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RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 04/2022

April 13, 2022
Harold Goodwin
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  1. Climate Change 
  2. WTM Responsible Tourism Awards
  3. Victoria Falls - a new kind of DMO?
  4. Responsible Tourism Track at ITB Berlin
  5. Resilience in The Gambia 
  6. P&O Ferry Service Suspension 
  7. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance launches its "Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the Planet."  
  8. Mallorca: zero-tolerance of student anti-social behaviour 
  9. Chasing Lions 
  10. Miscellany

The 2022 WTM Global  Responsible Tourism Awards are open for entries,  destinations and businesses can enter, and you can nominate others on the WTM global hub.  
The India Awards are open until 30 June and the Rest of the World category, open to all, is open until 31 August. The Gold winners in Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of the World Awards are automatically entered into the Global Awards presented at WTM London in November. 

2022 RT Events
June 5-12  Responsible Tourism  Summer School, Finland  Jyväskylä, Central Finland & Helsinki
The 15th International Conference on Responsible Tourism takes place June 9-10   Advancing Responsible Tourism
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  1. Climate Change
    António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations is spelling it out "The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home. more  Back in August, Guterres described the previous IPCC report as "a code red for humanity" adding ""If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success." There is a chasm between the fine words and policies and the lack of action to tackle climate change. As Queen Elizabeth  pointed out COP26, "It is very irritating when they talk - but don't do."
    The latest IPCC report calls for "rapid, deep and immediate" cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, CO2must peak within three years to stave off the worst impacts. If all current policies were fully implemented, the world will still warm by 3.2C this century. Guterres struggles to hold leaders to account: "Some government and business leaders are saying one thing - but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic." more
    The amount of CO2 that the world has emitted in the last decade is the same amount that's left to us to stay under the 1.5°C threshold. We have not even dented the upward curve in greenhouse gas emissions
    The IPCC Report presents a pessimistic picture for the future of the aviation industry: " “the literature does not support the idea that there are large improvements to be made in the energy efficiency of aviation that keep pace with the projected growth in air transport"; and "CO2 mitigation of aviation to ‘net zero’ levels, as required in 1.5 ºC emission scenarios, requires fundamental shifts in technology, fuel types, or changes of behaviour or demand".
    In the UK the threshold for declaring a heatwave has been raised by the Met Office.  Eight counties have had these limits raised by the forecaster by 1°C. more

  2. WTM Responsible Tourism Awards

    WTM Latin America Responsible Tourism Award winner 2022

    The Africa and Latin AmericaResponsibleTourism Awards have been presented and the Gold winners will go through to the Global Awards to be presented at WTM London in November. The judges always explain why we recognise the business and destinations we do.

    Glynn O'Leary, (Transfrontier Parks Destinations), Derek Hanekom (former Minister of Tourism South Africa), Harold Goodwin (Chair of Judges) and Ruth Crichton (Grootbos) Ruth and Glynn both collected Judges Awards for their outstanding achievements in Responsible Tourism.

    The WTM  Africa Responsible Tourism Award winners are here
    Grootbos and Transfrontier Parks Destinations were recognised with prestigious Judges' Awards for their outstanding contributions to Responsible Tourism. Only five such awards have been presented two in India and three in Africa.
    The WTM Latin America Responsible Tourism Award winners are here.

    The 2022 WTM World Awards are still open. The India Awards are open until 30th June and the World Awards until 31st August. All the Gold winners in the four regional Awards are entered into the WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards presented at WTM London in November. Enter Here
    The judges can only select from amongst those businesses and destinations that enter, if you know of a great example of Responsible Tourism in action please encourage them to apply


  3. Victoria Falls - a new kind of DMO?
    We are Victoria Falls won Silver in the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards. They explain why winning matters to them and what they did to earn recognition.
    The experience of working together as "one big family" to survive the impacts of the pandemic has created a new grassroots organisation which the judges expect to gain in strength and manage tourism at the Vic Falls responsibly. Watch their video about what they did to survive here.  The judges explained their reasons for recognising them "We Are Victoria Falls' (WAVF) is a grassroots organisation representing the tourism community. When Covid struck tourism ceased and the 80% of the community reliant on it were without livelihoods. Their objectives were to build solidarity, inspire their community to support each other, and tell “real, truthful and inspiring stories” to recover as a destination. Building this narrative and encouraging their community to 'live it' is an important part of boosting morale and positioning their offer in the market - embodying the concept 'better places to live are better places to visit'. We wanted to inspire ourselves, inspire other resource-strapped destinations, and future visitors to our unique hometown.” 180 stakeholders joined large, small, formal and informal. WAVF focused 'on solidarity, community commitment to tourism and health preparedness'. In-kind contributions have been made by ~100 different organisations which have sponsored community initiatives, programmes, or volunteered time, resources, transport, or equipment. WAVF engaged 100 local residents to create a week-long event 'Visit your Backyard', providing a morale boost and build solidarity with other industry players”. Stakeholders in and around Hwange National Park have subsequently formed the "Association for Tourism Hwange" and Kariba stakeholders have been in discussions about how they can create a similar initiative."


