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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism October 2020 (2)

October 16, 2020
Harold Goodwin
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  1. Attend WTM, London - Be Carbon Zero
  2. Responsible Tourism at Virtual WTM,  10 & 11  November 2020 
  3. Looking ahead: Hope and Pledges 
  4. ABTA  roadmap for rebuilding travel and tourism
  5. Cape Town - where Responsible  Tourism was defined 
  6. Tourism Students Festival - India 16-17 October
  7. Narratives Matter - we must get beyond fatalism 
  8. Can testing get us back flying? 
  9. CommonPass
  10. Miscellany 

The next edition will be out at the beginning of November just before WTM
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism 

Register to attend WTM Virtual 9-11 November 2020

1. Attend WTM, London - Be Carbon Zero
Well, at least very low carbon. This year's London Travel Week is 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. The speakers have not flown to London either.

2. Recover. Rebuild. Innovate: Responsible Tourism at WTM,  on 4th 10th  & 11th November 2020
Combined, WTM Virtual and London Travel Week, will offer an extensive conference programme of nearly 50 sessions streamed live online and on-demand with the majority of the sessions open to all. Register here.
The Responsible Tourism Programme is over 3 days of London Travel Week. The theme is: How can we make tourism better for communities, travellers and our sector? 
4th November 11:30-13:30: the World Responsible Tourism Awards, a keynote from Sir Tim Smit of the Eden Project, and interviews with Wolfgang Neumann, Martin Brackenbury, Justin Francis and JoAnna Haugen on the importance of narrative.
10th November: 4 live panels Resilience & Covid 19; Build Back Better;  Tourism and Biodiversity & Build Back Better
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, on-demand, employing the differently-abled an inspiring example from India,  and two panels on animal welfare.

3. Looking ahead: Hope and Pledges
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO has acknowledged that “Consumer uncertainty about the risk of exposure or concerns about being quarantined is a core problem,”  and expressed some optimism that “With rapid testing to replace quarantine requirements, enhanced contact tracing and industry-wide standards by sector that can be clearly communicated to the public, we can help alleviate many of those concerns.” So many of us are hoping that rapid testing on departure and arrival might enable aviation to recover and that an effective vaccine may be available soon.
Meanwhile, the pledges continue to come thick and fast. Carbon-neutral or carbon zero by 2050 when the people making these pledges will have passed on, they will not be alive to be held to account. Political leaders participating in the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity in September 2020, representing 77 countries from all regions and the European Union, have committed to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. The pledge they signed accepts that we "are in a state of planetary emergency: the interdependent crises of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and climate change - driven in large part by unsustainable production and consumption - require urgent and immediate global action." They have declared that in "endorsing this Pledge for Nature, we commit ourselves not simply to words, but to meaningful action and mutual accountability to address the planetary emergency. It marks a turning point and comes with an explicit recognition that we will be judged now and by future generations on our willingness and ability to meet its aims." The LEADERS’ PLEDGE FOR NATURE.
Undoubtedly they - and we - will be judged by our children. There have been so many pledges and turning points - will action on sufficient scale to make a difference follow this time?

4. ABTA roadmap for rebuilding travel and tourism
ABTA has just published Tourism for Good" creating economic and social value, sustaining jobs, supporting businesses and boosting inward investment not only for destinations where many livelihoods depend on tourism, but also ...  in the UK." They identify 9 core principles for action  amongst which are (1) tourism needs to be sustainable and resilient, able to withstand future shocks and
challenges; (3) alignments with the SDGs; (4) recognising the importance of collaboration; (5) urgently accelerating decarbonisation: (6) delivering value and net benefits for destinations and local communities; (7) protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage assets; (7) respect for human rights throughout the value chain; (9) measurement and reporting of progress.

