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Responsible Tourism Developments February 2018

March 1, 2018
Harold Goodwin
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 1. India Responsible Tourism Awards announced in Delhi 
 2. 11 Cities in the world most likely to run out of drinking water 
 3. Arabian Travel Market 
 4. Orphanages: Slavery and Birthday Parties
 5. 2018 World Responsible Tourism Awards 
 6. Thailand Loves Its Chinese Visitors, Up to a Point 
 7. Plastics and Earth Day
 8. Exodus, Pete Burrell and Responsible Tourism
 9. The cruise industry has sparked a backlash against tourists?
10. Shades of Grey, conserving rhino: London Event 15th March

 1. India Responsible Tourism Awards announced in Delhi
The Overall Winner was Fringe Ford for rewilding former plantation land to create a wilderness reserve which creates a larger contiguous reserve by linking Wyanad and Tholpaty reserve forests. Too often the most biologically productive land is taken for cultivation and denied to native flora and fauna. Fringe Ford has been championing a White Paper on “Private land participation in preservation and conservation of forests” at the national level. This approach to re-wilding former plantation or agricultural land is increasingly common in southern Africa bringing benefits for wildlife conservation and rural communities. The judges recognise the national importance of the re-wilding initiative at Fringe Ford as a harbinger of change, critical to the future of wildlife in India

The judges gave an Outstanding Achievement Award to the Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission for "Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Initiative which over the last ten years has piloted a range of approaches to securing additional livelihoods for local communities and enhancing the guest experience. The Village Life Experiences provide a cultural immersion for guests who benefit them and the villagers who create and share those experiences with their paying guests. These interactions are based on mutual respect and create shared memories and provide an additional income, an incentive, for those villagers to maintain their traditional practices." "Forty farmers have restarted paddy cultivation and local arts have been granted a new lease of life. Some 1,100 local people are benefitting from tourism to Kumarakom. This is an exemplary initiative which has been recognised internationally. Now moving beyond the development phase, Village Life Experiences will in 2018 be extended to 20 new villages in all 14 districts of Kerala. Rarely are initiatives piloted, tested, assessed and fine-tuned and then rolled out at scale. This is an outstanding achievement and one that should be widely replicated."  More

 2. 11 Cities in the world most likely to run out of drinking water
In Sao Paulo, in 2015 a city of 21.7 million had less than 20 days of water supply, police were escorting water trucks to prevent looting Sao Paulo is one of the ten most populated cities in the world, its main reservoir fell below 4% capacity. Take a look at the list - some of those most at risk may surprise you. Read more.
In Cape Town, the City has decided to shut off the normal water supply to most areas when dam levels reach 13.5% and ration water via Points of Distribution. The date changes on a regular basis, depending mainly on rainfall in the supply dam catchment areas and on the daily water usage of those supplied by the dams. As this goes to press day zero has been pushed back by a whole range of measures to July 9th - you can check the facts here on the City of Cape Town website. 

 3. Arabian Travel Market
The 2018 Arabian Travel Market opens on Earth Day, Sunday 22nd April with a session looking at how the hospitality sector could become more sustainable over the next 25 years. Confirmed speakers include former UNWTO S-G Taleb Rifai, Inge Huijbrechts Global Vice President Responsible Business at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Peter Stubbs, Director of Compliance, Group & Corporate, Jumeirah Group. There are further sessions on water and energy; Tthe commercial and socio-cultural advantages of the Experiential Economy; and Developing Tourism Skills and Employment Opportunities in Travel & Tourism.

 4. Orphanages: Slavery and Birthday Parties
It may be the case that we are at our most gullible when we are most moved. Child beggars, orphanages are surely worthy causes. The campaign to get people to think twice (or more) about orphanage tourism has gathered pace. Australia's anti-modern slavery legislation will be introduced into the Australian Parliament this year and it will recognise the trafficking of children into ‘orphanages’ as slavery. The issue of orphanages and trafficked children will be on the agenda of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London in April. The campaign continues to gather pace and support, yet there is still much to be done. Many faith groups are still uncritically funding orphanages and in India, there is now a fashion for holding children’s and even adult birthday parties in orphanages. An example here – yet there are many more. This new fad has sparked debate about whether children in orphanages really enjoy celebrating an unknown person’s birthday. Read more 






 5. 2018 World Responsible Tourism Awards
WTM, London now organises the World Responsible Tourism Awards presented on World Responsible Tourism Day in London in November. This year's awards will be launched at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Earth Day (22nd April) and close on 6th August. The categories are: wildlife, working conditions, local economic benefit, managing success and communicating Responsible Tourism. Full details will be in the April edition of Responsible Tourism News published May 1st.

 6. Thailand Loves Its Chinese Visitors, Up to a Point
The Wall Street Journal
 ran a story on Phuket. The upside is a cash windfall, the downside "traffic, crowds and overdevelopment". Trefor Moss argues that the resort island of Phuket faces the challenge which will confront other vacation destinations when the Chinese tourists arrive in large numbers. Thailand is presently the top foreign destination for Chinese tourists the Association of Thai Travel Agents estimating 400,000 Chinese tourists in Thailand for the Lunar New Year holiday in February. Overtourism is a challenge in Thailand too.

7. Plastics and Earth Day
Earth Day, Sunday 22nd April, is this year focused on the global threat posed by plastic pollution. "From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet. ... Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. Since 1967 9.1bnt have been manufactured, 6.3bnt have been turned to waste. A mere 9% has been recycled, 12% has been incinerated (more greenhouse gases), and 79% is accumulating, much of it in gyros in our oceans. The science is clear, plastics are, after carbon, arguably our number one environmental threat. What can those of us in tourism do to address the problem? There is an alternative. Refuse Single Use Plastic. Read more | More companies are planning to go plastic free

 8. Exodus, Pete Burrell and Responsible Tourism
In 2004 when Justin Francis launched the Responsible Tourism Awards, Exodus won the best tour operator category and was the joint overall winner. As Chair of the Judges, I wrote: "Exodus were chosen for their systematic approach to integrating responsible tourism throughout their entire business, including their supply chain, and thereby setting a model for other businesses to follow." Pete Burrell joined Exodus in 1988 and became managing director, he retired this month. Exodus won the Giving Back Award at the Adventure Travel Awards for the second year running for their work in helping disadvantaged children around the world experience their world and cultural heritage. With the help of their operators around the world, Exodus took more than 2,400 children on fun, educational days out. More details of the Exodus Inspiration Project As Pete explains "The only way we can preserve the amazing wildlife, cultures and places in the world is by helping local people see the value of those things and appreciate them themselves," more

9. The cruise industry has sparked a backlash against tourists?
 is a consequence of paying little more than lip service to the challenge of making tourism sustainable and of tourism bumping up against the limits to growth. Carter A. Hunt in an article in The Conversation has argued that "More tourism is not always better. Increasing the number of visitors has generated profits for travel companies – particularly the cruise ship industry – but it has not always benefited local communities and environments where tourism occurs." "Recent protests in ports of call like Venice and Barcelona against disturbances created by larger and more numerous cruise ships show the unfortunate consequences of emphasizing quantity over quality in tourism."  We shall be addressing the impacts of the cruise industry at WTM, London in November.

10. Shades of Grey, conserving rhino: London Event 15th March

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