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RT News: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 08/2022

August 15, 2022
Harold Goodwin
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1. Hydrogen  is the step change aviation needs
2. The ICRT India's Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented in Bhopal on September 7th

3. RT at WTM London 7-9 November
4. Now, we must adapt to Climate Change
5. Overtourism
6. The Travel Corporation (TTC)
7. Consumer Trends
8. Conscious Travel in Kerala
9. The power of the British passport has plummeted – and it's causing chaos
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 Rest of the World region, open to all, is open until 31 August. The Gold winners in each region are automatically entered into the Global Awards presented at WTM London in November. Free to enter, we look for tried and tested solutions that work for destinations and businesses, solutions that make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit – in that order.

Hedonic Sustainability, together with Positive Psychology and Experience Economy, are the foundation of Meaningful Tourism. The Hedonic sustainability approach, which was developed by the Meaningful Tourism Center and its founder Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS, is based on the work of the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who in 2011 first coined the term Hedonistic Sustainability, with the basic idea that sustainability can and should be pleasurable.  Award Applications can be submitted until September 30th, 2022. The application is free of charge. ENTER HERE 

Are We There Yet?: Traveling More Responsibly with Your Children Rachel Dodds  & Richard Butler,  just published This book will help you make responsible and sustainable choices before, during and after your trip. It will also help you to navigate travelling with children and will give you tips and inspiration for how to raise resilient, responsible kids who will grow to love travel as much as you do!

Jobs: Head of Access and Inclusion Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership - Gloucestershire, making it easier for people to use sustainable transport details

1. Hydrogen  is the step change aviation needs

Large parts of the aviation industry continue to resist the step change to hydrogen, preferring to continue with business as usual looking to add biofuels to kerosene. But hydrogen is gaining ground.

"We have always said that radical action is needed to address aviation’s climate impact." Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet


  • "Commercial traffic has increased nearly four times faster than fuel efficiency improvement, and passenger aircraft CO2 emissions increased 33% between 2013 and 2019. Additionally, the large share of emissions from premium seating suggests that carbon pricing for aviation could be improved and made more equitable by reflecting the emissions increase from passengers in first class and business class."
  • Solar-kerosene Scientists have developed a process using sunlight and air to create carbon-neutral jet fuel using sunlight and air. The fuels release as much carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted as they absorb from the atmosphere when produced, so no additional CO2 emissions are generated. Researchers, led by Aldo Steinfeld, Professor of Renewable Energy Sources at ETH Zurich, have developed an industrial plant that extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) and water from the air. Solar energy is then used to split these compounds and produce syngas - a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This is then further processed to create kerosene and methanol which can be used as a substitute for traditional fuels. more
  • H2Zero, easyJet has partnered with Rolls-Royce to develop a hydrogen combustion engine capable of powering a range of aircraft including those in the narrow-body market segment.
  • Flying is a minority activity. ". Just 11% of the global population took a flight in 2018 and at most 4% took an international flight. Even in the UK, over half of people didn't fly at all in a given year, even before the pandemic. Around the globe, most flights are taken by a tiny minority of frequent flyers. What would a flying-free world look like?

2. The ICRT India's Responsible Tourism Awards will be presented in Bhopal on September 7th

Last year businesses and destinations in India won four of the six categories in the Global Responsible Tourism Awards.
The 2021 ICRT Inda Responsible Tourism Awards  These awards are organised by the ICRT India and are part of the WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards.
In Bhopal on September 7th, 19 businesses and destinations will be awarded Gold, Silver or One to Watch. Next month RT News will carry the winners, and on the India RT Awards page, the judges will give their reasons. The list of 19 being recognized this year is online on the Responsible Tourism  Partnership website. 

There is an international symposium on Responsible Tourism in Madhya Pradesh  The full programme of RT activities can be found here 

3. RT at WTM London 7-9 November
The programme of the Responsible Tourism sessions at WTM London in November is now online. The Rest of the World and Global Awards will be presented on Monday afternoon. There are interviews with Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight at The Travel Corporation (TTC) and Garry Wilson, CEO at easyJet holidays. There are four panels

  • Why Responsible Tourism Makes Business Sense
  • There is increasing awareness of global warming. How can businesses best respond and avoid greenwashing?
  • Growing Consumer Demand for Responsible Tourism
  • Our world is diverse, but how diverse and inclusive are our businesses?
  • Responsible Marketing – securing the business advantage

