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I have sort to build on the benefits of a sole training project for Central NSW Tourism by widening the reach of the Responsible Tourism message and build confidence in applying Responsible Practice. The ICRT-Australia was successful in gaining an Environmental Trust funded 100 Mile Diet project from Centroc (Central Regional Councils of New South Wales) and included this within the the the training which I have also expanded to include discovery trails (a method to teach operators on their local assets). This new contact at Centroc enabled me to propose to their executive officer that the discovery trails, 100 Mile Diet and a further community project Centroc was developing, be grouped under a single Responsible Tourism initiative and be used to engage further with member councils at a strategic summit planned for November.
To maximise the impact it was agreed to apply as an official supporter for World Responsible Tourism Day 2012 which meant we had to formalise the initiative to meet the Cape Town Declaration. My strategy was to make Centroc an official support of WRTD, to build confidence in Responsible Tourism as a credible ethos, to generate greater council participation to maximise the initiative and so to raise the profile of Responsible Tourism in Australia through indirect endorsement of the Cape Town Declaration by government.
Professor Harold Goodwin acknowledged the efforts Centroc was taking in a video. This was presented as part of my presentation on 7th November at the Summit in Bathurst NSW, that coincidently was the date for WRTD. The audience, made up of 14 general managers and 14 mayors from Centroc member councils, local state MPs, the Minister for Local Government and the Junior Minister for Health. All warmly received the video and embraced the initiative which has given Centroc the confidence to progress for further funding to build on the project. The discovery trails and the tourism provider training has been successful in gaining 96% participation in signing a pledge to Responsible Practice to maximise the benefits of the programme. Tourism is a multifaceted industry that touches all levels of government and many aspects of community.
This project has been successful in extending its original brief by strategically linking partners with a shared aim to building the benefits of the visitor economy (tourism providers, food producers, communities local and state government) using the principles of the Cape Town Declaration. The video and presentation have helped build Responsible Tourism’s profile and that of WRTD in Australia (which can be seen here) http://www.icrtourism.com.au/australias-growing-participation-in-responsible-tourism-the-winners-and-wider-support
International Centre for Responsible Tourism – Australia
Sharing Knowledge to create better Tourism