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Responsible Tourism Developments March 2017

March 30, 2017
Harold Goodwin
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1. World Travel Market shines the spotlight on the SDGs
2. Responsible Tourism panels at WTM trade shows in Sao Paulo, Cape Town and Dubai.
3. Modern slavery and the UK hospitality industry
4. Video Highlights of the India Responsible Tourism Summit
5. Call for support for a Radical Agenda for Change by 2030
6. Climate Change Impacts on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in the UAE.
7. Taxing Tourism in Iceland to deal with Overtourism
8. Elephants and Dolphins – contrasting approaches 
9. Noble Caledonian cruise ship damages coral reef
10. Kerala Conference on Responsible Tourism


  1. World Travel Market shines the spotlight on the SDGs
    In the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development there are panels on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Responsible Tourism programme at WTM Latin America; WTM Africa and Arabian Travel Market There is more on the SDGs and tourism, which were extensively addressed in London at WTM last November. more
  1. Responsible Tourism panels at WTM trade shows in Sao Paulo, Cape Town, and Dubai.
    The SDGs feature in all three programmes ahead of a major focus on the International Year and progress – or the lack of it – on the SDGs at WTM London in November. At WTM Latin America there are panels on wildlife, biodiversity and animal welfare and we are showcasing Responsible Tourism Award winners Tren Ecuador and Proprietário Refúgio Ecológico Caiman. At WTM Africa there will be the African Responsible Tourism Awards and panels on  Market Access for Small and Emerging Enterprises and Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Africa. At Arabian Travel Market there are panels on Responsible Tourism in the MENA countries and Culture and Tourism.
  1. Modern slavery and the UK hospitality industry
    The Shiva Foundation has published a hard-hitting report, co-authored by Rebecca Armstrong of Responsible Tourism Matters, on the dangers of turning a blind eye to the risks of modern slavery in the UK hospitality industry. The two key areas of importance – and risk – created by the 2015 legislation are (1) the obligation for larger companies to publish a modern slavery statement; and (2) the possibility of criminal and/or civil liability for slavery offenses. more
  2. Video Highlights of the India Responsible Tourism Summit
    Take a look at the video highlights of the January Responsible Tourism Summit organised by Outlook India in Delhi in January. link
  3. Call for support for a Radical Agenda for Change by 2030
    Over 30 participants from civil society from 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, representatives of non-governmental organizations, people’s movements and academia met in Berlin to discuss the action necessary to achieve sustainable development through tourism. The point to the “enormous responsibility” of tourism. “Modest socio-economic or ecological adjustments in production, often presented as ‘sustainable’ or ‘responsible’ tourism, will not bring the necessary change. For tourism to contribute to sustainable development, a fundamental transformation of tourism itself is essential and urgent.” Download the declaration here.
  4. Climate Change Impacts on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in the UAE.
    The Emirates Wildlife Society – WWF have produced a report citing studies which suggest that the UAE is amongst the countries set to lose out on visitors by 2025 due to climate change and predicting a 55% decline in international tourists visiting the UAE by the end of the century. Arguing that many tourism assets, including hotels, resorts, beaches, waterfront promenades, as well as heritage assets which draw tourists to the UAE are in the coastal zone, and therefore may be vulnerable to increased flood risk due to sea level rise and pointing to increased costs of energy and food which are likely to result from climate change. Download the report
  5. Taxing Tourism in Iceland to deal with Overtourism
    Reports that Iceland is considering introducing a tourism tax through the levy on hotel rooms or restricting the numbers of visitors to the honeypot attractions have reached the popular press (The Sun & Express) in the UK. Iceland’s tourism minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir told Bloomberg: “The sector and all of us have to be careful not to become victims of our own success. If we allow more people into areas like that, we’re losing what makes them special – unique pearls of nature that are a part of our image and of what we’re selling.”“Some areas are simply unable to facilitate 1 million visitors every year.
  6. Elephants and Dolphins – contrasting approaches
    Born Free and 20 other organisations have expressed concern to the Government of St Lucia over the proposal to build a captive dolphin facility on Pigeon Island. more  By contrast the Daily Mail reported that Lanta Animal Welfare Centre is number three in the top ten list of things to do in Thailand - ahead of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Sukhothai Historical Park and reports the “rise of 'responsible' travel experiences - with no riding allowed” more
  7. Noble Caledonian cruise ship damages coral reef
    A Noble Caledonia cruise ship ran aground at low tide on a coral reef at Raja Ampat in Indonesia. Regarded as one of the most important marine biodiversity sites in the world an early official evaluation reported that the incident had damaged approximately 1,600 sq m of coral. more The company has taken responsibility: “We are working with local experts to understand how we can assist with the regeneration of the reef. We value our relationships around the world with local people and we are sorry to have impacted the local community.  To this end Noble Caledonia has established a fund with the aim of helping the local population and contributing to the repair of the reef.”
  1. Kerala Conference on Responsible Tourism
    Kerala hosted a National Conference on Responsible Tourism Practices which explored the future of responsible tourism initiatives in India. Organised by Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), the three day event ran from 25th March at its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram.

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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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