Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. 2017 is the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Development through Tourism. WTM is launching a new feature of WTM London, showcasing some of the ways in which tourists can engage positively with local communities purchasing local goods and services, contributing to the conservation of natural and cultural resources and valuing their community.
One of the core values of Responsible Tourism is respect between travellers or tourists, the guests, and the host communities. The language of hosts and guests is aspirational, but tourism is a social activity. It is what we make it. As Krippendorf pointed out in his seminal work, The Holiday Makers, ‘every individual tourist builds up or destroys human values while travelling’. We all make choices about how we travel. Responsible Tourism is about taking responsibility and recognising that tourism is what we make of it. We can use Responsible Tourism to enhance the experience, to make it more real and authentic. The Responsible Tourism approach works best when it engages the consumer, enabling the traveller, the holidaymaker, to have a better experience, and the community to have tourism on better terms.
Three of the characteristics of Responsible Tourism articulated in the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations are that it:
At WTM this year we have three conversations taking place on the Responsible Tourism Stand, each focused on the key question: How can we make tourism better for local communities and for the the 'guests'? The aim is to put together from these conversations some best practice guidance about how to enhance the guest experience and make tourism better for hosts and guests alike. Come along and engage in the conversation - make your voice heard.
How do we best enable tourists to have positive encounters with local communities, their culture and environment? How do they see their responsibility? What do they think makes a good guide? How do they ensure that encounters are respectful, that hosts and guests create great memories and that the tourists have a great experience? Some short talks, some video and a conversation.
Be a Better Guide offer a great many resources to improve guiding and tour leading including training materials and videos
ResiRest is an exciting global travel platform, that connects locals and travellers all over the world through local home dining experiences. When you are travelling, often travellers wanna discover true local culture in a local way. Supported by our qualified, local agents, we bring you as a traveller to local families. Our local families prepare a traditional meal for you, or together with you, whatever you like! ResiRest
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Tefo Emandulo (near Witsieshoek) explaining to Harold Goodwin about pottery
A visiting German Choir joined by Witsieshoek staff sing in front of the Drakensberg’s amphitheatre
Kholofelo at Modjadi teaches about Cycads
Mama Maria Mukhari at Baleni Camp introduces guests to the ancestors
Jeremia the Bearded Vulture guide, explains why Witsieshoek is important for the community|
Prudance from Baleni Camp explaining about the forbidden words at Mkulu spring
Nelson Maphaha introduces traditional Venda food to guests at Fundudzi camp
Ballpen Molokwane discusses belief at the Modjadji Royal Compound