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RT News: WTM Special: Latest Developments in Responsible Tourism 11/2022

November 5, 2022
Harold Goodwin
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  1. The 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter signed on Magna Carta Island on 6th November
  2. The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards
  3. Climate Change is accelerating - how is the industry responding?
  4. Conversations on the Stage at WTM, London 7th & 8th November
  5. India is now the World's Leading Responsible Tourism Destination
  6. Consumer Demand and Marketing Responsible Tourism
  7. Why Responsible Tourism Makes Business Sense.
  8. How diverse is our industry?
  9. Developments in Hospitality
  10. Miscellany

The Responsible Tourism programme at WTM can be found here  It can be downloaded or printed ad a pdf. 

1. The 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter signed on Magna Carta Island on 6th November
The Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations dates to 2002, twenty years on and with an accelerating climate crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity extinction and the 2015 SDGs it was time to revise the Responsible Tourism Movement's statement of purpose. On Magna Carta Island where it is believed King John signed the Magna Carta the 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter was launched. Among those present to celebrate the launch, there was a large group from India, now the world's leading Responsible Tourism destination and people from 14 countries and four continents. As the preamble to the new Charter affirms
"Sustainability is an aspiration. It will only be realised if and when we take responsibility for making tourism sustainable. Responsibility drives sustainability. Responsible Tourism is about "making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit."
The diversity of our world makes travel worthwhile and generates tourism. Few businesses or destinations can address all the issues on the Responsible Tourism agenda. We need to explain why we take responsibility for the things we choose to improve through tourism and the impacts of our efforts."
The new 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter is available here
Faversham is a small market town in Kent on the old Roman road from London to Dover, 50 miles from London. The image of the Magna Carta above is Faversham's 

2. The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards
You will be able to find the full list of those who have been recognized in the Rest of the World region and those Gold winners in the regions who have been recognized as Global Winners will be online on the Responsible Tourism Partnership website from 17:00 on Monday 7th.  Those businesses and destinations recognised in the 2022 WTM Africa  ICRT India Awards &  WTM Latin America are already published, and the Gold winners were entered into the Global Awards. There is this year an Overall Winner in the Global Awards.
The 2023 categories will be announced at the end of the Awards ceremony at WTM. They are

    • Best for Tackling Plastic Waste
    • Best for Meaningful Connections
    • Best for Local Sourcing, Craft and Food
    • Best for Addressing Climate Change
    • Best for Diversity and Inclusion
    • Best for Nature-Positive Tourism

 3. Climate Change is accelerating - how is the industry responding?
There have been many extreme weather events this year, many of them impacting destinations: hotter and longer heatwaves, more persistent droughts & more fuel for wildfires; and more extreme wind and rainfall.  UN Secretary-General António Guterres has pointed out that “There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact,” he told the Guardian in an interview on the eve of the summit. “Because at the present level, we will be doomed.”
Our understanding of what ‘Net-Zero’ means is the heart of the problem. Procrastination has cost us dear. If we had started mitigation in 2000, we could have reduced greenhouse gases by 4% per year and avoided 1.5°C. If we continue failing to reduce emissions, we shall reach really damaging climate change by the end of the decade, as if it is not bad enough already. So far, we have not even dented the curve.
The current consensus is that if we plant enough trees and find ways of sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, we can rapidly halt global warming and achieve ‘net zero.’ This prevalent net-zero by 2050 idea perpetuates “a belief in technological salvation and diminishes the sense of urgency surrounding the need to curb emissions now.” Climate scientists Dyke, Watson and Knorr point out that “the idea of net-zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier “burn now, pay later” approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar.” The carbon we emit now will be warming our planet in 2050. We need to reduce emissions now, offsetting cannot deliver, and carbon capture and storage is still not delivering, and when it does, it will likely be prohibitively expensive.

The UN's Emissions Gap Report for COP27 calls for rapid transformation revealing "that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disaster. "

By the end of 2021, more than 2,200 companies, over a third of the global economy’s market capitalisation, were already working with the Science Based Targets initiative, the SBTi.  Scope 3 emissions are a challenge in all industries. It requires the business to include its scope 3 emissions, those generated by suppliers and end-users. For tourism, the end users include travellers and holidaymakers. Aviation is a major part of our sector and the airlines, the overwhelming majority of them, are pursuing ‘business as usual’ and relying on offsetting. A few tourism companies are moving toward science-based targets. more
We now need to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change - Resilience matters.

