The Cape Town Conference established the city as the founder of the idea of Responsible Tourism in Destinations and enabled it to capitalise on the South African national policy adopted in 1996 and effectively attached to the city of Cape Town in 2002. The City has been at the forefront of Responsible Tourism implementation in South Africa and globally and the World Travel Market World Responsible Tourism Day is based on the Cape Town Declaration.
The Cape Town Conference was organised by the Responsible Tourism Partnership and Western Cape Tourism as a side event preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was attended by 280 delegates from 20 countries.
The conference grew out of the South African work on responsible tourism guidelines and involved delegates field-testing the South African Guidelines on sites in and around Cape Town.