Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism September 2020 (1)

  1. Learning to Live with Covid-19
  2. Tourism and Racism
  3. Climate Change is still THE Existential Issue
  4. Biodiversity, Habitat & Wildlife 
  5. Sustainable Aviation
  6. The New Air Safety Agenda
  7. Rebuild Tourism - better?
  8. How ethical is a staycation?
  9. The Housing Crisis 
  10. Miscellany 

The next edition will be out in mid-September
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism 

1. Learning to Live with Covid-19
As Simon Press, Senior Director at WTM London has pointed out: "Companies are now in survival mode and shifting priorities to protecting revenue, reducing costs and maintaining existing customers. Transparency and Trust are key... The crisis is devastating, but the forced pause of the industry does provide an important chance to rethink tourism, and hopefully rebuild in a better way."

Iberostar is offering free medical insurance on every direct booking.   The "Dominican Republic Eliminates Mandatory COVID-19 Tests, Adds Free Insurance As Part of New Tourism Recovery Plan" more

At the virtual WTM, London in November we shall be addressing the core challenge that confronts our sector: How do we build back better after the damage done to our sector by Covid-19. Trust is the new currency of tourism.  Travellers and holidaymakers are understandably nervous about the threat of Coviod-19 to their health and the risk of being trapped abroad or required to quarantine on return. There will be a post-Covid new normal, today's industry leaders will shape it, but in a much more difficult environment. In the July 18 edition of RT News we reported the European poll evidence from MORI ib people's willingness to travel and the attitudes of residents in Europe to international arrivals. The survey revealed the unwillingness of people to travel abroad and to allow in foreign tourists.  The YouGov researchers concluded that "the vast majority of people who might normally consider going somewhere on holiday are refusing to do so specifically because of coronavirus.." Take a look at the detailed data on the YouGov website

2. Tourism and Racism

The Black Lives Matter movement has been a powerful reminder of the ways in which institutional and structural racism shape the way we think and affect what we see. There will be a panel focused on Tourism and Racism as part of the virtual Responsible Tourism programme at WTM, London in November. There is a very much reduced virtual Responsible Tourism programme this year so we are keen to enable voices to be heard in the run-up to the November panel and to continue afterwards. There is already a series of interviews here on YouTube.

The Black Travel Alliance was formed to "hold destinations and travel brands accountable on the issue of diversity in travel marketing and storytelling." Their training and business support is built on three pillars: Alliance. Amplification. Accountability. The Alliance strives to "create a world where Black people are supported and accurately represented in the travel industry."  Racism is an issue that touches every aspect of our industry from employment, through guiding and itineraries to marketing.

Alex Temblador talks about Allyship, why it matters, how to do it and about making travel better.  Allyship matters because once we acknowledge that we have privileges, we need to ensure that we use these privileges to improve the lives of others.   Alex wrote a very perceptive article for Conde Nast Traveller back in August about the questions any anti-racist traveller should ask themselves. The questions a traveller should ask apply too to itinerary planning and destination marketing. Alex also explains clearly the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation. Once you can see the difference you realise how large the chasm is between them, between the good and the bad.  There is a recorded webinar on opportunities to promote African destinations to the international diaspora and Pan-African, it was part of Africa Travel Week.

3. Climate Change is still THE Existential Issue
Planet Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years meaning that sea level rises, triggered by melting glaciers and ice sheets, could reach a metre by the end of the century. Every centimetre of sea-level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands. The end of the century is one live time away, more victims of climate change are born every day. A forty-year study has revealed that the Arctic Ocean is warming by a degree every decade, the highest rise since the last Ice Age. Over the Barents Sea and around Norway's Svalbard archipelago temperatures have increased by 1.5 degrees per decade throughout the period. Arctic temperatures are rising faster than expected.

