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Responsible Tourism Developments May 2017

June 1, 2017
Harold Goodwin
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1. Next generation certification – what should we demand?
2. RTD-13: Tackling Overtourism - Local Responses
3. The UNWTO and the SDG’s
4. Beyond Ecotourism: Wildlife Conservation, the SDGs & the WTM Responsible Tourism  Awards
5. Responsible Tourism in India
6. Beyond Tourism Satellite Accounting
7. Venice
8. Tourists disrespectfully showing their "butt"
9. The dangers of getting too close to wildlife 
10.  Animal Welfare on Mainstream TV



  1. Next generation certification – what should we demand?
    Each time a traveller or holidaymaker checks into a certified hotel and goes to the room to find the thermostat set at 15C, all the lights and the TV on, and a bit of card stuck in the key card light switch, more damage is done to certification. When you turn the thermostat up or off, switch off all the lights and the TV, and put the towels back on the rail as you leave in the morning only to find, on returning to your room, the aircon back on, a freezing room with lights blazing and fresh towels,  consumer confidence in certification is undermined.When will the next generation of certification emerge? One that audits the performance and certifies achievement, then certification will enable the consumer to identify the best accommodations for water consumption, carbon emissions or employment practices.  Recent blogs by Justin Francis & Harold Goodwin
    This year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Awards will showcase those who are able to report increased positive impacts or decreased negative impacts.

  1. RTD-13: Tackling Overtourism - Local Responses
    Iceland, 29-30 September 2013. This working symposium is an opportunity to explore strategies to ensure sustainable tourism development where “overtourism” is occurring through local 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.
  2. The UNWTO and the SDG’s
    The UNWTO have published a discussion paper on "Sustainable Tourism for Development", produced in the context of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY 2017). It is open for public consultation and they are inviting comments. UN WTO are supporters of World Responsible Tourism Day and they will be participating in the discussions on tourism and the SDGs at WTM London on November 7th. More on the UNWTO’s work on Tourism and the SDG’s
  3. Beyond Ecotourism: Wildlife Conservation, the SDGs & the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards
    Do the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals create an opportunity for transparent reporting of community and conservation impacts – the impacts of tourism on employment, education, welfare and community as well as the impacts on the conservation of species and habitat on land (SDG 15) and in the oceans (SDG 14)? In this year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Awards we are looking for examples of tourism businesses, national parks and conservancies which can report their impacts against the SDGs. We are looking for leaders to set the pace and challenge others to do as well.

  1. Responsible Tourism in India
    Outlook India has published a report on the Responsible Tourism Summit held in Delhi in January. The video of Amitav Ghosh talking about the impact of tourism on climate change is online. The 2018 Responsible Tourism Summit will take place in Delhi January 19-20: Staying Ahead – Vision 2020.. The will again be on best practices from India, but they’ll also highlight the best and the brightest examples from some of their neighbouring countries in South Asia—Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Maldives. The idea, as always, is to gather knowledge and share it widely.
  2. Beyond Tourism Satellite Accounting
    UNWTO, with the support of United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), UNWTO has launched the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST). The aim is to develop an international statistical framework for measuring tourism’s role in sustainable development, including economic, environmental and social dimensions. By integrating tourism within economic, social and environmental measurement standards, the framework aims to provide a common language and organising structure for exploiting the richness of data already available and for more effective data production, management and integration. This initiative will be discussed at a World Conference in Manila 21-24 June.
    UNWTO(2017) Measuring Sustainable Tourism.
  3. Venice
    There are reports in the mainstream broadsheet media that Unesco is threatening to place the city on its in-danger list. Unesco’s concerns about cruise ships, mass tourism and damage to the fragile lagoon ecosystem “have been met with empty promises but no concrete proposals”, according to Italia Nostra, the country’s influential heritage body. The issues are being raised in some of the art which is part of the current Venice Biennale. Read more There are also reports that Venice is considering charging for entry to the Piazza San Marco. more


  1. Tourists disrespectfully showing their “butt”.
    Respect between hosts and guests is fundamental to Responsible Tourism. The growing craze for selfies of naked tourists in iconic locations, many of them sacred, is being fuelled by social media. As Freya Higgins-Desbiolles points out “Different cultures hold different values, and the joy of travel should come from engaging with these differences and learning from them. Responsible tourism built on respect ensures a warm welcome.”
  2. The dangers of getting too close to wildlife
    A video showing a wild sea lion pulling a young girl into the water has gone viral. The girl wasn't hurt in the incident but experts are warning against feeding and getting too close to wild animals. In Indonesia, a tourist has been attacked by a Komodo dragon. Native to a small group of Indonesian islands, Komodo dragons are the world's largest lizards and have venomous bites. The 50-year-old victim, identified as Singaporean Lon Lee Alle, had reportedly ignored warnings not to get too close to take pictures. more
  3. Animal Welfare on mainstream TV
    BBC 3 is running a series of four short films on animal welfare. “Posing as tourists and filming, undercover amateur wildlife activists travel to some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations to investigate the illegal wildlife trade. Armed with smartphones and digital cameras, they’re going behind closed doors to expose the cruel and sometimes criminal businesses that are exploiting animals – often for our benefit.” Dolphins in Indonesian swimming pools; Bear farms in Vietnam; Bird hunters in Cyprus and the Tiger selfie trade in Thailand.

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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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