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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 08/01 2020

August 6, 2020
Harold Goodwin
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  1. Responsible Tourism at WTM London 
  2. The Pandemic Remains Rampant
  3. Irresponsible Tourism a Growing Problem?
  4. Responsible Tourism During the Pandemic 
  5. Tourism and Racism 
  6. Covid-19, Ethical Issues for Tourism 
  7. Developments in India 
  8. Responsible Tourism Arrives in the USA 
  9. Responsible Tourism Resources 
  10. Miscellany 

This edition is a little later than planned. We aim to publish at the beginning of each month and somewhere around the 15th
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism 

1. Responsible Tourism at WTM London
WTM London – the event where Ideas Arrive – and Travel Forward – the travel and hospitality technology event co-located with WTM London – are working closely with partners and experts to ensure a safe and successful experience at ExCeL London (2-4 November 2020). On 2nd November the UNWTO and WTM will partner with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which is representing the global travel and tourism private sector at the event for the first time in its history, making it the UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit. more
There will be more in RTNews in September about the Responsible Tourism programme this year.  Part of the programme is already clear, as usual, we'll be raising some issue but focusing on solutions.  The World Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented virtually on November 4th. The Responsible Tourism panels, discussions and debates will take place during WTM Virtual 10-11 November.  There will be lively panel debates on decarbonising aviation, tourism and racism, biodiversity and the role of certification.

2. The Pandemic Remains Rampant

India has more than one million coronavirus cases, the third-highest number of cases in the world. it is important to remember that while India makes up 17% of the world's population, it has only 7% of the world's coronavirus cases. By contrast, the US has only 4% of the world's population and 26% of the world's coronavirus cases.
The pandemic has hit tourism to Africa hard. A crisis which is depriving holidaymakers of their holidays is depriving hosts of their livelihoods. Countries have closed their borders to protect the lives of their citizens; inevitably, this has had a devastating impact on the tourism industry. The Gambia has almost no domestic tourism and the airports are closed. In South Africa, leisure travel and the leisure economy is closed. more As the South African industry approached 120 days of lockdown Harold Goodwin interviewed Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa and Gillian Saunders of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa about the way forward. video
The UK government's decision to abandon quarantine in favour of voluntary “stay at home” guidance. Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific officer, has pointed to evidence that hundreds of different strains of Covid-19 were brought into the UK after the Government abandoned special measures for international arrivals on March 13. Up to 10,000 infected people entered the UK, accelerating the spread of disease. More

Loveholidays has produced some useful guidance for people looking to holiday during the Covid-19 pandemic. Responsible Tourism during Covid-19 

Covid-19 is now the most significant determinant of demandHolidaymakers focus on Holiday quarantine: Which country will be next?

Trust has become the new currency of tourism.


There is much uncertainty for tourists and tourism businesses. The UK government's decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on everyone arriving from Spain was "unjust", Spain's prime minister has said.

3. Irresponsible Tourism a Growing Problem?
Traffic gridlock, litter and 'mayhem' – a dispatch from the Devon resort of Salcombe., in the UK "I've noticed increasingly frequent reports of troublesome behaviour; illegal drinking in public spaces, littering in the parks, even a smashed windscreen." "I'm on holiday – I don't need to social distance," said one visitor.
Around Loch Morlich, in Scotland, there was a spate of campfires lit by "dirty campers", some of which required the fire service to extinguish them as people breached the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Their behaviour described in the local press as "irresponsible and downright dangerous".
The Mayor of Capri has ordered that face masks must be worn outdoors in the evening. He is reported to have said: "‘We don’t want infected people on the island when the tourist season is reaching its peak…” more
In Wales 500 cars parked on mountain roads in Snowdonia, with people camping in laybys to hike up Snowdon. In Barmouth visitors blocked a potential rescue by parking on the lifeboat forecourt. "We are lucky we have the scenery, I know lockdown has been hard for people living in cities, but people are not respecting the environment or other people," Ms Jefferies said. "It was just so haphazard, fancy stopping on a mountain on a bend, and not thinking about the consequences, and just going for a walk, it's so selfish."
Tourists returning home are a problem too. The head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute for health, Lothar Wieler, said that young Germans going on holiday and ignoring coronavirus rules are an increasing cause of concern. Footage of revellers in Spain's Mallorca and a Bulgarian resort town have been splashed across German media. "It is reckless and careless to take part in wild parties," said Wieler, calling the partygoers "irresponsible".

4 Responsible Tourism During the Pandemic
Nominations for the 2020 World Responsible Tourism Awards closed on 3rd August with over 200 entries. The judges will now get to work, and the commended and highly commended will be announced at WTM London in November. There are many examples of tourism players taking responsibility and stepping up to tackle the pandemic.  There are many examples of businesses in destinations which are fundraising to support local people and wildlife. There are just a few here.
In Barcelona, a new tour Barcelona Panoramica has been launched to enable Barcelonians to hop on a double-decker bus and experience their city as if they were tourists coming from afar. The special tours w are designed by the transport authority of the Catalonian capital (TMB) to revive spirits after the lockdown, will be offered until 30 August.
In Lisbon, the Mayor is displacing Airbnb, by prioritising affordable housing for hospital staff, transport workers, teachers and thousands of others who provide essential services. Lisbon is offering to pay landlords to turn thousands of short-term lets into “safe rent” homes for key workers. Fernando Medina Mayor of Lisbon writes "It’s a bold strategy that offers landlords long-term, stable incomes and gives us the chance to recreate a more vibrant, healthier and equitable city."

