreation has resulted in a plea for people have been told to stay away from beauty spots and beaches amid fears relaxed rules allowing longer car journeys would leave areas "inundated with visitors". Some rural areas, including Cumbria and the Lake District, have had relatively high rates of infection and tourism bosses in those areas urged people not to visit. more

10. The Covid-19 pandemic threatens wildlife too

Jane Goodall has pointed to the importance of ensuring that the chimps are not exposed to Covid-19. In the last month's RT News we carried the example of Ol Pejeta's fund raising initiative to support the work of the conservancy. World Animal Protection is campaigning to raise funds to care for over 2,000 elephants in the tourism camps in Thailand closed by the pandemic. Across Africa  the closure of safari tourism, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is decimating the industry, and leading to an increase in poaching as people struggle to stay alive. more

 


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
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RT News

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Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

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

Better Tourism Africa
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 subscribed online more recently. 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

Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 04/2020

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  1. Travel & Tourism in Global Crisis 
  2. 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards winners announced 
  3. The WTM World Awards in Responsible Tourism
  4. The Climate Crisis is no less urgent
  5. Tourism in the Recovery from Covid-19
  6. The other existential crisis - Biodiversity
  7. Responsible Kerala is Resilient 
  8. Resilient Destinations
  9. Meaningful Connections 
  10. Childhood is a Lovely Country


 

1. Travel & Tourism in Global Crisis
Travellers, expatriates and tourists are struggling to get home as the airports close and flights are cancelled. These are dark days for international travel, cruising and for domestic tourism. The UK government has advised against all but essential travel for an indefinite period, TUI Has cancelled all holidays until mid-May and furloughed 11,000 employees.  Jet2 has cancelled holidays and flights to mid-June. ABTA has called on the government to do whatever it takes "to avoid mass insolvencies of UK travel companies, prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of UK jobs, and to ensure customers can receive refunds or book alternative travel arrangements as quickly as possible." ABTA is lobbying MPs  calling for Government action to save industry jobs and protect customer money.On the first day of ABTA’s Save Future Travel campaign 13,500 people responded by emailing their MP.

Travel Counsellors founder David Speakman has likened the way airlines fund operations from customer money to a Ponzi scheme. He claimed that at any one time airlines will typically be holding hundreds of millions of pounds of customer money for un-flown flights and yet now they’re facing refunds they say they don’t have it.  “Executives must be taught that they put money aside for a rainy day. The airlines are holding on to customer money. Speakman accused airlines of acting as if they are too big to fail, like the banks in the financial crash of 2008.... " it’s agents and operators who are on the hook for all this money that the airlines refuse to give back." Speakman is reported to have said: "The travel industry is particularly vulnerable to a stop or slow down, as it has operated as a massive Ponzi scheme, borrowing and using up-front customer cash to operate. Cash taken from customers booking today for future journeys, pays for travel executed today that was paid for by customers two, three or even twelve months previously."

Across Europe airport traffic fell by nearly 60% in March.  John Hopkins University is graphically recording and reporting the global scale of the pandemic, look there for updated figures.   As Justin Francis has pointed out on LinkedIn : Being dependent on the tourism industry for putting food on the table or sending your kids to school is very different to relying on it for your holiday. #Coronavirus will hit the poorest in tourism destinations hardest. And the poorest will be hardest hit as the governments close the airports to defend against importing Covid-19 and the the originating markets close.

 

International borders have been closed to defend against new arrivals bringing the virus with them. With in national boundaries it has been more difficult to end domestic tourism and people have taken to the streets to protest as the residents of Moloka'i and Maui. The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has requested that visitors stay home, saying: "Our finite local resources and the limited capacity of our local health care system are not adequate to support tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Peak District has urged people not to be tempted to break government measures during the Easter break and to stay away. Cornwall became the first major UK tourism destination to tell visitors to stay away until the coronavirus crisis is over. Visit Cornwall published a statement saying: “Visitors should not come to Cornwall at this time, in order to slow the spread of the virus, to protect themselves, as well as the communities of Cornwall.”

2. 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards winners announced
To be presented with a coveted Judges' Award for Responsible Tourism is a rare honour, you need to have been recognised a number to times is different categories by different groups of judges. Only give awards have been presented, three of them to business in Africa, Grootbos, Ol Pejeta and most recently Transfrontier Parks Destinations (TFPD)
Benefiting Local People: Gold: Uthando, South Africa & Silver: Coffeebeans Routes, South Africa  Destination Award: Gold: !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre South Africa Silver: Ilha Blue Island Safaris, Ilha de Moçambique Responsible Business:  Gold: Spier, South Africa, Silver: Chobe Game Lodge, Botswana Wildlife: Gold: Great Plains Conservation, South Africa, Gold: Marine Dynamics & Dyer Island Conservation Trust, South Africa   The Judges' Reasons and citations are here.  The public vote results are here 

