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RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 07/ 2021

August 11, 2021
Harold Goodwin
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  1. Climate Change: now we need to mitigate and adapt
  2. Biodiversity 
  3. Travelling  in a Covid World 
  4. Ethical Employment 
  5. Developments in Aviation 
  6. Diversity Matters
  7. Why RT Awards Matter
  8. Better Tourism - Better Holidays 
  9. Local Economic Development through tourism
  10. Miscellany

Apply & Nominate here.

2021 RT Events
October 8 WTM Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
October 14 Cornwall  Sustainable Tourism Symposium
November 1-3 WTM London


The next edition of RT News will be out at the beginning of September
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  1. Climate Change: now we need to mitigate and adapt
    Wildfires in Greece have reached Athens fuelled by high temperatures and drought, in Turkey tourists have been evacuated alongside locals and in Italy, hundreds have been evacuated from hotels, campsites and homes across the Italian city of Campomarino Lodi, in the region of Molise. Sicily has declared a state of emergency to last six months as fires burn through the island.
    Emissions from our burning of fossil fuels have raised average temperatures by 1.2°C, additional energy in the atmosphere results in longer hotter heatwaves and heat domes, more persistent droughts, more wildfires and more extreme rainfall events. The failure of our species to tackle greenhouse gas emissions has proven expensive and deadly.  The science is explained here.  It is no longer enough to talk about mitigation – we need to begin to invest in adaptation. The crisis is upon us. It is time to adapt to climate change. Climate change is a business risk for our sector with flooding and storms destroying destinations and people fleeing the heat, seasonability is changing. And further global warming is baked in. We have not yet even slowed the rate of growth let alone begun to reverse it. The IPCC Report released this week is very soberingHeat can be deadly. "High temperatures prompt the human body to produce sweat, which cools the skin as it evaporates. But when sky-high humidity is also involved, evaporation slows down and eventually stops. That point comes when the so-called the wet-bulb temperature—a measure that combines air temperature and humidity—reaches 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit)."  Scientific American

    Having failed to mitigate we must now also adapt to climate change


     

  2. Biodiversity
    Nature positive travel  Tourism businesses are being asked to join the journey towards the new global goal for nature (the equivalent of net-zero for carbon), which is to be nature positive by 2030.  Metrics for this goal will be available next year, but in the meantime, travel companies are being asked to act now and signal their support for nature - those that do will be featured on nature day at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow.    Justin Francis from Responsible Travel and the UK's Council for Sustainable Business have created a Nature Handbook for Business, where you can read 25 key actions that the travel industry can take and sign up for the journey to nature positive 2030.
    The UN has set out a Paris-style plan to cut the species extinction rate by a factor of 10. The text is to be agreed in Kunming at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), COP 15 in October. Goals for the middle of the century include reducing the current rate of extinctions by 90%, enhancing the integrity of all ecosystems, valuing nature’s contribution to humanity and providing the financial resources to achieve the vision. more
     


     

  3. Travelling  in a Covid World
    As the WHO repeatedly reminds us none of us is safe until all are safe. Covid is far from over. Current data is available here   The US, India and Brazil have seen the highest number of confirmed cases, followed by Russia, France, the UK and Turkey. Very few places have been left untouched. Variants of concern continue to emerge. There is a complex patchwork of open and closed borders, test and quarantine requirements which are often expensive, confusing and subject to change at short notice. And there is always the risk of being required to self-isolate abroad
    In Uttarakhand after photographs and video of tourists flouting Covid norms in Kempty Falls, Mussoorie and Nainital went viral on social media platforms. The authorities asked over 5,000 tourists to turn back from Nainital city due to lack of parking space and tourists' failure to provide valid RT-PCR negative reports and the administration has now decided to completely prohibit the entry of two-wheelers into the main city on the weekends.
    In the UK an independent survey of the travel & tourism industry found that 68.4% of respondents believe that there will be a shortage of workers and 58.1% say they aren’t considering returning when the industry is fully operational 42.1% also said they knew of colleagues who have decided to leave the sector since the onset of COVID-19. 


