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Responsible Tourism Developments June 2017

July 1, 2017
Harold Goodwin
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1. OverTourism Conference in Iceland
2. WTM Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 – deadline August 31st
3. World Responsible Tourism  Day 2017
4. Outlook Responsible Tourism Summit Delhi 2018
5. Unethical London
6. Plastic is creating an environmental crisis 
7. What is the value of the Great Barrier Reef?
8. Myanmar’s Tourism Dream Fades Away
9. OverTourism and local resentment in Iceland
10. A cruise too far: how overtourism impacts the world’s top destinations



  1. OverTourism Conference in Iceland
    The 13th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations takes place in Iceland 29-30 September 2017. This working symposium will explore strategies to ensure sustainable tourism development where “overtourism” is occurring through local management practices and empowered communities. We envisage that this symposium will identify the research agenda on overtourism and we hope that research partnerships will emerge from it and means of knowledge dissemination identified. We would like bother academics and practitioners to participate. More and to register.
  2. WTM Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 – deadline August 31st
    The first applications are coming in and many have downloaded the application forms for the successor awards to the World Responsible Tourism Awards to be present at WTM London on Wednesday 8th The Awards are open to any business or organisation which is able to report its progress against the SDGs, decent work, creating jobs through local culture and products, operating sustainably in the marine environment, or any of the other SDGs including health, education and child protection, whether in hotels, tour operating, car hire, cruising, aviation, conservation  or NGO. Full details of the Award and application form here.
  3. World Responsible Tourism Day 2017
    World Responsible Tourism  Day this year is on Wednesday 8th November –
    moved from Tuesday.
  4. Outlook Responsible Tourism Summit Delhi 2018
    Block the date for a South Asia regional summit on Responsible Tourism: India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Maldives. The India Responsible Tourism Awards will also be presented at the  Summit which will be held in Delhi 19-20 January.
  5. Unethical London
    “To its collective shame, not a single hotel in the capital pays the London Living Wage of £9.40 per hour. No collective agreement has been signed since the 1980s. Low pay, zero hour contracts and open hostility to trade unions have become standard practice, making London one of the most unethical tourist destinations in the world.” Peter Kavanagh, Unite London regional secretary. more The report Unethical London compares London very unfavourably with New York.

6. Plastic is creating an environmental crisis
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, that’s about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change. The world produces more the 300 million tons of plastic every year. More. On remote Henderson Island scientists counted 671 items per square meter (10 sq ft), the highest density ever recorded, which equates to an estimated 37.7 million pieces spread over the whole island. Since 2015, more than 200 cafe's and businesses in Bristol have signed up to the scheme that lets residents and visitors  refill their water bottles for free. The Refill campaign is run by City to Sea, a group made up of campaigners and scientists who seeking to reduce the amount of plastic waste flowing into the Severn Estuary. The campaign is reported to be spreading to Germany. A campaign against plastic waste on Cyprus’ beaches launched this month. Responsible Cape Town is asking can the tourism industry go plastic free.

7. What is the value of the Great Barrier Reef?
Deloitte Access Economics has valued the Great Barrier Reef at A$56 billion(£33bn)421,435, with an economic contribution of A$6.4 billion per year. The Great Barrier Reef is 132,974mi2. So each square mile is worth A$421,435 and there is plenty of it. In April there were well documented reports of coal terminal water spill at Abbott Point.  The have been two waves of coral bleaching in 2015 & 2016 due to global warming and higher sea temperatures, an estimated 29% of shallow water coral has been bleached. The Great Barrier Reef is priceless providing important ecosystem services not quantified in the Deloitte report which calculates only the total economic, social and icon asset value of the Reef.

8. Myanmar’s Tourism Dream Fades Away
“A construction glut has flooded Myanmar with unused hotel rooms, and poorly regulated building has damaged national treasures like the archaeological site of Bagan and scenic Inle Lake, which is becoming clogged with silt and garbage.” more

9. OverTourism and local resentment in Iceland
Two French tourists went from door to door asking for a place to stay, according to residents of Bogarnes, a town in the west of the island. "One of the biggest problems now is people using our backyards as toilets, especially in rural areas," she said. "Also, we have very strict rules regarding overnight camping, and people break them repeatedly. It's like many people come here and see the country as a huge playground where no rules apply.” more
“Vandalism is increasing dramatically. People are spoiling nature, thinking it will repair in a few weeks. That’s just not true. Moss damage as seen in the ‘SEND NUDES’ example could take up to seventy years to repair,” more

10. A cruise too far: how overtourism impacts the world’s top destinations Not surprising perhaps for RTNews – but this story is in the trade paper Ship Technology.

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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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