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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism: London Travel Week Special

November 1, 2020
Harold Goodwin
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The next edition will be out on 9th November, for Virtual  WTM
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism 

This year's London Travel Week and WTM, London are virtual, there is no need to travel to London nor to find board and lodging away from home. You can participate from anywhere in the world over the extended hours, the only carbon emitted will be from the electricity you and the internet consumes, and some of that is renewable.

Register for WTM Virtual 9-11 November includes London Travel Week with World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th

You can find the full 2020 WTM Responsible Tourism (4, 10, 11 November) programme here https://responsibletourismpartnership.org/wtm-london-2020/

  1. World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th register
  2. World Responsible Tourism Awards register
  3. Responsible Tourism at Virtual WTM November 10th & 11th register
  4. Tourism and Racism 
  5. Covid-19 still rampant in the northern hemisphere 
  6. Developments in Kerala 
  7. Employing the differently-abled and the disadvantaged in India 
  8. Developments in Aviation 
  9. Tourism and Wildlife 
  10. Miscellany 

1. World Responsible Tourism Day on November 4th register
11:45 Sir Tim Smit, the Co-Founder of the Eden Project
gives a keynote address explaining why responsible business and Responsible Tourism make good business sense.
This is followed by a series of short conversations with leaders in Responsible Tourism.
12:00 Wolfgang Neumann, on the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance,
12:15 Martin Brackenbury, on Resilience and Covid-19
12:30 Justin Francis on Making Tourism Better
12:45 JoAnna Haugen on storytelling and why narrative matters
13:00  Charlotte Weibe about the TUI's work in Responsible Tourism
13:15 Gustavo Segura Sancho on Costa Rica
16:00 Garry Wilson CEO of EasyJet Holidays about how the company has been coping with Covid, the future of leisure travel by air and of course why taking your business in a responsible direction makes perfect sense.
16:30 Clare Jenkinson on ABTA's Tourism for Good report
16:50 Harold Goodwin looking forward to the RT programme on 10 & 11 November.

The full programme in detail can be found here 

2. World Responsible Tourism Awards register
In this year, when the world faces a global pandemic, it seemed inappropriate to continue with the World Responsible Tourism Awards as usual. It is not Business as Usual, and the crisis is likely to continue for some time. This year the judges decided to commend businesses and destinations which are taking responsibility and addressing the challenge of Covid-19 and to Highly Commend and Commend businesses and destinations. The judges wanted to recognise those who have taken responsibility and addressed the many challenges of the pandemic. The Awards will be announced at 15:30 GMT on November 4th here:  responsibletourism.wtm.com/Awards2020

3. Responsible Tourism at Virtual WTM November 10th & 11th register
10th November: 4 live panels Resilience & Covid 19; Build Back BetterTourism and Biodiversity, Friend or Foe? & Decarbonising Aviation.
11th November: 4 live panels Responsible Tourism in India; Racism in Tourism; Certification and Consumer Choice;  & Can we make tourism better – a manifesto for change.
10th & 11th November, four on-demand, pre-recorded sessions: Inclusive Employment for differently-abled people and the disadvantaged; Responsible Tourism in China;  and two on animal welfare

The full programme in detail can be found here  More in the next edition of RT News 9th November 

4. Tourism and Racism
Alex Temblador is moderating a panel on Tourism and Racism at WTM, London (11th November 14:00-15:00). Martinique LewisnPresident of the Black Travel Alliance is on Alex's panel. Findings from the Black Travel Alliance's (BTA) #PullUpForTravel campaign released on October 13th. They collected KPIs for employment, conferences & tradeshows, marketing campaigns, press and philanthropy. Key findings

  • "Black people are under-represented at all levels within the travel industry and there is a great need to address the imbalance.
  • There is, for the most part, lip service paid to diversity and inclusion and it is time for allies in the travel industry to join forces with organizations like the Black Travel Alliance and push for positive change in the travel industry – and the world at large."  more

5. Covid-19 still rampant in the northern hemisphere
As this edition of RT News goes to 'print' with London Travel Week just opening in the UK, the government has announced a more intense lockdown and banned all leisure travel as the pandemic runs rampant across the UK, Europe and most of the northern hemisphere.  As with influenza, it appears that Covid-19 is more virulent in autumn and winter. In June and July a coronavirus variant - 20A.EU1 - originated in Spanish farmworkers and spread rapidly and is now one of the most prevalent in Europe.
"It is important to note that there is currently no evidence the new variant's spread is due to a mutation that increases transmission or impacts clinical outcome," stresses Dr Emma Hodcroft of the University of Basel, lead author of the study. The researchers believe that the variant's expansion was facilitated by loosening travel restrictions and social distancing measures in summer....From July, 20A.EU1 moved with travelers as borders opened across Europe, and has now been identified in twelve European countries. It has also been transmitted from Europe to Hong Kong and New Zealand." more
Prof Devi Sridhar, the chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, said there were flaws in the UK government’s approach to travel over the summer. “Numbers were really low and that was our chance to keep them low,” she said. “The virus moves when people move.” more

6. Developments in Kerala
Launched by sustainable and socially-driven platform NotOnMap and tour operator and destination management consultant Help Tourism, in association with The International Centre for Responsible Tourism, India, the initiative aims to educate rural communities and property owners to get back on their feet so they can maintain their properties and work towards reviving the tourism industry while maintaining hygiene guidelines and safety precautions. The initiative is being backed by Bookings.com and aims to cover all stakeholders of the rural tourism sector in India. Read more in Outlook Traveller