Our planet is burning. Carbon emissions from this year's wildfires burning in the Arctic Circle have already outstripped 2019's record levels and are the highest for the region in data going back to 2003. They are up one third on emissions in 2019. more

The Amazon is burning once again and reports say this year could be more devastating than 2019. But there is some good news at last! NASA-funded researchers have developed a new tool which now makes it easier for authorities and other stakeholders to track the types of fires that are burning, the locations they are burning in, and the risks they pose.  Douglas Morton, chief of the Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, reports that there is " little evidence that the burning moratorium has had an impact. Instead, there is a noticeable increase in fire activity since the moratorium went into effect on July 15, ... ”large numbers of the fires in those states are clearly deforestation—not small-scale agricultural fires.” More

The climate change threat is not diminishing, it is accelerating. It is having real impacts now and we cannot self-isolate to escape its consequences. It is one thing to be worried about an issue and quite something else to do anything about it. It is quite disturbing to hear that only 64% of consumers globally are concerned about climate change. Just this month we have evidence that temperatures in the Arctic Ocean between Canada, Russia and Europe are warming faster than predicted. 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared from the surface of the Earth since 1994, and sea-level rise could be a metre by the time a baby born this year reaches 80. Carbon emissions from this year’s wildfires burning in the Arctic Circle have already outstripped 2019’s record levels, and the Amazon is on fire again. Climate change is a much more significant threat than COVID-19 and much more challenging to deal with. The industry has been slow to respond and to take responsibility to address climate change "Individual businesses and airlines see little, if any, first-mover advantage in reducing their emissions. To do so costs money and risks their being beaten on price by those who refuse to act without compulsion." more

4 Biodiversity, Habitat & Wildlife
One of the consequences of climate change, change to which the travel industry contributes, is habitat and biodiversity loss.  Global warming is an existential threat to us, and to thousands of other species. WTM has partnered with the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) to explore how tourism can reduce its negative impacts on biodiversity and have a positive impact – economic, social and ecological.

Founded in Zimbabwe by former Australian special forces soldier and anti-poaching leader Damien Mander, the women-only team of rangers, drawn from the abused and marginalised, is revolutionising the way animals are protected, communities are empowered— and its members’ own lives are being transformed. Mander’s innovative approach to conservation calls for community buy-in rather than full-on armed assault against poachers. If a community understands the economic benefits of preserving animals, then it will eliminate poaching without an armed struggle. AKASHINGA: THE BRAVE ONES is a celebration of the courage, conservation and unorthodox thinking that’s leading to massive positive change. Watch the film here. 

Kenya's Sustainable Travel Tourism Agenda STTA has asked the rhetorical question: Where should the buck stop when clients misbehave when on safari or on any holiday? They conclude that the buck stops with the tour company. Ultimately, a truly responsible tourism company has the opportunity to influence the behavior of its clients and supply chain because the organization's identity and values will be evident at every point of interaction. Read their reasons here. 

There will be a panel, with WTFL, on Biodiversity, eco-system services and tourism - conflict or symbiosis? at the virtual WTM in November.

5
Sustainable Aviation
Many readers of RT News will remember Jane Ashton when she was at TUI, she moved on to EasyJet where she is sustainability director. Recognising the increasing debate about climate change and the need for urgent action Ashton has pointed ou that "all companies will need a clear vision and plan to address" it, and that the aviation industry must “reinvent itself and…move to electric and hybrid aircraft powered by renewable energy.” She argues further that “airlines and destinations should work together to make more sustainable choices.”  “Airlines, destinations and tourism bodies can also together help to ensure that governments have the right policies in place which support investment in new technology and incentivise more sustainable behaviour,” more

The Boeing 747, the much loved Jumbo jet 747 is beginning to be withdrawn from service although. It first flew before the 1969 Moon landing and they have carried the Space Shuttle on their backs. Aircraft are long term investments and the carbon polluting aircraft being built now will still be flying long after 2050, unless ss they are scrapped by government edict.  BA is to retire its fleet of 31 Boeing 747s with immediate effect. more Ryan Air has cut its capacity by a fifth as bookings weaken and announced that it will shut its bases at London Stansted, Southend and Newcastle. more

There will be a panel on decarbonising aviation in the Responsible Tourism virtual programme at WTM, London in November 

6 The New Air Safety Agenda
Seven people from three different parties on Tui flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on Tuesday 25th August tested positive for Covid-19. Stephanie Whitfield, from Cardiff, who was on the flight with her partner, told the BBC: "This flight was a debacle. The chap next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not pull him up on it, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew. "Loads of people were taking their masks off and wandering up and down the aisles to talk to others. "As soon as the flight landed, a load of people took their masks off immediately. The flight was full of selfish 'covidiots' and an inept crew who couldn't care less." more

In early July nearly two-thirds of the public (64%) said that they would not feel safe travelling by plane, up from 40% on 8 June. more The aviation sector from check-in to the taxi rank in the destination is challenged to ensure client safety, it is no longer just about safety in the air although that remains a big part of it. The pandemic has created a new reason to fear flying. Trust has become the new currency of tourism.

