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Platform for Change

The Solutions Platform: accelerating change in travel & tourism

Over the last twenty years, many tourism businesses and destinations have developed proven solutions to the issues which arise from tourism. This Solutions Platform provides many examples of reducing negative impacts and increasing positive impacts, using tourism to benefit communities and their natural and cultural environment.

Sustainability is an aspiration. It will only be realised if and when we take responsibility for making tourism sustainable. Responsibility drives sustainability. Responsible Tourism is about "making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit."

The diversity of our world makes travel worthwhile and generates tourism. Few businesses or destinations can address all the issues on the Responsible Tourism agenda. We need to explain why we take responsibility for the things we choose to improve through tourism and the impacts of our efforts.

In November 2022  the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was updated with the publication of the  2022 Responsible Tourism Charter   launched and signed on Magna Carta Island on November 6th 2022 at an event supported by Therme Group.

This is the INDEX PAGE of the Platform for Change This page lays out our ambition and the scope of the Platform for Change - there are links to the pages of the platform in the list below.

We are placing here on this open-source platform as many examples as we can find of proven solutions. The travel and tourism sector has developed many labels and logos asserting that this or that form of tourism, destination or business is "better" than the competitors. Responsible Tourism was not envisaged as a consumer-facing label, although it has been very successful for Responsible Travel. Responsible Tourism is a broad movement composed of all those taking responsibility and making a demonstrable difference. Responsibility is what it takes to achieve sustainability and contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This platform seeks to present as many proven solutions as possible. This is a Platform for Change designed to encourage replication. We want to showcase solutions that businesses and destinations have developed and proven and which can be replicated and adapted in order that collectively we can accelerate change.

A credible, proven solution will have the following characteristics:

  1. A clearly defined problem or opportunity to make tourism better for hosts, and their natural and cultural environment.
  2. A tried and tested solution that
    • is presented in enough detail that it can be adapted and replicated.
    • It is proven by transparency about the extent of the responsibility taken and the sharing of demonstrable evidence of the impact of the initiative.

Certification does not deliver on transparency nor on accountability. more

Businesses can implement some solutions acting alone, but many require cooperation with suppliers, clients, competitors and neighbours. Some of the solutions presented on this platform show great promise but are as yet unproven – they are identified as "one to watch". The travel and tourism sector rarely looks at progress being made in other sectors, even when it is happening nearby or could easily be replicated. We are keen to identify solutions from beyond the travel and tourism sector and to include them on this platform

If you know of proven solutions or "ones to watch", please send details to harold@haroldgoodwin.info


JoAnna Haugen writes about how important it is for those in travel and tourism to break out of the silo we so often confine ourselves to. Too often, the tourism industry talks of destinations, forgetting that they were created by the people who live there now and their forbears.

"Tourism can not be separate from the destinations where people travel and the locals who live there. Working in a silo undermines local efforts, needs, and expectations. Working in a silo also means there is a huge lost opportunity to empower local knowledge, better connect travelers to universal issues on a personal level, and help travelers take meaningful action in their own lives."

As JoAnna points out, if tourism is to benefit local communities, "it needs to take a more active role in supporting what already exists at the community level to support sustainable development — adding value to these destinations." She has some practical advice about how to do this and an example: Waste Management in Nigeria. In this way, tourism can assist communities to become more sustainable and enable travellers and holidaymakers to have a richer, more engaged experience of the place and its people.

The Business cases for Responsible Tourism
Market Trends  Changes in attitudes to sustainability & meaningful connections.
The relevance of the circular economy
Child Protection
The Business Case to include neighbours and Ubuntu

Governance & Regulation

In December 2020 Antonio Guterres pointed to our folly: "Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes," he said. This is the bad news. The good news is that "Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it."

The issue: greenhouse gas emissions
Ground Transportation

Differently Abled
Engaging with Diversity and Challenging Racism
Human Rights
Local economic development and poverty reduction
Sexual Orientation

Pollution the issues

Destination Management
Marketing: who to attract, how many and what kind of tourism?
The relevance of the circular economy
Overtourism: the Tragedy of the Commons
Cultural Heritage
Natural Heritage

Adaptation & Resilience
Health: epidemics and pandemics 
Adapting to  Climate Change (to include insurance costs and destination destruction)
Potable Water

How to do it …….

  • Connecting with the neighbours to make more sustainable communities and places more
  • Creating a Greener Tourism Business: The Four Essential Ingredients more
  • Building sustainable engagement with your local community, seven key learnings for best practice in community engagement more
  • People Power: How My Green Butler makes guests and staff partners in sustainable hospitality more

Story Telling

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