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Responsible Tourism Developments April 2017

April 30, 2017
Harold Goodwin
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WTM 2016

1. WTM Responsible Tourism Awards launched for 2017Responsible Tourism Book Cover
2. TUI: Sustainability is becoming mainstream
3. Africa Responsible Tourism Awards presented at WTM Africa
4.  Responsible Travel.com has ceased to promote zoos
5.  BA, empty seats and carbon emissions. 
6.  RT Events in 2017: Seoul and Reykjavik 
7.  Campaigns against the exploitation of horses and petting sharks
8. Tourists as beggars - no shame there?
9.  Airline waste 
10.  Looks good on Instagram and UCAS forms - how to sell subsidised volunteering



1.  WTM Responsible Tourism Awards launched for 2017
The 2017 Awards have been announced - they launch on May 2nd and will be presented at WTM on World Responsible Tourism Day, Tuesday, November 7th. In the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the 2017 global Responsible Tourism Awards to be announced at WTM will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There are five categories this year – the first four are open only to those who have won gold or silver in the last three years in the global, African, Indian or Irish Responsible Tourism Awards.  The fifth category is for organisations new to the awards.

The Awards categories are:

  1. SDG8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  2. SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, tourism that creates jobs, promotes local culture and products.
  3. SDG 3: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development through the sustainable management of tourism on and in the oceans.
  4. Remaining SDGs: Businesses and tourism organisations that can demonstrate their contribution to one of the other 14 SDGs
  5. Newcomers: Businesses and tourism organisations which can demonstrate a contribution to one of the SDGs but which have not won Responsible Tourism Awards in the last three years.

The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards are open for applications on May 2nd and close August 31st.  Details on the Awards website.

2. TUI: Sustainability is becoming mainstream
In the second year of their Better Holidays, Better World sustainability strategy TUI's latest Sustainability Report demonstrates their progress across a range of indicators. 

  • TUI Customers in the past year have gone on 6.3 million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays, i.e. staying in 1170 hotels that have been certified to a recognised Global Sustainable Tourism Council standard.
  • In 2016, TUI funding raised for research initiatives, charity and destination projects reached €6.6 million, and TUI Care Foundation was launched as a group-wide means for supporting destination initiatives.
  • In 2016 our Customers participated in 846 000 TUI Collection excursions, up 30% on 2015.  These are local and unique excursions selected against sustainability criteria.

Customer research that conducted globally by TUI, with over 3000 participants, confirmed that sustainability can be a deciding factor in their holiday choices but that customers want more information when it comes to booking. Detailed reports. 

 3.  Africa Responsible Tourism Awards presented at WTM Africa
Blood Lions and Coffee Shack took the coveted position of Overall Winners - details of all the winners and the judges' reasons are online here and Paul Miedema was remembered

African Responsible Tourism Awards
4.  Responsible Travel.com has ceased to promote zoos
Responsible Travel 
has dropped all zoos worldwide arguing that it is better to see animals in the wild, supporting the conservation of habitats and species and ensuring that local communities benefit economically from wildlife tourism. more and PETAUK

5. BA, empty seats and carbon emissions.
BA is extending its empty seat Business class model to UK domestic flights. BAQ has long held the middle seat vacant in business class in Europe. This policy is now being extended to domestic flights. There will be fewer seats for economy passengers to purchase; recognition perhaps that they cannot compete with the budget carriers. The empty seat policy reduces load and increases the carbon emitted per passenger mile. A policy bad for economy passengers and the environment. more

6. RT Events in 2017: Seoul and Reykjavik
The Global Campaign on Fair & Sustainable Tourism will be launched in Seoul during the Fair & Sustainable Tourism Forum 11-13 September 2017. Symposium on coping with success and overtourism in Reykjavik 29th-30th September. More details in future editions of RT News.

7. Campaigns against the exploitation of horses and petting sharks
 A petition against the exploitation of horses by the Charleston carriage companies has secured 157,000 signatures. link
Change.org has a petition against the practice of tourists lifting nurse sharks out of the water for a selfie with a tourist.  The Dodo

8. Tourists as beggars - no shame there?
Tourists Selling Postcards
"There has been a recent rise in ‘begpackers’ - that’s backpackers who are begging - across some of the poorest countries in the world. Their attempts to fund their trips via begging, busking and occasionally selling their holiday photos have been snapped and shared on social media by more socially aware travellers - and disgusted locals...

Travelling across the world - even if it’s in cheap hostels on a budget of £5 a day - is not a God-given right; it’s a luxury that millions will never have. Backpackers might be able to justify their behaviour to themselves, saying that they’re not forcing anyone to give to them/they really can’t afford their next flight/they’re busking not begging, but deep down they surely know what they’re doing is wrong.

Backpackers cannot - and should not - ever feel entitled to people’s spare change when they’re busking next to someone who has not eaten a proper meal in days." Radhika Sanghani writing in The Telegraph 


9. Airline waste
The global airline industry generates about 4.5 million metric tonnes of cabin waste per year, which costs the airlines about $500 million, according to theInternational Air Transport Association (IATA). The industry group expects that number to double in the next 15 years. London’s Gatwick Airport and DHL Supply Chain have opened a waste-to-energy plant, which they say makes Gatwick the first airport in the world to turn airport waste, such as food and packaging, into energy onsite. The companies claim that the new plant will save £1,000 ($1,243) in energy and waste management costs for every day it operates. more.

10. Looks good on Instagram and UCAS forms - how to sell subsidised volunteering
Subsidised by the UK taxpayer from the UK aid budget - the worst kind of voluntourism, the main beneficiary is the volunteer.


Sponsored by @WTM_WRTD

Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

Better Tourism Africa
Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa

Responsible Tourism News is a newsletter of record carrying the 10 most important Responsible Tourism stories of the month. Please forward to those you think may be interested – you can subscribe using the box on the right. If you wish to contribute a story email harold@haroldgoodwin.info or post it on our RTNews Facebook page.

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