3. The WTM World Awards in Responsible Tourism
The categories for this year's World  Awards will be announced on April 30th, there will be five categories. Two will focus on the existential crises of decarbonisation and biodiversity loss. In the context of Covid-19 the third category will be for businesses and destinations which have helped their communities weather the crisis. Bulungula has converted its lodge into a protective quarantine for the elderly in their  community. In Singapore Marina Bay Sands is donating food to charity, Hilton and American Express are to donate up to 1 million  rooms to front line medical professionals, and in Binsar Village Ways, through its charitable trust, is helping communities protect themselves from Covid-19.  Fairbnb.coop is encouraging people  to book today, while staying  at home, that way you can immediately contribute to the fight against Coronavirus and at the same time plan a sustainable holiday, helping Italy to recover. Do you have ideas for the other two categories? If you do email harold@haroldgoodwin.info 

4. The Climate Crisis is no less urgent
The urgent has driven out the important. The Covid-19 crisis has eclipsed discussion about climate change and resulted in COP26 being delayed until June 2021. The World Health Organisation reports that there are currently an estimate of 150,000 deaths per year caused by climate change. Le Mont-Dore, in the Massif Central, one of France's oldest ski resorts has gone into receivership for lack of snow. Europe experienced its warmest winter on record fully 1.4°C above the previous high set in 2015-16 and 3.4°C warmer than the average for 1981 to 2010. Helsinki was 6°C above the long-run average. There has been a heatwave in Antarctica Casey Research Station, in the Windmill Islands oasis, experienced its first recorded heatwave. For three days, minimum temperatures exceeded zero and daily maximums were all above 7.5C. On 24 January, its highest maximum of 9.2C was recorded, almost 7C above Casey’s 30-year mean for the month. The ice caps at the poles are melting faster that in the 1990s. A new Antarctic maximum temperature of 18.4C was recorded on 6 February at Argentina’s Esperanza research station on the peninsula – almost 1C above the previous record. Three days later this was eclipsed when 20.75C was reported at Argentina’s Marambio station, on Seymour Island east of the peninsula. more

There is little progress to report on tackling climate change. Eight Democrat Senators tried unsuccessfully to attach carbon reduction conditions to Federal financial assistance to airlines and the cruise industry. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) established a  Technical Advisory Body (TAB) to assess 14 organisations that had applied for their carbon credits to be recognised under CORSIA.  The UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offsets came out of the review very badly. (1) they did not have to fill in the application form (2) they failed on six of ICAO's quality criteria, (3)  CDM projects were not required  to report on sustainable development benefits. Despite all the inadequacies in these carbon offsets ICAO approved the UN's CDM projects as having met the agreed CORSIA criteria.   Confirmation that there are problems with the UN's CDM carbon offsets, but they are approved anyway for CORSIA.

5. Tourism in the Recovery from Covid-19

So far only one country has emerged from lock down, given the diversity of destinations and source markets it is difficult to predict the speed and shape of the tourism recovery. As China came out of lock down domestic tourists flocked to popular tourist sites, international tourists remained effectively locked out.  The UNWTO has recognised the scale of the crisis: "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Tourism has been the hardest hit of all economic sectors, and in many places the most vulnerable members of society will suffer the most." And it has been optimistic about the recovery  "tourism has shown an unparalleled ability to recover from crisis. Furthermore, the sector is uniquely positioned to lead wider societal recovery, driving economic growth, creating jobs and transforming lives."

UNWTO has issued "A global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and existing technologies to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination recovery solutions. A step forward for Sustainable Development in a crisis situation, providing support to travelers, businesses and authorities."

6. The other existential crisis - Biodiversity
Tourism is an important source of funding  to the conservation of wildlife and habitat. Ol Pejeta is a leading example of the positive impact of tourism on wildlife conservation, it is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa with 100 black rhinos, and it is home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino. They will be hit hard as tourism revenue ceases. They are encouraging people to book now for a visit in the future, they have organised a children's art competition The Art of Survival  Ol Pejeta  is looking for emergency funding.  "We pride ourselves for being self-sustainable mostly from tourism but COVID-19 is having an impact on our sustainability model. With global travel restrictions tourism is now severely compromised. The impact is so significant that we won't be able to sustain all our efforts for too long." Donate here.


Join Ol Pejeta's daily live broadcast of Sofa Safari on Instagram or Facebook. Their MD, Richard Vigne and champion guide, Samuel Mbogo, will take you on the game drive you are dreaming of. From elephants, to rhinos, to dung beetles and birds, we will make sure that you get your Ol Pejeta fix. Catch us daily from 4:30pm EAT. 

On 7th April Zac Goldsmith, the UK's Minister for the Pacific, int’l env, climate & forests & UK animal welfare tweeted  "As we emerge from this crisis, we will need to reflect profoundly on our relationship with nature.  This is a consequence of a war we have been waging, and which we can never win.  Just as the world agreed the Geneva Convention after WW2 we will need a new Covenant with Nature."