5. Tourism and Racism
With renewed awareness of racism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the rediscovery of the impact of slavery around the world we are recording a series of interviews about racism in travel and tourism today. In the modern world, slavery thrives and in the UK too. The UK’s HM Treasury announced in February 2018 that only in 2015  was the loan taken out to compensate slave owners at abolition was finally repaid. HM Treasury suggested that we should be proud of the fact that we helped end slavery by compensating the slave owners. I am not. Freed slaves did not receive any compensation.
The will be a live panel discussion during the virtual WTM, London Responsible Tourism programme on 10 & 11 November. Between now and then we are developing a playlist of videos on travel, tourism and racism. Four are online, take a look. If you would like to be interviewed, know someone we should talk with use the contact form to contact us.

6. Covid-19, Ethical Issues for Tourism
There have been many medical, economic and social ethical issues raised by Covid-19. Tourism has raised some ethical issues too.  Tourism “in Kenya has been made an expensive luxury product. Tourists cannot be hoi polloi. Tourism is for those Europeans and Americans and Asians who have nothing better to do in their countries so they pay to come to Kenya to stare at wild animals and take photos….  tourism in Kenya has been made an expensive luxury product. Tourists cannot be hoi polloi. Tourism is for those Europeans and Americans and Asians who have nothing better to do in their countries, so they pay to come to Kenya to stare at wild animals and take photos.” “  business folk, the tourism stakeholders and successive governments have made Kenyans believe that tourism or tourist products are not for them by charging rates way too high for a people still struggling with basic needs.” More in the Kenyan paper The Standard.
Pam Mandel, asks in Skift "Americans Can Travel — But Should They? "The Houston Chronicle recently ran a story about swank local road trips. That same week the paper ran a story about how Houston’s emergency rooms were at capacity thanks to Covid. The whole thing made my head spin. While Americans go about summer vacation as usual, our infection rates continue to rise, even though we know staying home lowers transmission of the disease and decreases the load on health services."
Meanwhile Not Fit-For-Purpose reflects on a decade of research and analysis into international standard-setting MSIs. It concludes that this grand experiment has failed in its goal of providing effective protection against abuse. While MSIs can play important roles in building trust and generating dialogue, they are not fit-for-purpose to reliably detect abuses, hold corporations to account for harm, or provide access to remedy. It is time to think again about certification.  Certification: what comes next?

7. Developments in India
in northeastern India shares borders with three of the seven sister states and the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Mizoram is developing a new Responsible Tourism Plan. In Uttarakhand the Hight Court has asserted the importance of Responsible Tourism and that in developing the tourism sector the environment aspect and social and aesthetic needs of the people have to be taken into account. In Kerala, Kannapuram, a panchayat about 15 kilometres from Kannur town, as Indigenous Mango Heritage Area owing to the presence of over 200 varieties of mango trees in the locality.

8. Responsible Tourism Arrives in the USA
In Hawaii Hawaii County has released its five-year strategic tourism plan, a guiding document to help ensure responsible tourism that respects the Big Island’s communities and natural and cultural resources. It starts from the premise that “successful tourism starts with a high quality of life for residents … and sets it as the vision for the future of Hawaii Island.” more
In Durango Colorado, Visit Durango has just completed its first Resident Sentiment Survey with over 1200 responses. They plan to engage residents and to take a more active role in tourism management and development. They are fostering a more consistent, year-round economy to support local businesses and workers, and exploring ways to attract less price sensitive, more high value travelers.

9. Responsible Tourism Resources
Sarah Habsburg has years of experience in marketing small hotels.  In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, she has developed a series of resources for small, independent hotels, b&bs, lodges & hostels. Three on developing resilience action plans for coping with Covid-19 and three on marketing for the post-Covid-19 tourism world; marketing inspiration, social media and attracting domestic guests.  They are available free online at www.tourismresilience.com
Emilie Hagedoorn s a responsible tourism and market access expert and owner of Green Heart Tourism based in Utrecht in The Netherlands. She has extensive knowledge of the latest responsible tourism developments in Africa and globally. Emily has published on the Good Tourism Institute website tips for finding new business partners and customers once tourism recovers.

10. Miscellany
New Zealand has launched a Tourism Futures Taskforce, a public-private partnership to lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand.
E-volunteering is for people and places a new way of enabling volunteers to share skills, using video conferencing to build language skills, mentoring, collaboratively producing training material, generating fundraising ideas and providing business and marketing support.
Plastics: The Recommendations for the Tourism Sector to Continue Taking Action on Plastic Pollution During COVID-19 Recovery have been publicly launched. These recommendations were developed jointly by UNEP, UNWTO and Ellen MacArthur Foundation with support from the Advisory Group of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and other representatives of the tourism industry.

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