Better Host Guest Encounters

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.

Responsible Tourism in Kerala

Responsible Tourism in Kerala

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

  • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
  • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  • and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.

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 


Refugee Guides

The Syrian refugees becoming tour guides in Berlin
BBC Travel Show

Kerala, India 

Kumarakom: Inspiring Village Experiences

Beyond the Beach: The Captivating Village life of Kovalam

Thekkady: Inspiring Village Experiences

Beautiful Wayanad: An Exceptional Travel Experience!

Kerala Travel Mart 2016 9 points for site development

Mejdi Tours

For more tolerance we need more …..

TED Talk by Aziz Abu Sarah of MEJDI Tours Now Available Online



Transfrontier Parks Destinations Limpopo South Africa 

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

WTM Blog on Enhancing the Tourism Experience for Guests and Hosts 

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