In the UK the Daily Telegraph is backing a campaign by the travel and tourism industry to put in place a Test, Track and Isolate system.  Collaborative testing between states could create a protective corridor to permit international travel, just as security screening does. The LAMP test costs €38, completed the day before or on the day of departure covers the passenger for 72 hours through a digitally secure iWarrant. This is a ‘lab in a box’ solution using Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology, and it is I fully CE/IVD certified for use in human diagnostics. more

National Geographic had an article back in January about how virus's spread on planes. The research reported there suggests that window seats are safest. The peer-reviewed research paper produced by The FlyHealthy Research Team on Behaviors, movements, and transmission of droplet-mediated respiratory diseases during transcontinental airline flights published in 2018 is available online.

Eurowings has launched a bookable middle seat from €18

7. Rebuild Tourism - better?

Anastasia Miari writing for The National in the Middle East has asked Will the pandemic turn us into more conscious travellers?   As she argues one demand changes so will supply, but the industry can also make change by developing new products, offering new experiences to attract travellers and holidaymakers. It is too early to tell to what extent people's preferences will have been impacted by the pandemic. But for sure it will vary within source markets and between then.

The World Bank points out that this pandemic is far greater than the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. There are now twice as many international arrivals – and domestic tourism has grown too. Second, “the emergence of social media as a means of sharing information is compounding uncertainty and has led to heightened anxiety in relation to travel.” And third, for the first time in history, the number of people over the age of 64 is higher than the number of children under the age of five. The authors of the World Bank report foresee:

  • Tourism recovery will be uneven.
  • Demand for particular tourism products/segments may be reshaped leading to new forms.
  • Consolidation of major operators in varied segments is likely, starting with airlines and hotels.
  • More liquid and agile players who can withstand the severity of the downturn could have a significant impact on how countries emerge.
  • Governments will be conflicted. (As businesses struggle to recover governments will be looking to tax them)
  • Many businesses that were directly or indirectly connected to tourism will need assistance to survive.
  • As the effects of the pandemic continue, it will be increasingly difficult to support all firms.
  • Governments will need to be aware of the trade-offs they face in determining policy responses.

As the authors point out “while the timing of reopening borders will have a large impact on the survival of the sector, it can also damage destination credibility if done too early and infections increase.” There is perhaps nothing very surprising here – but it is sobering to see the challenges listed out. The report goes on to give much detailed practical advice to World Bank clients – it is valuable for governments and destinations.
There will be panels on Resilience and Recovery &  Building Back Better in the Responsible Tourism virtual programme at WTM, London in November 

8. How ethical is a staycation?
Flora Samuel, a professor of architecture at the University of Reading and an expert on social value has reflected on the ethics of second homes in the journal Building Design. She recounts how during an Airbnb holiday in Wales she learnt from the neighbours about how "anti-social alterations had been cynically done to the house without planning permission in full knowledge that the local authority would be pretty toothless to remedy them. Its “superhosts”, portrayed as a cosy local couple on the website, was actually a property developer residing in another country."  As she argues these property companies do "offer local employment it is of the most menial type, seasonal and vulnerable when it comes to the pandemic (my friend will be made redundant after furlough). Perhaps going to a UK holiday home isn’t the responsible tourism it might at first appear to be." She concludes "we have to put the heart back into communities and look closely at the social value of our holiday destinations."

9. The Housing Crisis
The Telegraph reports that the collapse of the short term letting market fueled by tourists is leading in London "to a glut of new long-term rental properties which is dramatically driving down prices. Hamptons International, an estate agent, reports that since May, 12% of homes coming onto the rental market in central London were previously short-term lets driving up availability on central London by 42% and causing rental prices to decline by 8.4%. In Northumberland the council is planning to help sustain the vitality of communities, in parishes where 20% or more of household spaces are identified in the latest Census as having no usual residents, a principal residency restriction will be applied to all new market dwellings, which will be secured through a section 106 agreement.”  This would effectively ban sales to buyers who cannot prove they live in an area for a majority of the year. St Ives in Cornwall and Fowey in Cornwall, as well as councils in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cumbria and Derbyshire, are all considering bans on the sale of houses as holiday homes. Barcelona has told landlords of empty flats to find tenants or the city will rent out the property as affordable housing.

