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1. Kerala has a new Responsible Tourism Declaration
At Kumarakom, the birthplace of Responsible Tourism in India, the government of Kerala launched a new 2023 Kerala Declaration last week at the Ist Global Responsible Tourism Summit, the first part of which is the international Responsible Tourism Charter. The second part details how the Charter will be applied in Kerala as the Responsible Tourism Mission, under Rupesh Kumar’s leadership, is tasked to roll out the tried and tested approach across the state. Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said: “The focus is on making Kerala a better place with better people. RT brought in a new phase of human interaction, enabling us to go deeper into the roots of society”, the Minister said. more
Kerala has understood the weaknesses of existing certification schemes and they have developed a better approach. Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Classification Scheme is very different. It distinctively reflects local concerns and priorities and the classification can be withdrawn in case of violation of classification conditions, as and when brought to the notice of the government. This scheme has teeth and is able to secure compliance. Hopefully, Kerala will ensure that the basis for each hotel or resort’s classification be made clear by the publication of their scores against each of the criteria. This would a) make it possible for communities, travellers and holidaymakers to draw attention to hotels and resorts which may be breaching their claims; and b) enable consumers to choose to stay in the hotel or resort which scores highest on the criteria which matter most to them. That would be a real game-changer.
2. Addressing Overtourism
Lanzarote attracted 2.5 million people, or 17 times its native population in 2022. Emma Beaumont reports Brits are too grotty for Lanzarote in the Telegraph that tourist bosses in numerous destinations are discouraging tight-budget UK travellers - and it's class-based. more And in The Times "Brits are too grotty for Lanzarote" María Dolores Corujo, head of Lanzarote’s local government, has declared the island "a “tourist-saturated area” and that they want to “reduce dependence on the British market”. The objective is to move away from mass tourism and to attract those who spend more in the destination. Annabel Fenwick Elliott wrote a piece in The Telegraph "It’s true – German tourists are superior to the British" She reports that "according to the Spanish Tourist Office, the latest stats for Lanzarote show holidaymakers from the UK spend an average of €34 (£30) per day, compared to €27 for Germans", although the Germans stay longer. more
The President subsequently reiterated her view that the island’s tourist capacity had reached its limit and it had to prioritise a “rational and lasting development based on quality”.But she insisted, in an open letter in the island newspaper La Voz de Lanzarote: “It’s categorically false that in Lanzarote we do not want British tourism or that we want to reduce the numbers of British tourists. .... “In Lanzarote we are also lucky to have an excellent long-time resident British community, a community that is sensitive to the environment and involved in caring for and defending sustainable development for our island. “We share our island character with the British and that makes the existence of limits in an insular, fragile and small territory like ours very well understood.” more in the Evening Standard
Venice has postponed its day visitor tax again, "initially scheduled for January 16, 2023, will not become effective until 2024. The exact date has yet to be specified."
Balearics: Iago Negueruela, tourism minister of the Balearic Islands, told Lonely Planet. "Our islands have so much more to offer than sun and beach, and we encourage tourists to visit outside of high season to experience our cultural, gastronomic and active offerings, thus spreading the flow of tourism throughout the year."In 2022, the islands brought in a ban on creating new hotels and other tourist accommodations (apartment rentals included) until at least 2026. Existing accommodation can now only extend or refresh its current buildings by 15% and always with the condition of reducing the number of beds by 5%. In Mallorca's capital Palma, Airbnb-style tourist apartments have been banned since 2018. Formentera (the go-slow Balearic sister still only accessible by ferry, off Ibiza's southeast coast) has been limiting vehicle access during high season since 2019. From mid-June to mid-September, non-Balearic visitors who want to drive a car or motorbike here must apply in advance for a permit and, if approved, pay a daily tax of €3 (minimum €15 total) or €1.50 (minimum €7.50 total) respectively; electric vehicles are excluded, while hybrids get a 50% discount. Menorca is now also considering a similar scheme that could begin as early as this summer, as part of the new Menorca Reserva de la Biosfera law approved in January 2023. more
Majorca: Back in November, Director of Tourism Lucia Escribano said the island was "not interested in having the budget tourists from the UK." The government is preventing any increase in bed numbers, effectively capping arrivals. Juan Ferrer, President of the Palma BeaLa Pelosach Quality Offensive, told the German newspaper Bild: "Holidays will be around 33% more expensive in 2023 than in the previous year".: For the next two years, Palma’s port will limit cruise ships to three per day.more
EU: The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias), is expected to be implemented in November 2023. This new visa system will apply to people visiting the EU. President of the Spanish tourism group, Mesa del Turismo, Juan Molas, has called the fee a “threat”, stating it risks undermining the country’s tourism sector. In a statement following its first General Assembly of the year, the board said: “The Tourism Board is especially concerned about the impact of this tax on British tourism, our main issuing market with 18 million arrivals in 2019. more
Thailand's Cabinet has approved a proposal by the National Tourism Policy Committee to charge a tourism fee of 300 baht (US$8.80) per person from international travellers who arrive in the country by air. For travellers who arrive by land or sea, the fee is 150 baht per person,
Sardinia: From June 1st to September 30th access to the La Pelosa beach will be limited in order to protect the environment and prevent erosion. The price is valid for one day and includes the use of toilets and showers. Each user can buy up to 8 tickets per day at €3.50, for adults, children are free.