More than 200 wildlife groups have signed an open letter calling on the WHO to do all it can to prevent new diseases emerging from the trade in wild animals. Previous diseases like Sars and Ebola have also been linked to viruses that spread from animals to people. The open letter asks governments worldwide to bring in permanent bans on live wildlife markets. more  Gorilla tourism in Africa has been suspended, while sanctuaries for other apes, such as orangutans have closed to the public. more  It is not all bad news, in Venice the tourists have left, the canals now run clear and the fish and birds have returned. more

A new scientific review has concluded that despite being used as rubbish dump our oceans are proving resilient. Humpback whale numbers have rebounded since the ban on commercial whaling. The proportion of marine species assessed as threatened with global extinction by the IUCN has dropped from 18% in 2000 to 11.4% in 2019. The new study estimates that it will costs $10-20bn a year to rebuild marine life by 2050. But the review also points out that for every dollar invested, the expected return would be $10. more Grounds for optimism but it will depend on what we do - we have been here before on climate change and failed to act.

7. Responsible Kerala is Resilient
The Responsible Tourism Mission in Kerala has recorded a four fold income in its revenue.  The Mission's work continues during the lock down. Following the advice: Work at Home.. Stay Safe ... Break the Chain, they are producing RT Mission Work at Home videos. 

RT has been successful in Kerala in large part due to the strength of state and local government. Kerala has been identified as a model state in reducing the impact of Covid-19 They has a state control room mobilised by 26 January. Two Keralan students returning from Wuhan tested positive and on 30th January were put into isolation. "In order to “break the chain”, the government has been conducting rigorous “contact tracing”, or studying whom the infected person has been in contact with and then whom that person has been in contact with so that the entire chain of possibly infected people can be informed and put into isolation. Route maps showing the places that the infected persons have been to are being published, and people who were present at that time at those places are asked to contact the health department so that they can be screened and tested. The route maps are widely disseminated through social media, and through GoK Direct, the government’s phone app. Local government officials and ASHA health workers (women who are the pillar of local public health) are doing the groundwork of finding people who are infected and making sure their contacts are also in isolation." More here  The Washington Post has also covered Kerala's performance.  Coronavirus: How India's Kerala state 'flattened the curve'

8 Resilient Destinations
The economic crisis arising from the global public health emergency has demonstrated once again how the resilience of the travel and tourism sector is dependent on the resilience of the source markets and destinations the industry connects. Those destinations which are over-reliant on tourism will be hardest hit by declines in arrivals. These are tough times for communities around the world, in the midst of a public health emergency. Our sector should recognise the primacy of the risk to life, think about what we can do to help, avoid making the situation worse and avoid special pleading. more
A new website was launched in mid-March curating resources on responses to Covid-19

9. Meaningful Connections

Creating meaningful connections between tourists and hosts is one of the characteristics of Responsible Tourism, tourism is a major part of the experience economy.  Visit Scotland has had a big success with its Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder campaign, described by the Scottish Tourism Alliance  as " a message of support and hope to our friends around the world and assure them that, whilst they can’t visit just now, we will still be here with a warm welcome for them when the time is right." VisitScotland described it as " virtual hug to fans of Scotland, near and far, with a heart-warming film asking them to dream about visiting now, but to travel later." In just five days the film reached 1.6 million people.  Will people turn to virtual tours - there are links to 12 tours of famous museums here.  French Waterways are stimulating wanderlust.

10. Childhood is a Lovely Country
Mark Jones has written a great piece about travelling with his father, thinking back to the days before we all started flying. I remember this, my family went along the Watling Street into mid-Wales every year.
"Picture a family saloon– in today’s terms, a very small car – with a family of five chugging down the Fosse Way – still, for me, the most magical road in England – heading south west to Wales. I will have been sick three times before Leamington Spa. There’s no point saying ‘are we there yet?’ because on the 200-mile journey ‘there’ is a pure abstraction. The only time when time is slower is the week before Christmas. You sink into the vinyl seats, too disconsolate even for i-spy or thinking of three rivers beginning with ‘A’. There was nothing before this small car packed with thermoses, sandwiches, clothes and brothers – and not much prospect of anything after." Read more here

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

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

 RT Video Channel

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town

Better Tourism Africa
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 subscribed online more recently. 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

Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 03/2020

  1. "Today a wind of madness is sweeping the globe," says UN Secretary-General
  2. Offsetting and the aviation industry are being challenged
  3. Strong RT programme at WTM Africa in Cape Town 6 to 8 April
  4. The new runway at Heathrow blocked 
  5. There is some evidence that the young are not as green as they are often assumed to be
  6. 1st April is Responsible Tourism Day WTM Latin America 
  7. Climate Action in the Adventure Travel Industry 
  8. Travalyst: a catalyst for change
  9. Amsterdam tackles overtourism
  10. Global Tourism Plastics Initiative 