     

  4. Ethical Employment
    In August 2020 Qatar's Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs introduced a non-discriminatory minimum wage and removing the No-Objection Certificate requirement to change jobs for employees. ILO
    The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance estimates that 10% of private-sector forced labour occurs in accommodation and food serves, some 1.6m people. "Recruiting across borders enables hotels to find the talent and skills needed and fill gaps in the local labour market.  Recruitment processes and workers’ journeys differ. All of them may present risks to workers, especially when recruitment is done without due diligence throughout the recruitment and migration process."
    This initiative brings together recruitment agencies in countries of origin, hotel companies in countries of destination, and local governments to:
    i) Support recruitment agencies in adopting ethical recruitment practices
    ii) Raise awareness and increase commitment across the sector
    iii) Develop hospitality-specific training and tools on implementing ethical recruitment
    iv) Create guidance for hotel companies operating in countries of destination
    v) Improve access to information for hotel workers throughout their recruitment journey. In July this year the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance with support from the US Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration,  launched a multi-year partnership to promote ethical recruitment and the protection of migrant workers in the tourism industry. This partnership will leverage the multi-stakeholder model of the IOM’s IRIS: Ethical Recruitment initiative to promote regular pathways for migrant workers and protect them throughout the labour migration process. It will target key migration corridors in the Latin America region as well as between East Africa and select States of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
    The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance seeks to promote the human rights of workers in the hospitality industry. It works with the industry and other partners to raise awareness of human rights risks, embed human rights into corporate governance, and address risks arising in the labour supply chain. This includes working to unite the industry behind a set of Principles on Forced Labour. It also provides free tools and training to support the industry to recognise and mitigate human rights risks. more


  5. Developments in Aviation
    The EU has reported favourably on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in its ReFuelEU Aviation strategy document.  However, further doubt has been thrown on the aviation sector's SAF strategy by a recent report from the ICCT which concluded that "even with some incentives and targeted support in place, SAF production covers less than 0.05% of global jet fuel demand. While producing SAF from waste oils is the most technically mature SAF conversion pathway, waste oils are highly resource-constrained and are already largely consumed by the road sector. High near-term targets for SAF blending may only incentivize the diversion of waste oils from existing uses in the road sector, approaching approximately 2% of 2030 jet fuel demand from waste oil alone."
    United plans to buy 15 new supersonic airliners and "return supersonic speeds to aviation" in  2029 which will run entirely on SAF, recognising that there is not enough biodiesel they plan to use power-to--liquid fuel (SAFe).
    Electric aircraft are growing in popularity, United Airlines plans to have them airborne by 2026. United Airlines has signed an agreement to acquire 100 of Heart Aerospace's ES-19 aircraft, a 19-seat electric airliner that has the potential to decarbonize regional air travel. Israel business Eviation Aircraft has a model aircraft that promises 1,000 km of flight time running exclusively on electricity, to be flown in the second half of 2021 and with planned service entry in 2024. The plane, Alice, is powered by a 900kWh lithium battery - more than 65% of the nine-seater plane, capable of flying 650 miles.


     

  6. Diversity Matters
    At WTM London last November there was a panel discussion about racism in tourism and a series of interviews about tourism and diversity
    There is a diversity category in WTM's Global Responsible Tourism Awards this year, closing on 31 August.  We are asking: How inclusive is our industry? We travel to experience other cultures, communities, and places. If everywhere was the same, why travel? Though we seek diversity through travel, we’ve noticed that diversity is not always reflected in the industry that helps others have such experiences. Diversity is a broad term: “identities include, but are not limited to, ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, intellectual differences, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.” We do not expect to find an organisation that has made demonstrable progress on all of these in the last few years. For our industry, it is about who we employ at various levels, who we market to, the way we present the destinations we sell, the range of experiences we promote, and the stories we tell.Tariro Mzezewa is a travel reporter based in New York publishing regularly in the New York Times. She wrote in July about how tourists, particularly Black travellers, are paying close attention to how destinations and travel service providers approach diversity and equity after a year of social justice protests. As Tariro points out "as travel once again picks up, the question of how much travel has really changed has taken on new urgency. She reports that "many travelers are paying close attention to whether companies are following through with their promises from last year. Black travelers, in particular, are doubling down on supporting Black-owned businesses. A survey released earlier this year by the consulting firm MMGY Global found that Black travelers, particularly those in the United States, Canada, Britain and Ireland, are keenly interested in how destinations and travel service providers approach diversity and have indicated that it has an influence on their travel decision-making." more


     

  7. Why RT Awards Matter
    In the Global Responsible Tourism Awards, we are seeking to recognise those who are taking responsibility to use tourism to make the world a better place. We are looking to recognise those that have made a difference and to encourage others to try harder, to thrive and do good.  There is some sage advice, too often ignored: “don’t let the pursuit of the perfect drive out the good.” Too many businesses and destinations choose not to apply, having not yet become as good as they would like to be, carrying a substantial burden of guilt that they have not done even more – they are too modest and fail to recognise the importance of what they have achieved. Only those that enter can win.
    The Awards showcase best practices in the industry.  
    Applying for the Responsible Tourism Awards has real value – the process is for many as valuable as the recognition which comes with being a winner. Iain Harris of CoffeeBeansRoutes explains why they enter the Awards and the business benefits it brings to their business – don’t be put off by the hoodie, Cape Town was freezing when this video was recorded.