"The prime objective of the initiative was to assist the rural communities, Kumar Anubhav, Founder and Director, NotOnMap, said. This will be done by capitalizing on untapped culture and value heritage in rural areas. Many industry experts are conceptualizing design and execute Project Travival. This project consisted of more than 150 training videos, Anubhav said.
The videos have been framed in over 18 regional languages divided into 12 modules for Homestay owners, village Panchayats, teachers, youth, and women of villages and travellers across India thus covering all stakeholders of “Rural Tourism” in India. The videos not only cover topics around homestay and personal safety and hygiene but also educate people on sustainable practices and homestay business during Covid-19. It is inclusive of all points by international bodies and the government guidelines, includes policies to be followed by the hosts to maintain a guaranteed safe stay." Read more in the Financial Express

7. Employing the differently-abled and the disadvantaged in India
Back in 2016 Lemon Tree Hotels won Gold in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London for their commitment to barrier-free employment – they were also overall winners that year.  Patu Keswani, Chairman & Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels challenged his managers to find ways to employ the differently-abled and disadvantaged Indians because  “the brand should stand for more than ‘just profit’.” Lemon Tree is a large, successful and growing company encompassing several brands, 8,000 rooms in  91 hotels across 49 destinations; and it is committed to barrier-free employment. Their initiative started in 2007. By May 2018, approximately 21% of their employees were Indians who are opportunity deprived in some way. The interview with Aradhana Lal is available on demand during the Virtual WTM 10 & 11 November – it tells about the programme, explains how it was developed and discusses replication within and beyond the sector. more



8. Developments in Aviation
Bain & Company is predicting that demand for transatlantic flights will not recover until at least 2026, leaving the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic particularly exposed. more Back at the beginning of October British Airway's last 'Queen of the Skies' Boeing 747 was flown into retirement. in 1998 there were 986 Boeing 747s in service around the world. Only 33 remain in passenger service, with 122 in storage, and nearly 300 in service flying cargo. The 747 helped make air travel more available to ordinary people.  more
At Virtual WTM (10th November 15:30) there is a panel on Decarbonising Aviation.

Airbus has announced that it is planning to evaluate three concept planes each of which would be primarily powered by hydrogen. The goal is to figure out an aircraft design and manufacturing process so the hydrogen plane could potentially enter commercial service by 2035. Hydrogen is energy-dense, plentiful and it burns cleanly, although it will create contrails which research suggests have a warming effect, trapping heat.  Hydrogen is highly flammable and will need stronger fuel tanks, requiring redesign of aircraft,  and new logistical infrastructure will be necessary to supply it.
The final decision on whether a hydrogen plane is ready for commercial service will “come down to the economics and the supportability and, quite frankly, our customer interest,” Amanda Simpson, Vice president for research and technology at Airbus Americas. said. “Showing the technology is feasible and that it’s economical is key.” more

9. Tourism and Wildlife
TRAFFIC has engaged in smart tourism technology through its Wildlife Witness App, created in partnership with the Taronga Zoo. The app allows tourists and locals to report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinning the location of an incident, and sending the details to TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC has also partnered with Instagram on a programme that will warn people who hashtag selfies with certain animals about animal exploitation. more

Jane Goodall in conversation with G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip, pointed out that "As the world got wealthier and more people started to travel, they were destroying the world by sheer numbers. Culturally and environmentally, travel was going wrong. ... “One of the things to avoid is more people - the secret is tourism that is controlled. The number of people that are allowed in, and how long they can stay, and that is tough, but it has to be,” said Dr Goodall. During the pandemic, poaching has increased and she argued that “This pandemic has shed light on the way we have mistreated and disrespected animals and the environment. We have brought this pandemic on ourselves by forcing animals into contact with humans as we destroy their habitat, hunting them, eating them, killing them, trafficking them, selling them for food for medicine, exotic pet trade, selling them as skins. And factory farms for domestic animals. All of these things create the perfect conditions for a pathogen, like a virus, to jump from an animal to a person.” more

Marius Swart, a safari guide since 1992, has written a powerful piece about the ethics of guiding around wildlife " Guest experience and ethical guiding are not mutually exclusive, but finding the balance is everyone’s responsibility, and this cannot be done under a cloud of ignorant complicit". Read the article in Africa Geographic here.

10. Miscellany

〉  Visit Durango (in Colorado)  has launched an Extended Stay marketing campaign inviting  visitors to “Extend their Stay to Play an Extra Day.” “Get More of Durango.”  The campaign doesn’t encourage new visitation but rather increases the economic impact of the visitors who are already there. As Rachel Brown of VisIt Durango explains "Because it does not actually increase the quantity of visitors who come to the area, there is minimal threat of new germs being introduced into our population. By encouraging these visitors to stay longer, we increase the economic impact without risking the safety of our residents. With visitors extending their stay the hotels win, the restaurant wins, and the local economy wins. Visit Durango’s mission is to increase overnight stays in the county, but this goal of economic impact should never be at the detriment of our locals’ quality of life." more

South Korea has launched "untact travel" which emphasises wide outdoor spaces, from botanic gardens (such as Hwadam, pictured above) to bamboo forests and golden sandy beaches. The term ‘untact’ was coined earlier this year from the longer phrase ‘undoing contact’ to describe any travel destination or experience designed to facilitate social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.  more

Nonprofit media platform Voices of Rural India has found a way to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity by upgrading digital skills among rural storytellers to create alternative livelihoods. more

〉 With the support of Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)  a group of Portuguese children and young adults have brought an unprecedented climate change case against 33* countries to the European Court of Human Rights. They are appealing for financial support. 

The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub which provides easy links to Responsible Tourism on the WTM websites and RT Partnership.

RT News carries the top ten stories on RT – the are many more links to RT stories here.

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