10. Miscellany

  • Romanian tourists are overvisiting the remote village of Viscri in central Romania. 
    Sniffer dogs to check air passengers in Finland for COVID-19, experiment to be privately funded more
  • Local residents in the Maldives have won a campaign against developers and the government who wanted to turn Madivaru &  Madivaru Finolhu into a luxury resort. They argued the plan would have deprived local people of vital jobs and caused damage to coral reefs and the wider ecosystem. video
  • Visual Capitalist has produced a graphic showing the cities which in 2018  attracted the most international visitors who stayed for longer than 24 hrs. Hong Kong is still the most popular, although international tourist arrivals declined 4.2%, Bangkok is second, with an increase of 15.1%. London is third despite a decline of 1.4%

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RT NewsWTM

Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 11/19 WTM, London Special

  1. The RT Programme at WTM, London 4-6 November
  2. Future-Proofing Travel & Tourism
  3. Decent Work 
  4. Travel Responsibly - Advice for Travellers 
  5. Overtourism 
  6. The Responsible Tourism Awards
  7. The World's Biggest Responsible Tourism Meeting
  8. Biodiversity & Animal Welfare
  9. Dissing Uluru
  10. The Collapse of Thomas Cook Damaged Destinations

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

Harold Goodwin ATM & WTM's Responsible Tourism Advisor is speaking in Dubai at The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation's sixth annual Knowledge Summit, on November 19-20, 2019 Bearing the theme “ Knowledge: The Path to Sustainable Development”.

1.The RT Programme at WTM, London 4-6 November

We focus on the solutions with a programme designed to help businesses and destinations thrive in increasingly difficult circumstances as the world bumps up against the limits to growth. Our agenda is broader than the traditional sustainable tourism agenda including, for example, child protection, decent work, safety & security and asking what more we should do to ensure that travel broadens the mind. The full WTM Responsible Tourism programme can be accessed here. There are two introductions to this year's programme - it is too big for just one!  Here and Here There is continuing market research evidence of consumer demand - we cover it regularly in RTNews. Intrepid commissioned YouGov to look at Gen Z, those born in the late 1990s.

58% of respondents report that sustainability is an important factor when making travel choices; 38% wanted the opportunity to give back to local communities, 35% would like to see a ban on single-use plastics and 28% would welcome the chance to offset carbon emissions.

Research by booking.com found that 87% of global travellers say they want to travel sustainably, and nearly four in 10 (39%) say they often or always manage to do so. However, 48% said that they never, rarely or only sometimes manage to travel sustainably. As booking.com points out, this suggests “that while promising strides are being made for a greener future, there is still plenty of room to turn intentions into action.” Sustainability is the aspiration; this consumer aspiration is a commercial opportunity.

Don’t miss the opening of the World Responsible Tourism Day and the World Responsible Tourism Awards at 11:00 on Wednesday 6th in the Europe Inspiration Zone.WTM has launched a new Responsible Tourism portal offering easy access to valuable content year-round on solutions to the challenges we face. You will be able to access the 2019 Awards and the judges’ reasons there, from 15:00 on November 6th.
If you are tweeting please use #WTMRT

2. Future-Proofing Travel & Tourism
Five years ago Professor Kevin Anderson opened World Responsible Tourism Day speaking about the implications of climate change for our industry. This year he will be providing an update in the opening of World Responsible Tourism Day.   It is time to cease talking about climate change, in the abstract as science, and to start addressing the threat which increasingly manifests itself, with floods, droughts, wildfires and extreme weather events. more

As Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has pointed out companies and industries that are not moving towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt.  Extreme heatwaves are forecast to increase by as much as 80% and the Global Commission on Adaptation urges action now. "Adaptation is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change, but an essential complement to it. Failing to lead and act on adaptation will result in a huge economic and human toll, causing widespread increases in poverty and severely undermining long-term global economic prospects."

Resilience is a recurring theme in the panels on decarbonisations, cities sites, sustainable hotels, aviation and water. And resilience is at the heart of Monday's session at 13:45 on Taking Responsibility for Safety & Security. Martin Brackenbury will be interviewing German Porras, former Secretary of Tourism For Spain, John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife & Christian Religious Affairs,  Sri Lanka, Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica, Amos Fish Mahlalela Deputy Minister of the Department of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa and Nikki White Director of Destinations and Sustainability at ABTA WTM

The World Responsible Tourism Day panel on Wednesday before the Awards is Decarbonising Travel and Tourism: is the industry doing enough? The BBC's Tanya Beckett will be interviewing Albert Dalmau, Barcelona City Council; Justin Francis CEO Responsible Travel; Madhu Rajesh Director - International Tourism Partnership, Jane Ashton Director of Sustainability, TUI & Saskia Griep Founder and CEO of Better Places

We know that we need to decarbonise our industry, the capital investments that industry makes now in accommodation and aircraft is planned to still be in use in 2050. We have two panels looking at these issues directly.