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"Today a wind of madness is sweeping the globe.." says UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening remarks to journalists on the UN priorities for 2020 on February 4th said that "today a wind of madness is sweeping the globe". He spoke in the UN's 75th anniversary year about the "the vicious circles that define our day". In the realm of peace and security, there are mounting conflicts. Problems feed each other,  as economies falter, poverty remains entrenched. "As future prospects look bleak, populist and ethnic nationalist narratives gain appeal". "Another clear vicious circle is exacerbating the climate crisis."
"As oceans warm, ice melts, and we lose the vital service the ice sheets perform - reflecting sunlight, thus further increasing ocean warming. And as ice melts and the oceans warm, sea levels rise and more water evaporates, fueling ever-greater rainfall, threatening coastal cities and deltas. Last year, ocean heat and mean sea level reached their highest on record. Scientists tell us that ocean temperatures are now rising at the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs a second. ....And as forests burn, the world loses vital carbon sinks and emissions skyrocket. The smoke from Australia’s fires is now itself a literal vicious circle – circling the globe, releasing the equivalent of as much as six months of the country’s total carbon emissions in 2018".

"The challenge for this year’s climate conference in Glasgow, COP 26, is clear: all countries must show more ambition on adaptation, mitigation and finance. We need a price on carbon, and an end to subsidies for fossil fuels." more

2. Offsetting and the aviation industry are being challenged
The UN Secretary-General has called for a price on carbon and an end to subsidies for fossil fuels. In April last year, I described aviation as the Achilles Heel of our sector and pointed out that consumers are increasingly demanding that producers and suppliers address the sustainability of the goods and services offered to us to purchase – the same pressure needs to come on the manufacturers of aeroplanes and providers of flights and fuel. I learnt last week, at the Climate Friendly Travel summit at SUNX Malta, that the need is more urgent than I thought – 7 to 10 years – and that the best hope is Sustainable Aviation Fuels. Unless a carbon offset is priced at a level which reduces demand and places pressure on the airline industry top reduce and eventually eliminate carbon emissions, offsetting just permits, even legitimates, business as usual. In an interview with the Financial Times, Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, expressed concerns about corporate offsetting schemes: “If every corporate is relying on tree planting as a means of offsetting their emissions then we are not going to make as much progress as we think..” Read more in FT  In the Netherlands the government announced that from 2023 airlines will only be able to refuel at Dutch airports with kerosene to which biological or synthetic fuel has been added. The blending obligation “will encourage investments in the production and purchase of green fuels such as biokerosene and synthetic kerosene”. more

As Chris Lyle argues in GreenAirOnlne we really need the airline industry to demonstrate greater ambition in aviation emissions mitigation. We have to put pressure on the aviation industry to substantially reduce the use of carbon fuels and be weaned off fossil fuels.    If you are buying offsets, take care, you may be jeopardising your reputation, particularly if you are selling them to your customers. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is. In the UK the Advertising Standards Authority is looking a carbon offsetting claims and there have been critical exposes in the mainstream press. More There is more here about the questions to ask of any carbon offset.

3. Strong RT programme at WTM Africa in Cape Town 6 to 8 April
WTM Africa has a Responsible Tourism Day on April 6th with sessions on rewilding, working with national parks to benefit communities, decarbonising travel and tourism (there is more to it than just aviation), RT in Cape Town, animal welfare, and the importance of transparency and reporting. The WTM Africa RT Awards this year celebrate the Best of the Last Five Years are presented at the end of the day and on Tuesday morning there is an opportunity to hear from and question the winners. On Wednesday there is a session on Creating Shared Value and Thriving Communinituies - how to make business that benefits you and the community by growing the pie. more  WTM Africa has confirmed that WTM Africa is definitely going ahead.

4. New runway at Heathrow blocked
London Heathrow Airport

Heathrow launched it's Target Net Zero,  plan for all activities at the airport including flights to get to net-zero by 2050 at the latest. The plan, which can be found here, sets out how they will achieve net-zero carbon across the airport infrastructure as soon as possible and zero carbon by the mid-2030s; how they will help the aviation industry achieve a net-zero future; and how they will use their scale to help the wider economy decarbonise too. They argue that it is  possible to grow the UK aviation industry in line with climate change objectives and we will continue to make the case that it is carbon that needs to be removed, not the benefits of aviation.  they argue that

It’s naïve to pretend that, in an interconnected international network, not building a third runway at Heathrow will stop journeys happening and cut emissions – passengers will simply route via other hubs, exporting emissions to other countries, while sacrificing our own connectivity and trading opportunities. In 2018, 18 million passengers from the UK connected via another European or Middle Eastern hub to their final destination. Constraining one country’s airports doesn’t save emissions, it exports them.

A few days later the Court of Appeal in London ruled the UK government acted unlawfully in failing to take into account the Paris climate change agreement when supporting the expansion of Heathrow Airport. In its judgement, the court said it was not making a decision that expansion was incompatible with the UK's commitment to reducing emissions under Paris but the ruling raises doubts about whether a third runway will now be built. more

5.There is some evidence that the young are not as green as they are often assumed to be 
A survey by Censuswide for Aviva comparing the "green" behaviour of Baby Boomer and Millennials and Generation Z'ers has found that Baby Boomers are more likely than Millennials and Generation Z'ers to report that they are reducing their air travel. more Hubbub reported research stating that half of the flights taken by men aged 20-45 last year were for stag dos and over a third taken by women were for hen dos. When asked, all that people really wanted from their dream hen or stag was spending quality time together, plus good nightlife and trying something new. In fact, most people agreed that there were great places in the UK for hen and stag dos. They launched a #WhyWingIt campaign, to inspire groups to choose an amazing staycation and offers tips for how to travel over ground rather than flying by default.