  8. Better Tourism - Better Holidays
    Increased domestic tourism has brought problems. Do tourists care about other people? Himachal Pradesh residents have suffered from ugly behaviour by some tourists refusing to distance or wear masks mandatory under Covid norms. In Manali four Punjabi youngsters stopped their vehicle in the middle of the road causing a traffic snarl, and when they were asked by some locals to reverse their vehicle they came out of their vehicles threatening people and brandishing swords.
    Finally, after many false dawns, UNESCO's threat to remove World Heritage Site status from Venice has resulted in a decision by the national government to ban vessels weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from the lagoon from 1 August. More & more  & more

Germany has launched a Feel Good campaign inviting tourists to Feel at home in Germany's nature. Discover more than 130 protected natural landscapes, high-quality cycling and hiking trails and more than 150 excellent health resorts and spas in Germany. All Deutsche Bahn trains are using 100% green electricity in Germany for long-distance transport and 10  sustainable travel tips including taking part in local life and purchasing souvenirs in local markets and in small individual shops..

VisitScotland has launched a protect, respect and enjoy responsibly campaign on domestic TV to run through the peak holiday season: ‘I love it so I look after it’ Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland regional leadership director, said: “The provision of tourism and events should not be solely focused on the needs of our visitors but should also have a positive impact on both communities and the environment. We have an opportunity to reset our plans based on a more responsible future where an increasing number of visitors want their holidays to make a positive contribution to the communities they are visiting.” A UNESCO National Trail in Scotland is planned, a new digital trail to connect 13 UNESCO designations in Scotland to enhance the economic and social well-being of their respective local areas through sustainable tourism encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more locally, improving, in turn, the quality of life of those communities.
In Wales dangerously parked cars have been towed away by authorities in Snowdonia.

9. Local Economic Development through tourism
The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has published its 5th bi-annual report chronicling its economic contributions to growing incomes and jobs, its contribution to GDP, the contribution of cruise and its work with start-ups to develop and grow enterprises. The Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission (RT Mission) has launched an agri-tourism hub scheme to ready 500 farm tourism and 5,000 homestead ventures across Kerala by March 2023 in the first phase of the project. Rupesh Kumar said, “Tourists and others who visit the farms will also be able to directly source the produce, thus laying the groundwork for the formation of a supply chain. The RT Mission will ready farm tourism packages in tandem with local bodies and also help market them." more   The Convention on Biological Diversity has just published "Making Money Local: Can Protected Areas Deliver Both Economic Benefits and Conservation Objectives?"


 

10. Miscellany
♦ peopleandplaces E-volunteering a positive response to Covid 19
♦ Holly Tuppen on How to plan a holiday that benefits everyone involved – including the planet
Table Mountain is inviting all learners to explore its Class in the Clouds enabling students and teachers to trade their classrooms for a fun day of interactive learning at the top of the mountain.
330 kilos of recycled waste converted into 'Calpe' sign installed at Arenal-Bol beach in the Marina Alta, Alicante province.
The Regeneration Collection has launched a competition to accelerate the development of regenerative properties & destinations around the world. An international event for undergraduates in  Hospitality, Conservation & Architecture to design accommodation to actively restore the local environment and its communities and create a unique guest experience.
Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) is a Hotelschool The Hague initiative that aims to enhance the evolution of sustainable hospitality.
♦ At Stonehenge, campaigners have won a court battle to prevent the "scandalous" construction of a road tunnel near Stonehenge.


Obituary
Roger Heape
was managing director of BA Holidays, and a prominent advocate of responsible tourism, which to him meant respect not just for the environment but for the economy of tourist regions and the legitimate rights of both native peoples and tourists themselves. He was instrumental in creating the Travel Foundation in 2003, and chaired it in 2008-09. more


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