>Monday 12:30-13:30 The Challenge of Building Sustainable Hotels. Four experts discuss how with the separation of ownership from operations we can ensure that more sustainable hotels are built. The panellists are Allan Agerholm, Chief Hospitality Officer, CEO of BC Hospitality Group, Dimitris Manikis, President and Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Madhu Rajesh Director - International Tourism Partnership at Business in the Community and Eric Ricaurte Founder  Greenview.

>Wednesday 14:30 - 15:30 The Future of Aviation As other industries reduce their carbon emissions aviation will account for ever-larger shares of global emissions.  We have brought together a panel of experts to share their views about the prospects for the decarbonisation of air travel.  Peter Castellas CEO Tasman Environmental Markets, Neil Cloughley  founder of Faradair, Angela Foster-Rice, Principal Aerial Consulting, LLC, Chicago, Justin Francis, CEO Responsible Travel, Chris Lyle Chief Executive, Air Transport Economics

 

3. Decent Work
Tourism and hospitality are labour intensive, with 8% of the global workforce employed in the sector. As the ILO has pointed out there are many highly skilled well-trained professionals employed in the sector. However, there are also many women, young people and migrant workers employed on casual and part-time contracts, receiving the minimum wage – or less. For some who only want to work part-time, or who because of family responsibilities can only work part-time, the tourism and hospitality sectors provide flexible employment. Tourism and hospitality provide opportunities for people who would otherwise be excluded from work contributing to their social inclusion and personal development. more

On Monday 4th at 17:00 in the UKI & International Inspiration Zone, North Hall, EU 2080 we shall be celebrating ITP’s youth employment programme, the Youth Career Initiative (YCI), which to date  has supported over 6,000 young people, with 86% of graduates either going on to find a job or going into education.  Come and join us in this celebration of RT in action.

On Wednesday 6th there are two sessions on Decent Work. At 13:30 Kevin Curran Vice-Chair of Unite London Hotel Workers Branch and Kate Nicholls, CEO, UK Hospitality will be discussing how employment in hospitality be made more rewarding either by increasing pay or offering better progression opportunities within the sector or into other sectors? details
At 14:15 we look at some great examples from Hilton. Intrepid and ITP's YCI, of our industry reaching out to give the vulnerable and excluded a helping hand into employment and promotion. details

4. Travel Responsibly - Advice for Travellers
WTM has decided to provide a web portal for Responsible Travel advice. The choices we make about where, how, and when we travel affect the quality of our experience and the impacts we have in our destination, on the people we encounter and their natural and cultural environment. There is generic advice and advice on child protection, flying, places & tips, volunteering and wildlife and habitats. It is a work in progress, take a look and if you have material you would like linked there contact us. There is also advice for the industry on how to move on from discredited orphanage visits. 

5. Overtourism
In the Times of Malta, a correspondent asks "Isn’t it time to begin a soul-searching exercise about how we can make our tourism industry more sustainable, not just on an economic level but also on a social level? and points out that" It is an illusion to believe that niche quality tourism can coexist with mass tourism. In a small, overpopulated destination, they are mutually exclusive. We are still a mass tourist destination. Our sales are mainly generated through the online booking systems provided by low-cost airlines and rented residential accommodation like Airbnb. At WTM, London last year we recognised Barcelona's success in addressing the challenge of overtourism and this year they are explaining how they have successfully used technology to manage illegal hosting and how they are managing overtourism at Park Güell alongside presentations on managing overtourism at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. The Responsible Tourism Partnership has just published an updated report on Managing Tourism in Barcelona detailing the latest developments as the city leads the way in tackling overtourism. Meanwhile in the UK Airbnb has reported in its accounts that it has been contacted by HMRC over "tax laws or regulations impacting the company's business", and that "the company is also subject to tax inquiries and proceedings concerning its operations and intra-company transactions," it added "Some of these matters may result in litigation." more