6. 1st April is Responsible Tourism Day WTM Latin America
The first WTM Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented on the Responsible Tourism Day, the finalists come from ten Latin American countries: Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Republica Dominicana,  Urugai and Venezuela.  A major achievement in the first year of the Awards in Latin America. The RT programme is addressing plastic waste, overtourism and the challenge of decarbonisation which is not just about aviation.

7. Climate Action in the Adventure Travel Industry
Mitigate Climate Change

Intrepid has funded research undertaken by the Adventure TravelTrade Association, they received replies from 177 organisations, 52% of respondents reported having a climate action strategy.  74 respondents reported that they had a climate action strategy, more (49%) plan to restructure itineraries to rely less on fossil fuels while 42% plan to offset carbon emissions, and 35% to adapt tour menus to emphasize foods with a low carbon footprint.  Although only 29% of respondents partially or completely measure their overall carbon footprint.

8.Travalyst: a catalyst for change
Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com, TripAdvisor and Visa provide services to many millions of travellers - they have reach. They have ambition:"We want to be the driving force that paves a new way to travel, helping everyone explore our world in a way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for destinations and local communities for generations to come.." There is evidence that travellers want to purchase sustainable travel and to benefit local communities. Launched in September 2019 it was relaunched in Edinburgh in February with the announcement of plans to create "a universal scoring system to help travellers have a clear idea of how sustainable a trip, experience, or activity is." more

9. Amsterdam tackles overtourism
The Untourist Guide to Amsterdam

Back in January 2019 NBTC Holland Marketing published A new vision for the destination the Netherlands to benefit all Dutch people. They acknowledged that: "The interests of locals were previously marginalised in the development of tourism and, therefore, deserve prioritising now…" They have moved from destination promotion to destination management. The Untourist Guide to Amsterdam "a growing community of 200+ social entrepreneurs, non-profits, alternative city guides, hotels, hostels and other pioneers bound to change tourism in Amsterdam for the better. They "offer a variety of exceptional activities that enable you as a visitor to truly engage and co-create with us, to explore the city in a completely different way that is much more fun, authentic and meaningful."

Check out their visionary guide to Amsterdam filled with inspiring funtribute activities and a new perspective on tourism.

Explore the city in ways that will transform you from a regular tourist into a travel pioneer and changemaker. Become part of this brand new movement, contribute to the community and co-create with local innovators. Make your own zero-waste souvenir, go weed dating at an urban farm or plastic fishing on the canals. Contribute your skills and and ideas in exchange for a fun, authentic and truly rewarding experience.

10.   Global Tourism Plastics Initiative 
A new Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has been launched. Developed by the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet Network, a multi-stakeholder partnership to implement the sustainable development goal on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG 12), the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative acts as the tourism sector interface of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which unites more than 450 businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.


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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 subscribed online more recently. 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.

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Twitter: @goodwinhj  & @WTM_WRTD  #RTourismNews

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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 02/2020

    1. Climate change creates victims   
    2. Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency: Carbon offsetting is NOT the answer
    3. Vote for the most inspirational examples in the 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards
    4. Responsible Tourism sets the pace in India
    5. Booking.com opens applications for its Booking Booster accelerator
    6. Overtourism affects more and more places 
    7. Belize bans plastic and a new Global Tourism Plastics Initiative to take effect in 2025
    8. Sex abusers set up orphanages overseas to target children
    9. Visiting Cocoa Farmers 
    10. Night Trains are coming back 

 

  1. Climate change creates victims
    We are accustomed to seeing images of floods in Kerala and Indonesia, raging fires in Australia and the heatwave in Europe but we rarely see the damage inflicted on the mental health of the victims. Hear it for yourself here:

This is what it means for the volunteers who fight the fires. Hear it for yourself here.

2. Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency: Carbon offsetting is NOT the answer
According to Nasa, Noaa and the UK Met Office, last year was the second warmest in a record dating back to 1850, and the 10 years to the end of 2019 have been confirmed as the warmest decade on record. We are beginning, only beginning to experience the impacts of climate change. As Sir David Attenborough has warned, "The moment of crisis has come". We have been putting off tackling this threat for years. Now climate change is directly impacting our lives. This BBC film explains how.

56 businesses and individuals working in tourism have joined Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency accepting that this “requires immediate and radical action by our governments, our industry and our business.” It does require radical action, offsetting is not the answer. Businesses should be very sceptical of voluntary offset schemes, cap and trade permits have their own problems. If you are retailing a carbon offset, it is presumably your liability. A disaffected consumer may come back to you for financial compensation for mis-selling and inflict collateral reputational damage.

