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Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism September 2020 (2)
September 18, 2020
Responsible Tourism at WTM, London November 2020
Covid-19 will be with us for a while
Tackling Climate Change Gathers Pace
Covid-19 and Transforming Tourism
The Economic Impact of the Pandemic
The next edition will be out at the beginning of October The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism
Responsible Tourism at WTM, London November 2020 WTM, London will be entirely virtual this year. The theme is: Recover, Rebuild, Innovate. On November 4th this year's World Responsible Tourism Awards will be announced and there will be a series of interviews. There are eight live panel sessions on 10th and 11th November on Resilience: Coping with Covid-19; Efforts to Build Back Better; Biodiversity; Decarbonising Aviation; Responsible Tourism in India; Racism and Tourism; the Future of Certification and How to Make Tourism Better for tourists, businesses and communities. There will also be a host of round table interviews and panels available on demand during what will be the world's biggest Responsible Tourism Event of the Year of Covid-19. This year, perhaps more than ever, we need to focus on the solutions, we need to find, share practical ways of using tourism to make better places to live in for us and for the species with which we share spaceship earth.
Covid-19 will be with us for a while Only two destinations are without restrictions on international arrivals The latest analysis from UNWTO (September 1st) found that a total of 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) have eased travel restrictions, an increase of 28 since 19 July. Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have certain restrictive measures in place. In countries with advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations have eased restrictions. In emerging economies, only 47% of destinations have done so. 933 destinations (43% of the total) continue to have their borders completely closed to tourism, of which 27 have had their borders completely closed for at least 30 weeks. More than half of destinations with full restrictions still in place are also highly dependent on aviation, with at least 70% of their tourist arrivals coming by air, causing significant connectivity impacts for their citizens and economies. As UNWTO points out the situation is fluid but as the WHO tracker data, as at 17 September, on the right shows that Covid-19 continues to thrive.
Cruiselines P&O has cancelled all sailings until early 2021. All Caribbean cruises are cancelled until the end of January 2021 and all cruises from and to Southampton are cancelled through February. CLIA cruise lines have committed to reducing the rate of carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 2008 with increasing reliance on liquified natural gas, Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) and Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems. moreMSC Cruises launched its first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa. A Global Cruise Activist Network has been launched, a worldwide group of activists who are demanding the cruise industry doesn’t return to business-as-usual as cruise ships start sailing again after the COVID-19 pandemic.
" Inspired by the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism, the Future of Tourism Coalition’s Guiding Principles, and the principles and protocols of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, cruise port communities and their allies have come together to urge worldwide commitment to and implementation and monitoring of the Principles of Responsible Cruise Tourism listed below. The Global Cruise Activist Network calls on cruise companies to delay their return to operations until they address these principles by publishing detailed plans with explicit commitments, benchmarks, and timelines that commit each company to implement specific levels of performance and compliance over time. We want an equitable and responsible system of leisure travel that optimizes economic benefits to all stakeholders while eliminating the negative social, public health, and environmental impacts of cruising on port communities, workers, and passengers. We oppose the return of a “business-as-usual” cruise ship industry. Until these common-sense policies are collectively adopted, effectively implemented, and consistently monitored, the cruise industry will remain complicit in putting passengers, crew, communities, and the planet at risk. " more
Cleaner Fuels The low-cost carrier Norwegian has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 45% per passenger kilometre by 2030 - compared to 2010 levels. This will be achieved through both fleet renewal and sustainable aviation fuels. However, as this is per passenger kilometre, growth will be unhindered. They have also committed to remove all non-recyclable plastics and recycle all single-use plastics, among other measures. more The Scottish government is spearheading an initiative to accelerate innovation and promote knowledge-sharing about hydrogen fuels. An investment of £300,000 is being made by the Scottish government for a new hydrogen accelerator that will be located in the University of St. Andrews. By combining the skills and expertise of residents at the university with interested parties from across Scotland, authorities aim to greatly speed up the region’s transition to ultra-clean mobility. more
Tackling Climate Change Gathers Pace There are still climate change deniers and we need to continue to share the evidence in the hope that they can be helped to understand the scale of the challenge we face. One of the drivers of denial is fear, fear can be paralysing. On October 10th TED is launching COUNTDOWN Offering online More than 50 speakers in five curated sessions that combine TED's signature blend of actionable and research-backed ideas, cutting-edge science, and moments of wonder and inspiration.
Human Rights The Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism has its full-day Annual Meeting on 28th September on zoom. The event offers keynotes, inputs and a panel discussion in the morning, and interactive thematic workshop sessions for practical exchange in smaller groups in the afternoon. Full details are here.
As David Attenborough explained in his latest documentary Extinction: The Facts, shown on primetime television in the UK a few days ago, we face catastrophe if we do not address the twin perils of climate change and biodiversity. These twin perils exacerbate poverty, racism and migration pressures. Attenborough interviewed scientists linking the current Covid-19 pandemic with our over-exploitation of the natural world and the destruction of biodiversity which can nurture or destroy us. Remember Sars, Mers, Ebola, Aids and now Covid-19, it is very unlikely to be the last or the most deadly. more
The WWF's Living Planet Report 2020 reveals 68% drop in wildlife populations tracked over 46 years (1970-2016). It reports that this catastrophic decline is largely due to the environmental destruction (such as deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and the illegal wildlife trade) that contributes to virus outbreaks such as COVID-19.
A wealth of video interviews with policymakers and scientists is available on the WTM RT Hub ‘Biodiversity, eco-system services and tourism – conflict or symbiosis?’
Covid-19 and Transforming Tourism The Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres has published a policy brief on “COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism”
The S-G writes: This crisis is also an unprecedented opportunity to transform the relationship of tourism with nature, climate and the economy. It is time to rethink how the sector impacts our natural resources and ecosystems, building on existing work on sustainable tourism; to examine how it interacts with our societies and other economic sectors; to measure and manage it better; to ensure a fair distribution of its benefits and to advance the transition towards a carbon-neutral and resilient tourism economy. A collective and coordinated response by all stakeholders can stimulate the transformation of tourism, together with economic recovery packages, and investments in the green economy.
The Economic Impact of the Pandemic As the normal peak season come to the end in European destinations reports of the economic impact of the pandemic on tourism are emerging. 6o% of Italians are reported to have taken a break but Giorgio Palmucci, president of the Italian national tourist board, ENIT, reports that "The projected 2020 loss from overseas visitors to Italy is €24.6 billion and even domestic traveller spending is down €43.6 billion," The Italian Confederation of Business has reported that 70% of hotels in cities like Rome and Florence and 20% in coastal areas never even reopened after the lockdown. The Italian National Institute of Statistics projects that 60% of businesses in the industry fear imminent collapse. More CNN Travel
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