 

6. The Responsible Tourism Awards
On World Responsible Tourism Day the 2019 World Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented by Tanya Beckett of the BBC. This year the judges decided to make two Judges' Awards as well as the category winners and the coveted overall winner award. The judges' reasons are published and the Gold Winners are interviewed on stage, the judges' reason will be published here at 15:00 on 6th November.  The judges recognised some emerging leaders and they have been announced along with the reasons. The India Awards are closed and will be announced in Delhi in January. The WTM Latin America Awards are open until 15th December and will be presented in Sao Paulo in April. There is a new Responsible Tourism Day at WTM Africa in Cape Town on 6th April when the 2020 Africa RT Award winners will be announced. In April, at ATM in Dubai, the ATM Responsible Tourism Awards will be announced to be awarded for the first time in 2021.

7. The World's Biggest Responsible Tourism Meeting
WTM London is the largest Responsible Tourism event in the world with 21 RT events over three days, RT provides 20% of the content. This year for the first time there is a Responsible Tourism Café [EU580], a place to meet liked minded professionals. Budge’s hard-hitting How Many Elephants Exhibition is there, along with a constant screening of RT videos and  Water-to-Go with their brandable, reusable water filter bottle that provides safe drinking water anywhere in the world by eliminating harmful contaminants from any non-saltwater source. If you are interested in getting branded filter bottles for your company and clients, Water-to-Go will be running a competition at the show to win 50 branded bottles.
On Monday 4th at 17:00 in the UKI & International Inspiration Zone, North Hall, EU 2080 we shall be celebrating ITP’s youth employment programme, the Youth Career Initiative (YCI), which to date  has supported over 6,000 young people, with 86% of graduates either going on to find a job or going into education  Come and join us in this celebration of RT in action.

8. Biodiversity & Animal Welfare
Biodiversity loss is one of the two existential threats to our species. As Greta Thunberg told the UN  "We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth..... How dare you?"  Dr Matthew Walpole of Fauna and Flora International is moderating a panel on Tuesday 5th November suggesting ways in which  the travel industry contribute to the conservation of wildlife and habitats and Tom Moorhouse from Zoology at Oxford will be looking at welfare issues along with Richard Vigne from Ol Pejeta, Pippa Hankinson from Blood Lions, Nick Stewart from World Animal Protection and Andy Donnelly from the Galapagos Conservation Trust. TripAdvisor has stopped selling tickets to attractions that breed or import captive whales and dolphins and the South African  Tourism Services Association has just issued guidance for the industry on Evaluating Captive Wildlife Attractions and Activities.

9. Dissing Uluru
One of the core Responsible Tourism values is respect. Anangu man Rameth Thomas grew up in Mutijulu, a community very near Uluru. From his home, he can see the 348m (1,140ft) rock - taller than the Eiffel Tower - rising from the desert. "That place is a very sacred place, that's like our church," he told the BBC.Mr Thomas adds tourists should respect it as a place of lore. "I've been telling them since I was a little boy: 'We don't want you to climb the rock,'" he says. "All of our stories are on the rock. People right around the world... they just come and climb it. They've got no respect." 

To make the ascent, visitors walk past signs at the base of Uluru saying "please don't climb" in several languages. People cite various reasons for continuing on; some say they simply don't give thought to cultural sensitivities, or that the climb is on their bucket list." more
The name for tourists here is minga,’ says Peter Wilson, his eyes fixated on the faint line of posts running along the rock in front of us, faint specks visible moving alongside them. ‘Minga means “ants”.’ Finally on 26th October the climb was closed to tourists, only after there had been a "last chance to see" rush. more

10. The Collapse of Thomas Cook Damaged Destinations
Destinations are vulnerable to economic collapse in their source markets, particularly when they are dependent on one operator or source market.  In The Gambia, Thomas Cook accounted for 30% of arrivals over a calendar year and 40% over the winter months. In the second half of 2019. The Gambia expects to lose $26.8m (arrival fees and discretionary spend). The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation reported that some 1.3 million autumn and winter visitors will be unable to fly Spain. As those trying to rebook their holidays have discovered it is the cost of flights that is the problem, there is plenty of reasonably priced accommodation available. In the Canaries, the government predicted that 400,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers won’t make it to the archipelago this winter. Turkey’s Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) has warned that the country could miss out on up to 700,000 tourists a year. more


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  #responsibletourism