4. Overtourism

Calanques are narrow, steep-walled inlets found in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata along the Mediterranean coast. They are major tourist attractions. "The sites find themselves with overflowing rubbish bins, hollowed-out hiking trails, more frequent landslides and nearly 400kg of pebbles a day getting carried away from beaches. Marseille’s Calanques National Park now limits the number of people who can visit the Sugiton and Pierres Tombées calanques to 400 a day and on Corsica, the Lavezzi islands, the Bavella Needles mountain ridge and the Restonica valley have all introduced daily quotas.  "With overtourism of these areas comes irresponsible tourism. People take selfies on the edge of cliffs and fall down. La Dépêche reported that two women died earlier this year after falling from the edge of the Cliffs of Étretat earlier this year." more  There is more on Skift & Instagram  & France 24

In India, Reckless Tourists Threaten Nature! From Mumbai’s Mahim Beach to Ladakh’s Pangong Tso Lake,..  Recent Incidents of Irresponsible Tourism

The number of holiday let homes in England is up 40% in three years. Inflated property prices are pushing established residents out of many areas. No fault evictions in the private rented sector is destabilising family life. more  “Incomers” second homes and inequality in Wales

In Sorrento, Italy,  people are now prohibited from appearing in public bare-chested or in revealing swimwear with fines as high as 500 euros. Mayor Massimo Coppola has said "No more indecent behavior," ..  "Sorrento is increasingly recognized in the world as the capital of tourism and high-quality hospitality, and these behaviors can cause an element of discomfort for Sorrento and for residents and tourists." In Playa de Palma, eleven restaurants imposed a dress code in June banning customers wearing football jerseys or going shirtless. more

5. Now, we must adapt to Climate Change

There are still many in denial about climate change and many more procrastinating and hoping that others will take responsibility and reduce their carbon emissions. We would all prefer others to bear the cost of reducing emissions. At COP 26 there were many declarations of intent but we are failing to deliver the action promised. On 19th July 40ºC was recorded for the first time in the UK. Dr Friederike Otto of Imperial College London, who leads the World Weather Attribution group, told BBC News "We would not have had last week's temperatures without climate change, that's for sure," she said. These temperatures are at least 2C higher but the real number is probably closer to 4C higher than a world without human-caused climate change, she explained.

The New York Times published a map showing the difference between temperatures in Europe on July 19th and the average July 19 temperature 1979-2000. Across a large part of northern France, the Benelux and the UK it was this year 20ºF (6.6ºC) hotter. The New York Times also reports that Europe is likely a heatwave hot spot At least five EU countries declared states of emergency or red alerts, and deadly wildfires in France, Portugal, Spain, Croatia and Greece forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. In Spain, temperatures topped 45°C, wildfires destroyed 70,000 hectares of land; and in Portugal, the highest mainland temperature ever (47°C) was recorded in Pinhão. More than 1,000 deaths were attributed to the heatwave in Portugal & Spain. In the UK  20 homes were destroyed by fire in Wennington, east London, mayor Sadiq Khan said it was the London Fire Brigade’s busiest day since the Second World War. Trains were cancelled for fear of buckling rails, flights at Luton airport were suspended when the runway melted

In the UK birds lay their eggs three weeks earlier,  and sea levels on the UK coast are rising faster, they are now rising by 3-5.2mm a year, which is more than double the rate of increase in the early part of last century. Around 500,000 homes are at risk from flooding, scientists say. more Forecasters for the Met Office, Royal Meteorological Society and BBC said they faced "trolling" from the public as they sought to warn people about the recent record-breaking heat. more

6. The Travel Corporation (TTC)
Back in May, the TTC published the group's first sustainability impact report with strong links to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the travel experience it offers. Their review of How We Tread Right reported on progress across their 41 brands to advance TTC's ambition to  "make travel matter" by "shaping" a brighter future for the travel industry, the local people and communities it visits, the planet and wildlife". TTC developed 554 Make Travel Matter Experiences across its itineraries, offered 65 trips to 110 developing regions and assessed more than 400 wildlife experiences to ensure 100% compliance with its Animal Welfare Policy. Download the report here 

Recognising that diversity is the foundation of meaningful travel the TTC has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy designed to "create a work environment that allows our team members to thrive as their true selves." Contiki has Pride Trips,  Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has partnered with R Family Vacations to host chartered cruises for LGBTQI+ individuals and allies. Insight Vacations' Wander Women Journeys, women-only tours designed by women, and Trafalgar's Journey Along the Civil Rights Trail tour highlight how travel can be designed to increase representation and share of authentic voices. And TreadRight supports Rainbow RailroadLakota Youth Development, and Pathways Project in their work to lift up marginalized communities and increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry.