Is carbon offsetting better than doing nothing? It is clearly possible to convince yourself and clients that it is, but for how long? Swimming with dolphins and visiting or volunteering in orphanages were thought to be good – until perceptions changed. As offsetting is more widely promoted it is likely to come under increasing scrutiny. For Shell Go+ customers, Shell will buy a carbon credit to offset or compensate, for these emissions. It costs the consumer nothing: “All you have to do is scan your Shell Go+ card when you purchase your fuel and we will offset all of the emissions from the production and use of the fuel.”

Climate change and the need to combat it is no longer a marginal issue. Even the UK’s Daily Express published Greta Thunberg’s Davos speech in full. This issue is becoming mainstream and there will be more attention focused on it. You will need to be able to defend your offsets!  The detailed reasons for being sceptical about voluntary offsets are here.

3. Vote for the most inspirational examples in the 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards
Africa: the Best of the Last Five Years: see the winners in the World and Africa Responsible Tourism Awards since 2015. They have been grouped into four categories for the 2020 WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards: Responsible Business, Responsible Destinations, Benefitting Local People and Wildlife.  We started the Africa Awards to identify solutions and encourage change, five years on it is time to look for those which are most inspiring and which can, and should, be replicated. They are listed here with the judges' reasons. 
Take a look and vote for your choice of Africa's best in each of the four categories. 

4. Responsible Tourism sets the pace in India
Responsible Tourism is gaining momentum in India, there are some excellent winners in this year's India Responsible Tourism Awards. Village Ways has won three Responsible Tourism Awards for its walking and talking tours,  although not in the India Awards this year. The winners in the 2020 India Responsible Tourism Awards and the judges’ reasons can be found online here. In this year’s India Awards there are two more “walking and talking” winners.  No Footprints based in Mumbai won Gold in the Tour Operator category for enabling visitors to connect with the communities which have made the city what it is over generations, to meet with them, and to hear their stories. The Aga Khan Trust Culture with its partners in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti urban settlement home to 18,000 people adjacent to the Qutub Minar offers opportunities to walk and talk and engage with Quwwali music, poetry, food and rituals that have defined both the Hindustani culture and Sufism.
Only four Judges' Awards have been awarded and two of them have gone to work which began in Kumarokorum in Kerala to Jose Dominic for Clean Green Healthy Earth Hotels and Rupesh Kumar for the Kerala RT Mission. Madhya Pradesh has also adopted Responsible Tourism. India is rapidly becoming the leading destination for Responsible Tourism.

5. Booking.com opens applications for its Booking Booster accelerator
Booking.com has opened applications for the Booking Booster accelerator and we’re on the search for organizations with innovative products and services to help accommodations become more sustainable. The 2020 Booking Booster will consist of two complementary one-week programs exclusively focussed on sustainable accommodation:
6-15 May for organizations with innovative products and services to help accommodations become more sustainable
2-11 September for accommodations themselves, including those that are just starting their sustainability journey.
You can find more information about the Booster Program, including FAQs here.

6. Overtourism affects more and more places
The Balearic Islands have passed a law banning pub crawls and happy hours in three popular tourist destinations in a bid to crackdown on alcohol-fuelled holidays in Playa de Palma and Magaluf in Majorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza. Organised pub crawls can no longer be advertised or held in Playa de Palma, Magaluf or Ibiza's West End. Party boats can no longer advertise in the three areas or pick up or drop off tourists there. Alcohol vending machines, free bars and adverts for alcoholic drinks are also forbidden, while authorities say shops selling alcohol must close from 21:30 to 08:00  and the new regulations have also outlawed "balconing", where people jump from hotel balconies, often into swimming pools. Businesses caught violating the new law face fines of up to €600,000 (£510,000) or be shut down for up to three years.

7. Belize bans plastic and a new Global Tourism Plastics Initiative to take effect in 2025
Following lobbying by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, the government of Belize has banned single-use plastics, including shopping bags and styrofoam and plastic food utensils. Importation, manufacture, sale and possession have all been banned. Belize Department of the Environment

Meanwhile the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative requires tourism organisations to make actionable commitments by 2025, to:

    • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and items
    • Take action to move from single-use to reuse models or reusable alternatives
    • Engage the value chain to move towards 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
    • Take action to increase the amount of recycled content across all plastic packaging and items used
    • Commit to collaborate and invest to increase the recycling and composting rates for plastics
    • Report publicly and annually on progress made towards these targets. Oneplanet Network

8. Sex abusers set up orphanages overseas to target children

The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse reported on January 9th that it has heard evidence of an “offending pattern where an individual sets up a shelter, orphanage or school, specifically to create an opportunity for sexual abuse”. The inquiry cited the case of Richard Huckle who abused scores of children in impoverished Malaysian communities while presenting himself as an English teacher and philanthropist. British men have been linked to sex offending in Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Indonesia. Thailand and Burma. Between 2013 and 2017 consular assistance was requested by 361 British citizens arrested for child sex offences. As of March 2018, only 0.2% of 58,637 registered sex offenders in England and Wales had foreign travel restrictions imposed on them. 