Skye: Using sensors located at key sites across the island to track the movements of people and vehicles, the MySkyeTime app – inspired by similar technology in use in Barcelona, Amsterdam and Yellowstone Park - will provide live updates to alert visitors as to when best to visit popular places.
In Monterey, California, the council voted 3-2 to terminate city services to process disembarking passengers. Ships will continue to be allowed to drop anchor in the bay and take guests to the shore via tender. However, cruise lines will have to hire staff at the port to process passengers at the city's public dock.
6. Gender Equality: Why Engaging More Women in Tourism Benefits Everyone,
An interview with Charmarie Maelge (Associate, Equality in Tourism International and Director, ICRT Sri Lanka), sharing insights into the challenges and opportunities around gender equality in tourism and positive examples of efforts to create a more equitable tourism industry. more
7. Animal Welfare
On 8th of March,1993 Flamingoland in Yorkshire closed its dolphinarium, the last in the UK, but they are still being marketed by outbound tour operators. more There is still much to be done to stop the exploitation of animals in tourism. World Animal Protection, reports that 84% of respondents thought that tour operators should not sell activities that cause wild animal suffering. 79% said they would prefer to see animals in the wild than in captivity. Tour operators and booking platforms promoting and selling wildlife entertainment venues lead tourists to assume such activities are acceptable, or even beneficial for wild animals, when in fact they are inhumane and cause lifelong harm to wildlife. more Intrepid has reviewed its 140-plus range of wildlife experiences and removed tours that failed to meet its standards of ethical engagement.
8. Investors’ Tourism Summit, India
The objective of the Investors’ Tourism Summit is to promote the Indian travel and tourism industry as an ‘Investment Destination’ and provide a common platform for the Central/State governments and investors to discuss investment possibilities in the tourism industry of India. The Summit is an opportunity for domestic and foreign potential investors to identify state-specific investment possibilities in the segment unique to that state. Delhi 17-19 May. For more information and to register
9. Responsible Tourism in Oppressive Regimes: A Guide for Tour Operators to Put People First
The Roundtable on Human Rights in Tourism builds a trusted network of currently 34 tourism stakeholders from six countries is launching "A Guide for Tour Operators to Put People First". "The tourism industry sends travellers all over the world and maintains economic relations accordingly. A boycott cannot be the solution - but it is the responsibility, also Expert talk
Tuesday, 28 March 2023, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CESTof small and medium-sized enterprises to act with special care and attention when offering tours to oppressive regimes." Register here
Bali will ban foreign tourists from riding motorbikes after several tourists broke traffic laws.
Scotland & Gaelic In the last year, there has been a huge increase in Gaelic interest on VisitScotland.com with the number of users visiting Gaelic-related content rising by 151 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021.
India Storytelling is a powerful tool for promoting responsible tourism, as it influences people's emotions, perceptions, and behaviours. To effectively leverage the power of storytelling in promoting responsible tourism, Indian cities need to choose stories that reflect the unique cultural and historical heritage of their place in all its rich diversity
Spain: Selfies are banned during the world-famous Running of the Bulls festival in the Spanish city of Pamplona.
Taiwan has announced plans to reward tourists who holiday there.
Saudi Arabia is promoting green investments in the tourism sector so that sustainability is no longer an afterthought but a top priority, and charting a future where innovative solutions in renewable energy, eco-hospitality, circular economy technologies, automated systems, and smart mobility become the new norm.
Hawaii "Survey finds 57% of Hawaii residents say tourism brings more benefits than problems"
The Lake Tahoe Visitor's Authority (LTVA) is part of the Destination Stewardship team "working to balance the needs of the environment, businesses, visitors, and local communities. It is a new shared strategy that will inspire everyone to take care of Tahoe, and "not love it to death."
VisitScotland's Chair, John Thurso, ‘Responsible tourism is about much more than economics’
Goa is planning to change its offer and its image. "When we talk about a safe and secure Goa, we need to ensure that the tourist who is coming in feels safe and secure and can move around without fear. At the same time, we want the tourists coming in to be quite responsible in whatever they are doing. Goa shouldn’t be looked at in terms of vices or as a sin city – getting drunk sometimes, consuming drugs somewhere".
The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub, which provides easy links to the RT Partnership.
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