7. Consumer Trends

Expedia's Sustainable Travel Study found that half of consumers would be willing to pay more for transportation, activities,​ and lodging if the option​ was more sustainable, demonstrating the opportunity for travel providers and marketers to be surfacing more sustainable options for travelers and that that two-thirds of consumers want to see more information on sustainability from lodging and transportation providers, and half of consumers want to see this information from destination organizations.
Sunny Fitzgerald, in a piece in the Washington Post, points out that  "When it comes to green travel, impact matters more than words."  It's actions that matter. Tim Williamson marketing director of Responsible Travel,  “Impact is more important than semantics,”  “The labels are different, but when you boil it down, they’re part of the same movement: They all share the ambition to make tourism better. It’s the substance behind the term that really matters.” Tim Williamson cautions "“be a bit critical. Don’t just accept terms or certification schemes — look behind the labels at the actual policies.”
Aditi Mohapatra, Vice President of Global Social Impact & Sustainability at Expedia Group reports that “According to [their] research, 65% of travelers are more willing to book with travel providers that identify their practices as inclusive.  Travelers, partners, and communities are seeking more responsible choices, and are looking to us for resources and inspiration,” There is a full list of Expedia's initiatives and progress to date hereExpedia's research found that 38% of respondents said that they deliberately spend at locally owned restaurants and businesses, 21% that they will tip more than usual and 37% that they are prepared to pay higher prices. Expedia's Annual Global Impact Report. 

8. Conscious Travel part of RT in Kerala
Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said the State has decided to encourage travellers to take relatively longer trips to a destination and stay there for a brief period, mingling with the local populace and experiencing the local cuisine, culture and products manufactured in the region. "The monsoon in Kerala is one of the best aspects that can be promoted as a conscious travel product. Tourists will get a chance to see the rain-soaked rustic beauty of Kerala, along with witnessing the different shades of the monsoon and undergoing holistic Ayurvedic wellness treatment through this concept,” Rupesh Kumar, of the RT Mission reports that  42,000 tourists visit 15  farms in four months, netting a revenue of ₹28 lakh.  RT is about connecting to a place and doing something purposeful and beneficial for the local community, the trend towards experiential travel has helped secure support for Responsible Tourism. The Hindu

9. The power of the British passport has plummeted – and it's causing chaos
Nick Trend has written in the Daily Telegraph about the decline of the British passport. According to the Henley Passport Index, it was in 2010 ranked as the most powerful in the world. It has plunged this year to joint-13th below Singapore, Spain and Luxembourg, although it is apparently more powerful than a US passport. Since the referendum in 2016 some 360,000 UK Passport holders applied for EU passports –and only nine EU countries revealed the data. There is more about blue passports and delays here on TravelTomorrow,  Little Englanders, Passports and Chaos 

10. Miscellany 

  • The Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority has produced a “White Paper on Responsible Tourism in Monaco” to ensure optimal management of resources, using eco-friendly transportation, renewable energy resources and the use of sustainable infrastructure.  more
  • Promoting the Business of Conservation Tourism in Southeast Asia download
  • STREET (Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism) projects are being developed in 10 communities across Kerala inspired by "Tourism for Inclusive Growth"  more
  • Kerala: Kasaragod farm sows the seed of flourishing tourism, the farm in Madikai panchayat sports over 300 wild trees, mostly native and fruit-bearing.  The farm has cows, goats, chickens, ducks, fish, and birds. and a huge pond in which visitors can swim for hours together.  The Hindu
  • 'Appooppanthaadi' is a women-only travel group based in Kerala
  • Over 2,000 eateries, most of them family-run, are part of Responsible Tourism Mission’s network in Kerala The Hindu
  • Village Life Experiences in Kerala now attracting domestic tourists, they are mostly focused on agri-tourism, village life and cultural experiences. New Indian Express
  • Early Lessons From Vancouver Island Tourism’s Shift From Marketer to Social Enterprise Skift

The next edition of RT News will be out in September 
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