5. Cape Town - where Responsible  Tourism was defined
The Tourism Development Framework  (TDF) outlines a Responsible Tourism approach to benefit communities and future generations by creating jobs and promoting social upliftment through tourism. Alderman James Vos is planning to use the TDF post-Covid-19  "as a driving force to push tourism development to all corners of the city by ensuring visitor comfort; improving and diversifying products and experiences; stimulating demand; supporting and involving communities so that they benefit; as well as planning and organising for growth." more


6. Tourism Students Festival - India 16-17 October

Their vision is to connect the students of tourism, faculty and industry leaders under one umbrella, to create a bridge between the curriculum and the industry practices at large, to mutually learn, unlearn and relearn and to address the challenges of our changing world. Find out more and enrol here
Responsible Tourism is growing in India. Businesses and states have done well in the WTM, World Responsible Tourism Awards since RT arrived in Kerala in 2008 with the 2nd International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations.
The Kerala RT Mission has become internationally famous for its programmes, ensuring that rural communities secure significant additional incomes from tourism. CGH Earth Hotels originated in Kerala, and they along with the RT Mission have uniquely in India been awarded the coveted World Responsible Tourism Awards. Judges' Award - only five have been awarded, three in Africa and two in India. Madhya Pradesh has adopted RT as a major part of its state policy the new national tourism strategy also endorses a Responsible Tourism approach.

7. Narratives Matter - we must get beyond fatalism
We understand the world thought the stories we tell about how we got to where we are, that is how we explain who and where we are to ourselves and others. Our experiences and our understanding of it inform our preferences and prejudices and shape our vision for the future. We are a storytelling species, some of us tell stories better than others but we all hold stories in our minds, they determine our understanding of cause and effect how we came to be where we are and how we can get to where we want to go. JoAnna Haugen is a storyteller and a passionate advocate for better tourism. JoAnna writes "I feel optimistic because it is the only way we can afford to feel about tourism’s future."  She goes on "People have every reason to feel angry, frustrated, sad, lost, and utterly overwhelmed. If you feel this way, your feelings are valid, legitimate, respected, and completely okay." 

JoAnna is right "the world we find ourselves at this moment is the perfect recipe for fatalism" As she argues we cannot afford to give in to this fatalism:

"Our world is in desperate need of leaders who put people and the planet before profits. We need to live and work with an intentional focus on sustainability so that it becomes the default condition in our world. It must become a priority to dismantle the oppressive and racist foundations that countries and companies are built upon and the tourism industry operates in."

Read more about JoAnna and her work here  You can hear her interviewed about storytelling for change on November 4th at WTM London

8  Can testing get us back flying?
IATA is calling for all departing air passengers to be tested for coronavirus so that existing quarantine systems can be scrapped. IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac has acknowledged that presently coronavirus test results take several hours and are expensive, but de Juniac claimed fast-acting antigen tests costing from $7 each are to be available ‘within weeks’. By “signalling now that this is the industry’s preferred option, we are sending a strong message to the market that should accelerate development and earmark aviation as a big customer.” John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Airport, argues that: “Testing is the lifeline that the UK’s aviation sector needs to get back on its feet. We’ve put some of the most cutting-edge rapid testing technologies into action at Heathrow to see which offers the best solution.”    A coordinated introduction of testing is required with the support of governments. more

9 CommonPass

The World Economic Forum is working with The Commons Project to develop a global, interoperable framework to safely restore cross-border travel to pre-pandemic levels. CommonPass aims to develop and launch a standard global model to enable people to securely document and present their COVID-19 status (either as test results or an eventual vaccination status) to facilitate international travel and border crossing while keeping their health information private. Recognizing that countries will make sovereign decisions on border entry and health screening requirements, including whether or not to require tests or what type of test to require, CommonPass serves as a neutral platform which creates the interoperability needed for the various 'travel bubbles' to connect and for countries to trust one another's data by leveraging global standards. For governments, airlines, airports, and other key stakeholders throughout the end-to-end travel journey, CommonPass aims to address these key questions:

  • How can a lab result or vaccination record from another country be trusted?
  • Is the lab or vaccination facility accredited/certified?
  • How do we confirm that the person who took the test is indeed the person who is travelling?
  • Does the traveller meet border entry requirements?

10. Miscellany

  • Coronavirus: Study reveals where to sit on a flight to avoid the disease more
  • Germany wants binding quota for CO2-free jet fuel: draft law more
  • Oxfam discussion paper, Removing Carbon Now, that examines how companies and individuals can fund negative emissions technologies in an effective way.

  • Recording of Climework’s Direct Air Capture Summit, includes a panel discussion with Global Thermostat, Climeworks and Carbon Engineering.

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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The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town
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Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa

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