9. Visiting Cocoa Farmers
Ghana is ranked as the second most important producer of high-grade cocoa and adhere to the strict regime of voluntary sustainability. The global agrifood chain provides a connection for customers who would want to experience as tourists natural products fro example by interacting with cocoa farmers. Check out the opportunity

10. Night Trains are coming back
Night trains have returned to the tracks between Brussels and Vienna amid growing interest in alternatives to flying. The ÖBB now runs 27-night trains, alone or with partners, serving cities in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Sweden is considering the launch of night trains between Malmö and other European cities. More

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

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 Video Channel

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town

Better Tourism Africa
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 subscribed online more recently. 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@rtp.tfxweb.com

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

RT NewsWTM

Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 01/2020

  1. Significant Warming has Occured - Time to Adapt     
  2. Responsible Tourism is About Solutions
  3. The 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards
  4. Destinations & Overtourism 
  5. Responsible Tourism Programme at WTM Africa
  6. Removing Plastic from Our Environment
  7. Orphanage Tourism and Child Trafficking 
  8. Shipping is making progress, will cruise follow?
  9. Zoos - Aspinal Calls for their Abolition
  10. Palau has banned 'toxic' sun cream

 

1, Significant Warming has Occured - Time to Adapt
Flooding in Kerala, Jakarta and Yorkshire, drought and mega-fires in Australia, the ice melting in the Arctic and Antarctica leading to sea-level rise and drought causing famine in Zambia and elsewhere. In Moscow, artificial snow was created for the New Year celebrations. 2019 was Russia’s warmest year on record.

Who said "We should always remember that free markets are a means to an end. They would defeat their object if by their output they did more damage to the quality of life through pollution than the well-being they achieve by the production of goods and services." It was Margaret Thatcher at the UN, 30 years ago, in 1989. Then we had a world leader who understood the science and who contributed much to tackling CFCs which were depleting the ozone layer. There is a woeful lack of that quality of leadership now.

Stern pointed out way back in 2006 that the longer we left tackling climate change the more expensive it would be and the more damage we would do to our climate. We are leaving the problem to our children. Much is made of achieving net-zero by 2050, but most of the greenhouse gasses emitted between now and then will be there in our atmosphere, cooking us.  Increasingly those children and grandchildren are asking us about what we are doing about climate change. There is more on the cost of greenhouse gas emissions and the problems of offsets here

We need to reduce emissions and to adapt to the consequences. Resilience requires that the travel and tourism industry prepare for the worst. We have not even begun to slow the rate of growth in greenhouse gas emissions. We need to reduce and adapt.


2. Responsible Tourism is About Solutions
For businesses, Responsible Tourism is about creating better places for people to live in and for people to visit. For destinations, it is about using tourism to enhance the place and managing tourism so that the place and the people who live there are not used by tourism, but rather benefit from it.  Through the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards, the panels at the four shows in London, Cape Town, Dubai and Sao Paulo, and the blogs we focus on solutions. If you know of replicable examples of good practice please let us know about them. Email harold@haroldgoodwin.info

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle climate issues, pledging "a decade of action to repair the Earth".Five winners will receive the Earthshot Prize every year between 2021 and 2030. Prince William said the world faces a "stark choice" to continue "irreparably" damaging the planet or "lead, innovate and problem-solve". A series of challenges will be announced, aimed at finding at least 50 solutions to the "world's greatest problems" including climate change and air pollution. video


3. The 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards
In the sixth year of the Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, we thought that we should look back over the five years of the Awards, the Africa and World Awards 2015-2019, and invite the Gold winners in all categories to update their original application and to enter the 2020 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards. The 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented to those businesses and organisations which can demonstrate the core Responsible Tourism values of transparency and respect, which are able to demonstrate their impact and which have, or could, inspire others to achieve more. Application forms for the 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards will be emailed out to all Gold winners on February 1st, with a deadline of March 9th. The Awards will be presented at WTM Africa on Africa Responsible Tourism Day, Monday 6th April.


4. Destinations & Overtourism
Ten years ago Newquay was known as a “Wild West” party town where anything went. Newquay was reinvented: ‘You stopped finding knickers in your garden’
It is possible to change the tourism culture of a town. Newquay is now a town of upmarket cafes, wine bars and yoga studios. The Hindu has reported that in Kerala it is likely that following discussion with stakeholders to put a cap on the number of visitors to ecologically fragile locales such as Munnar and the backwaters of Alappuzha. This extends the carrying capacity management regime operated at Thekkady and locales such as Kuruva island in Wayanad. For its part, the Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council has been augmenting infrastructure in locales such as Wagamon and Panchalimedu to decongest Munnar.
Meanwhile, in Antarctica 80,000 tourists a year are getting closer and closer to wildlife. Visitors flock to the island of Half Moon to swim with penguins, majestic whales, sea lions and seals.