     

  4. Responsible Tourism Track at ITB Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research and Professor of Earth System Research at the University of Potsdam, in his keynote speech at the Responsible Tourism Track pointed out that humankind is currently on a “path to disaster”, but if, instead of slow changes, there is a radical response to climate protection, it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research at Euromonitor International,  presented a keynote speech “From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation” At ITB there was a discussion about “Carbon neutrality is not enough“ and ’From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation’, there were discussions about refugee aid, diversity, LGBTQ+, and the impacts of the pandemic on informal workers in the sector. more


  5. Resilience in The Gambia
    The Gambia in West Africa closed it borders for nearly a year to keep Covid out. Adama Bah discusses how the people fared. It is clear that with remittances from the Gambian diaspora amounting to nearly 60% of GDP during the Covid lockdowns and a strong sense of responsibility for the welfare of all within the family The Gambia has proved very resilient. Tourism is 20% of the economy in normal times, closing their borders to fend off Covid cost the country dear. The Gambia survived and recovered from the coup and travel bans in 1994, Ebola in West Africa in 2014 and most recently Covid. 13% of the population are now fully vaccinated and they have not yet passed 365 deaths. The Gambia has reopened for tourism with 30% occupancy. But most of those coming are repeat visitors which means that they do not spend much on craft. The Gambia is a culturally and socially rich country despite the low level of income per head. Resilience in The Gambia is based on the closely-knit family and the extended family system. Everyone is their other' brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and that obligation continues with the diaspora, the emigres are expected to contribute to their immediate and extended family. As the African proverb goes it takes a whole village to bring up a child. more


  6. P&O Ferry Service Suspension
    On 17th March P&O Ferries sacked 800 staff. "Reports of workers being given zero notice and escorted off their ships... shows the insensitive way in which P&O have approached this issue," said Robert Courts, parliamentary under-secretary for transport. Courts, the junior minister, said. "I am extremely concerned and frankly angry at the way workers have been treated by P&O." Mr Courts said the company had told him it will be suspending services for "a week to 10 days while they locate new crew" on the Dover to Calais, Larne to Cairnryan, Dublin to Liverpool and Hull to Rotterdam routes. P&O Ferries is one of the UK's leading ferry companies, carrying more than 10 million passengers a year before the pandemic and about 15% of all freight cargo in and out of the UK. P&O claimed almost £15m in government grants in 2020, which included furlough payments for its employees. more  As this newsletter goes to print the P&O Ferry services across the channel are still suspended, P&O are apparently still unable to demonstrate that they can operate safely. Operation Brock is functioning with lorries parked on the M20 contributing to congestion across Kent.


  7.  Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA)  launches its "Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the Planet."
    The Pathway is designed to enable every hotel around the world to aim for net positive environmental impacts, whatever their starting point. "The Pathway provides a practical, four-stage guidance framework as a free resource that supports all parts of the hospitality value chain to progress in a cohesive, strategic manner. It includes detailed action guidance for hotel operators, brands and asset owners, applicable to both single or multi-unit organisations. Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance describes the ambition: “Our Pathway fills the current vacuum of a co-ordinated and focussed strategic plan across the hospitality industry to tackle the urgently needed climate actions. It is a practical tool for any hotel, no matter their starting point, to obtain guidance on how to prioritise and sequence targeted and measurable climate actions. The Alliance wants to encourage all hotels to embrace the journey all the way to net positive. We are spearheading the dialogue beyond having ‘zero’ impact and setting a vision for what we can be putting back into the natural world with a lasting ‘positive’ impact on our planet and its people.”
    The first two stages of the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality launched in March 2022. The final two stages of the Pathway will be released later in 2022 after further consultation to account for the changing landscape and fully explore the more complex challenges.  The Pathway


  8. Mallorca: zero-tolerance of student anti-social behaviour
    The behaviour of Spanish students from the mainland holidaying in Mallorca remains an issue of concern for the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, the Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association and the Aviba association of travel agencies in the Balearics. They are promoting a  message of "zero tolerance" towards bad behaviour is to be promoted ahead of the coming season. "The objective is not to put the image of the destination at risk, so the current regulations against this type of behaviour will be strictly applied against those who break the law or who behave in an anti-social manner." more


  9. Chasing Lions
    Amanda Marks of  Tribes Travel has published her second book.
    "When Amanda is mugged by a gang of schoolkids, she knows things have to change. She decides to go in search of her inner lion. It proves to be a bruising experience both physically and mentally. But she perseveres and surprises herself by becoming a truck-driving tour leader in the bohemian and male-dominated world of overland expeditions. Over three years and 55,000 miles, Amanda faces her feelings of inadequacy as she strives to discover her roar. On her journey, she watches the moon rise over the Serengeti and the sun set behind Egypt’s pyramids, she rafts with Zambezi river gods and communes with gorillas, she faces lions in the wild, has her fortune told by a crab sorcerer . . . and meets her soulmate?


  10. Miscellany
    Disability-friendly travel: the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is celebrating a decade of commitment to developing  barrier-free tourism
    The Best Sustainability Resources: Knowledge for Responsible Hoteliers more
    Uganda has broken away from the traditional safari narrative, the new message is to not just visit Uganda’s sights, but to stay longer and explore its diverse corners beyond the gorillas and the Big 5.
    John Pagani CEO of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) and AMAALA, points out that “Sustainability is more expensive, at least today, but competition will ultimately drive cost down, making sustainability more available.”  more
    The GCC  is poised to develop as a major destination market for global tourism with sustainability and regeneration ambitions more
    In Scotland, Caithness and Sutherland tourism group launches 'Breathing Space’ campaign more
    In Pakistan: Irresponsible tourism and littering is a constant threat to the mesmerising environment of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), which is home to numerous species of flora and fauna.
    Keep Scotland Unspoiled will use social media, local radio and digital marketing to educate, inspire and inform people about issues such as water safety, fire safety, dog control and the need to adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
    From Petra to the Dead sea and Dana, Jordan, a new ‘Meaningful Travel Map’ guides visitors away from tourism hotspots to ensure their money is well spent across the country and their visit is enriched too. more
    The Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITToG) have launched a manual for Community Based Tourism (CBT) in The Gambia. more
    Undertourism Is Also Bad For Our Planet: Here’s How You Can HelpA dearth of tourists may mean fewer protections for natural habitats, so spend your dollars wisely. more

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