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This year World Responsible Tourism Day is Tuesday 8th November - and there is a very full programme with 25 events over three days. WTM is putting some of the leaders in Responsible Tourism in the spotlight as they will be interviewed by Aaron Heslehurst, a BBC World television presenter, quizzed about how much progress has been made and the challenges we face. The image above is taken of the back of the Responsible Tourism stand and it reflects the subjects we've discussed at WTM since 2006. This year the programme is just as diverse – disintermediation, destination management, the Sustainable Development Goals, Resilience, Human Rights, Animal Captivity and Communicating Responsible Tourism . The full Responsible Tourism programme can be download here.
2. New this year at WTM - the RT Conversations
This year we are building on our success last year in engaging a wide range of people in conversations on the Responsible Tourism stand – on the show floor and far more participative. The idea is to get the host(s) to get a conversation going, no set piece presentations – no death by PowerPoint: some video, some storytelling, images, conversation, controversy; a real chance to forge new business relationships, to inspire, educate and challenge. There are many conversations - something for everyone interested in RT.
13:00-14:30 India: Enhancing the Tourist Experience & Community Benefits in India
14:45-15:45 Responsible Tourism Potential of the Republics of Central Asia
17:15-18:00 How can businesses report on their Responsible Tourism Impact?
13:00 - 13:45 Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Travel & Tourism
14:00 - 14:45 How tourism can help the refugee crisis
14:45-15:30 15 Years of Responsible Tourism in The Gambia
15:30 - 16:30 How can we ensure the travel and tourism are accessible to all?
10:15-11:00 Meet the 2016 Gold and Silver Winners
11:00 - 12:00 Responsible "Better" Volunteering
12:30-13:30 The Gorillas, Tourism and Poverty Reduction at Bwindi in Uganda
13:30-15:00 Enhancing the Tourist Experience & Community Benefits in Africa
15:30 - 17:00 Guides – educators and cultural brokers
17:00 - 19:00 ICRT Network session
3. High greenhouse gas levels mark start of new era of climate reality
The World Meteorological Organization reports that the globally averaged concentration of CO2 has for the first time passed 400 parts per million and continued to rise in 2016. “ “The real elephant in the room is carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years and in the oceans for even longer… Without tackling CO2 emissions, we cannot tackle climate change and keep temperature increases to below 2°C above the pre-industrial era. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the Paris Agreement does indeed enter into force”. The problem of climate change is accelerating. The increase of CO2 from 2014 to 2015 was larger than the previous year and larger than the average annual increase over the previous 10 years.
4. The World Responsible Tourism Awards
The culmination of the annual, global search for the most inspirational, enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world. Join us as we announce the 2016 winners of the 'Oscars of Responsible Tourism', and hear their stories live on stage. We have reduced the number of Awards so that there is time for the Gold winners to be interviewed on stage and for the audience to hear from them about what they have done and why.
Tuesday 8th November
10:30am - World Responsible Tourism Day Opening - WTM Global Stage AS950
The Aaron Heslehurst roundtable interview celebrating 20 years of responsible tourism.
11:30am - 12:30pm - World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 - WTM Global Stage AS9505:45pm - 6:45pm - WTM Responsible Tourism Networking Event - WTM Platinum Suite 1 Meet and celebrate with the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards winners, tourism ministers, industry leaders and media representatives.
Wednesday 9th 10:15am - 11am - Meet the Gold & Silver Winners - WTM Responsible Tourism Stand AF100
5. J K Rowling on why no one should volunteer in orphanages
J K Rowling is the Founder of Lumos a UK charity which works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children. She has been speaking out about Western teenagers should not be volunteering in orphanages abroad. Channel 4 News JK Rowling condemns 'voluntourism' and highlights dangers of volunteering in orphanages overseas - read more Cross Cultural Solutions have responded.
6. Refugees and Tourism
Crista Buznea writes "I was reading about awesome initiatives and inspiring stories that told how refugees were being integrated into our communities as museum tourist guides, and how tourists and refugees were encountering each other in Lesvos and sharing life dreams. And then I stumbled upon Manda Brookman’s A Million Acts of Sanctuary project. We packed our bags and emailed the Help Refugees charity in Calais to tell them we would join them for a weekend. Crista will be hosting a conversation on the Responsible Tourism stand (AF100) at WTM on Tuesday 8th November at 14:00. Hear what Crista found and join the conversation. more
7. Kerala to set up a ‘Responsible Tourism Mission’
This week the Kerala State Tourism Minister, a C Moideen, informed the state Assembly that the Kerala government is planning to expand its Responsible Tourism programme across the state through a Responsible Tourism Mission. The Minister pointed out that the Responsible Tourism initiative in Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Vythiri, Ambalavayal, Kumbalangi and Bekahas has introduced tourists to the lifestyle of local communities, providing a quality tourism experience for tourists and at the same time helped financially empower local people by creating livelihoods. more
8. UK volunteer awarded compensation by a British provider
The Daily Telegraph reports: "Keira Heslin-Davies, 22, was awarded £1,135 in compensation after Frontier, a non-profit conservation organisation which arranges volunteering trips abroad, pulled its support midway through her six-week trip to Madagascar last year. She has now spoken out about how she believes the “charitable claims” made on Frontier’s website about the trip did not “match reality”. She also claimed staff at the Nosy-Be Hospital, where she was based, had not been told she was coming and said she “felt like a burden” on the busy wards." more
9. Second Edition of Responsible Tourism published
Responsible Tourism: Using tourism for sustainable development by Harold Goodwin is about the globally vital necessity of realising sustainable tourism. It is a hugely important challenge to those who organise and sell travel and tourism, and those who consume it. Now in its second edition, it has been fully revised and updated and includes new material to explore the following key issues: resilience, voluntourism, child protection, the challenge of disintermediation, tourism and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, slum tourism, shared value and animal welfare.
10. RT Speed Networking at WTM
Last year we introduced a specific Responsible Tourism speed networking event for the first time - we were overwhelmed by the level of interest. On the show floor, the sellers take the booths and the buyers visit. In the speed networking, the buyers have the tables and the sellers visit them. This year we have registered 30 buyers. If you have a Responsible Tourism product to sell take the opportunity to talk with them. details
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