5. Responsible Tourism Programme at WTM Africa
This year Monday 6th April will be Africa Responsible Tourism Day. There will be a full day of Responsible Tourism panels in the Inspire Theatre. Our focus across the four WTM trade shows this year is on climate change and solutions. But there are a host of other issues for local communities, nature and wildlife which tourism can address. Responsible Tourism is about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. The outline draft programme is here, if you would like to speak on one of the panels please email harold@haroldgoodwin.info Our focus is on tried and tested solutions- the RT programmes provide a means of disseminating solutions and inspiring change.


6. Removing Plastic from Our Environment
Kumarakom, the place where RT first blossomed in Kerala, has gone single-use plastic-free all 50 accommodation units here have cut back on as many as 19 single-use plastic materials from their day-to-day operations. Alongside the resorts and homestays, 20 houseboats and Shikara boats here have joined the initiative and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect with the Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission.
In Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organised a two-day ‘Shade of Blue Ocean’ activity attended by over 500 participants from TAT and partners, the local administration, communities, tourism businesses, volunteers, divers and the locals. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “The project is part of the TAT’s CSR strategy. It reaffirms our commitment to promoting responsible tourism and our leadership role in driving green initiatives. By instilling environmental consciousness among the tourists, tourism operators and local communities, we believe that it will help reduce tourism-related waste despite growing tourist numbers in the country.” more


7. Orphanage Tourism and Child TraffickingOn the 18th December, all 193 member states in the UN General Assembly in New York adopted a Resolution on the Rights of The Child that signifies a major milestone in ending the institutional care of children globally. Recognising for the first time, that orphanages harm children and that the vast majority of children in orphanages have living family, all children should be reunited with or supported to remain with their families. Where that’s not possible, the Resolution says that governments should commit to providing high-quality, family and community-based alternative care for children.
For the first time ever, the UN General Assembly has recognised that volunteering in orphanages, including short visits by tourists, can encourage the existence of institutional care and lead to children being actively recruited to orphanages. The Resolution calls on states to combat the trafficking and exploitation of children in care facilities and to take appropriate measures to prevent and address the harms related to orphanage volunteering and tourism. Read more about the newly-formed Orphanage Tourism Taskforce, in partnership with ABTA. Read more Hope & Homes for Children


8. Shipping is making progress, will cruise follow?
CLIA is forecasting that the cruise industry will carry 32 million passengers in 2020, the market is changing with more than 66% of Generation X and 71% of Millennials having a more positive attitude to cruising than two years ago.CLIA is reporting that their members have committed over $22 billion in new, energy-efficient ships and technologies to minimize our environmental impact and make progress towards our goal of reducing the rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 as compared to 2008. 75% of non-LNG newbuilds will have exhaust gas cleaning systems 44% of new-build capacity will rely on Liquified Natural Gas for primary propulsion with virtually zero sulfur emissions, a 95% to 100% reduction in particulate emissions, and 85% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and up to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 100% of new builds will have Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems and 88% of will be configured for shore-side power. more
Meanwhile, a group of ship owners have announced plans for a $5bn (£3.8bn) fund to design zero-emission vessels. They say $2 (£1.50) should be levied on every tonne of ships' fuel - to support research into clean engines. Environmentalists argue that this is too little and that big reduction in emissions, pollution and marine noise and marine life disturbance could be achieved by speed restrictions. The industry has reduced its emissions slightly over recent years, thanks mainly to ships slowing down after the 2008 financial crisis in order to absorb the oversupply in shipping capacity.  more and more


9. Zoos - Aspinal Calls for their AbolitionMillions of animals are kept in poor cages because a tiny number of people might become activists and take an interest in conservation. ... I think that makes us barbaric as a species."
Damian Aspinall, chair of the Aspinall Foundation is reported in The Times as saying that all zoos should be phased out with small ones like London Zoo shutting within ten years. He says that zoos exaggerate their conservation benefits and conceal the scale of disease and hybridisation which makes their collections worthless for conservation purposes. Some he says operate a "breed and cull" policy to ensure a ready supply of baby animals to please visitors.
Accepting that he could be accused of hypocrisy for continuing to welcome people to Howletts "he said that he needed the money from tickets to fund plans to send his animals back to the wild." Zoos claim to be educating the public "but they're educating them that it is acceptable to have animals held as prisoners for your entertainment." Aspinall argues that European zoos spend £15m per year keeping elephants and rhinos and that this money would do more good if spent tackling poaching in Africa."  more


10. Palau has banned 'toxic' sun cream
In December 2018 Palau announced that it would ban ten sun cream ingredients that damage coral. From January 1st sun cream that includes common ingredients, including oxybenzone, is not allowed to be worn or sold in the country. The Pacific island nation markets itself as a "pristine paradise" for divers. Mr Remengesau, Palau's President, told the AFP news agency: "When science tells us that a practice is damaging to coral reefs, to fish populations, or to the ocean itself, our people take note and our visitors do too.


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 Video Channel

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

Outlook India Reports on Responsible Tourism 

GreenAir
The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town

Better Tourism Africa
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 subscribed online more recently. 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@rtp.tfxweb.com

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

RT NewsWTM