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Responsible Tourism Developments February 2019

March 4, 2019
Harold Goodwin
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  1. School Children Strike Over Climate Change
  2. Further Evidence that Travellers have Ethics
  3. Human Rights in Tourism
  4. How to Spot a Real Animal Sanctuary
  5. Responsible Tourism at WTM Latin America
  6. Responsible Tourism Awards
  7. Peace Tourism
  8. Burning Man Festival - Gentrified
  9. Sex Works are NOT Tourist Attractions
  10. Solutions to Overtourism
  1. School Children Strike Over Climate Change

In August last a Swedish fifteen year old went on strike sitting quietly on the cobblestones outside parliament in central Stockholm, handing out leaflets that declare: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.” more in The Guardian

In February tens of thousands of school children left their classrooms to demand that governments take urgent action to tackle climate change.

15,000 British schoolchildren walked out of school to Parliament Square - the often derided "snowflake" generation marching to demand action on what they perceive as an existential threat. more Some have attacked them. As George Monbiot has pointed out " Greta Thunberg, whose school strike sparked this movement, has written a response far more dignified and mature than the articles attacking her in publications like the Spectator.

"If the government is serious about winning over the next generation of voters, then they need to heed their most pressing concerns," said Richard Baker, from Christian Aid. "But more importantly they are sparking a national debate, they are forcing teachers, parents and politicians to re-evaluate the issue of climate breakdown and, what is most important, while lifting our gaze beyond just immediate short-term national concerns." moreThere is more here on the WTM Blog.

2. Further Evidence that Travellers have Ethics.

Back in October 2018 Intrepid Travel launched tours focused on the 18 to 29 year-olds, having surveyed the demographic and their ethical/sustainable aspirations. New research on US travellers by One Poll funded by Exodus Travels found that a wide range of activities cause travellers to feel guilty when they reflcet on them, inculding riding on elephants (18 percent), swimming with dolphins (19 percent) and posing for photographs with captive wildlife (21 percent). 78 percent consider themselves to be more ethically-conscious travelers than they were a decade ago. Seventy percent report often researching a company’s ethical tourism policy before signing up for a tour. more

3. Human Rights in Tourism
The Roundtable on Human Rights in Tourism has launched a Get Started tool to help identify human rights risks and integrate measures to protect human rights into operations and along the value chain. more

4. How to Spot a Real Animal Sanctuary
PETA has published some clear advice on how to spot, before visiting, those businesses which are "now marketing their animal prisons as “sanctuaries” or “rescues” and claiming to support species conservation in order to attract customers."

5. Responsible Tourism at WTM Latin America
There are 4 Responsible Tourism sessions at WTM Lat 2-4 April in Sao Paulo.

  • The Launch of Latin American Responsible Tourism Awards.
  • Where next with Certification?
  • How can we best reduce the carbon emissions of our industry?

6. Responsible Tourism Awards
The International Travel and Tourism Awards have just been launched for 2019. They include one Responsible Tourism Award,  for the best initiative to reduce carbon emissions by a hospitality, transport or tourism business or destination.
The World Responsible Tourism Awards launch on March 19th.

7. Peace Tourism
Jiyin Cao of Northwestern University has published research which shows:
“Across five studies, using different research methods including a longitudinal study, ... that breadth but not the depth of foreign experiences increases generalized trust,” ... In other words, the more countries one travels, the more trusting one is. Breadth is important here, because breadth provides a great level of diversity in people’s foreign travel experiences, allowing them to reach such a generalized assumption.” more

8. Burning Man Festival - Gentrified
There is mounting concern about the growing "commodification and exploitation of Black Rock City and Burning Man culture".
Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell has taken the unprecedented step of withdrawing invitations to one turnkey camp - "Humano the Tribe" - and warning dozens of others. more

9. Sex Works are NOT Tourist Attractions
The new mayor of Amsterdam has criticised visitors who flock to its red-light district for treating prostitutes like a tourist attraction, calling their treatment “unpalatable” and “humiliating” . more

10. Solutions to Overtourism
In southern Thailand, Mya Bay on the island of Phi Phi Leh starred in The Baech released in 2000. Mya Beach was quickly added to the bucket list and numbers soared, in 2016 Chinese tourists also arrived in large numbers.
In peak tourist season this 300 metres of shoreline was hit 3,500 visitors a day. More parade than paradise condemned as "filthy" and "disgusting". and there has been major damage to the coral reef. The authorities have now closed the beach, more

There is work in progress on the Responsible Tourism Partnership on solutions to overtourism, pages are being created to enable the easy sharing of experience in managing overtourism and avoiding it. There is a typology of approaches which provides an index and wherever possible a link to where further information can be found and where possible a contact.

If you have strategies or methods which you would like to see included here please email harold@haroldgoodwin.info Your contribution will be acknowledged.

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Harold Goodwin blogs regularly on the  WTM Responsible Tourism Blog
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