Monday 7th Sustainable Stage 12:00 – 13:00 There is increasing awareness of global warming. How can businesses best respond and avoid greenwashing?

With extreme heat waves, bushfires and flooding regularly in the news, there is growing awareness of the consequences and causes of climate change. Last year the UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the last IPCC report as “a code red for humanity”, “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But… there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.” He was damning: “The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”  In this panel, businesses will discuss how they have responded to increasing awareness among consumers of the damage caused by carbon emissions and their expectation that businesses will reduce emissions.

Moderator: Harold Goodwin
Jane Ashton Sustainability Director, easyJet PLC
Gavin Brooking 
UK Managing Director, TOOTbus.
Stelian Iacob, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Therme Group & CEO of Therme Group UK. 
Hazel McGuire, General Manager UK & Ireland, Intrepid
Nadine Pinto, Global Sustainability Manager, The Travel Corporation & TreadRight

4. Conversations on the Stage at WTM, London 7th & 8th November
Harold Goodwin will be in conversation with two tourism business leaders about how we make more progress towards sustainability.

Monday 7th Sustainable Stage 11:30 – 12:00 "How to Treadright" Harold Goodwin, with Shanon Guihan
Shannon Guihan is Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight at The Travel Corporation (TTC), which has 40 brands operating in 70 countries. We shall explore why their Travel Pledge to make travel matter makes business sense, why values matter in travel and tourism and why it makes business sense. Brett Tolman, chair of TTC, writes on their website, “Many expect their travel to be sustainable and are seeking responsible choices, including less environmental impact and helping support communities across the globe, all while ensuring that well-being is top of mind.” We shall explore their 5-year sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right (HWTR), and how and why they support the UN’s development goals.

Tuesday 8th Sustainable Stage 11:30 – 12:00  Outbound Travel and Tourism in 2035
In conversation with Garry Wilson,  Chief Executive Officer - easyJet Holidays

When easyJet Holidays launched in 2019 they sought to be industry leaders in sustainability. Their sustainability strategy aligned with the UN's SDGs and to have a real impact, making meaningful change for the people and places that make easyJet holiday destinations so special. Previously at TUI Garry has been in a senior position in tour operating for 25 years, he has seen a lot of change, but what changes will come in the future? Our conversation will range from changes in aviation ground transportation, accommodation and the visitor experience in an increasingly competitive world. Garry has long been a leader in Responsible Tourism; why does it make business sense and what are the trends that will shape it over the next few years?

5. India is now the World's Leading Responsible Tourism Destination
India has emerged as the world’s leading destination for Responsible Tourism demonstrating what can be achieved when communities, government and businesses work together to make tourism better for all stakeholders. In both Kerala and Madhya Pradesh the Responsible Tourism Missions are reporting in detail on both their efforts and their impacts. These are no longer projects, they are programmes supported and funded by state governments,  working with businesses and communities to deliver real change. In 2021 India won four of the six Global Responsible Tourism Awards presented at WTM, London.

There is more on Responsible Tourism in India here 

At WTM London three states have sessions on Responsible Tourism 

Maharashtra Monday 7th November 15:30 to 16:30 Stand AS470

Kerala 9th November 11:00-11:50 South Gallery SG Room 6

Madhya Pradesh 9th November  12:00 - 12:50 on Stand AS2329
For Madhya Pradesh  “Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit.” The Responsible Tourism Mission’s objective is clearly asserted “Empowering Local Communities Through Tourism.”There is more about Responsible  Tourism in Madhya Pradesh here 

6. Consumer Demand and Marketing Responsible Tourism

There is going demand for Responsible Tourism - don't miss out

Booking.com's 2022 research confirms the trend of recent years:

● 81% of travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 50% saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices

● 59% of travelers say they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived, with 33% revealing that they chose to travel outside of peak season to avoid overcrowding

● Nearly a quarter (23%) say they opted to travel to a destination closer to home over the last 12 months to reduce their carbon footprint

Almost half (49%) still said in response to Booking.com's  2021 survey, that  there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available, with 53% admitting they get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable, for example by not providing recycling facilities

Monday 7th Future Stage 1
3:15-14:00 Growing Consumer Demand for Responsible Tourism
Consumer surveys by Booking.com, Expedia, Euromonitor, IBM, and the Boston Consulting Group reveal a rapidly changing market. Consumers from nearly all source markets, in ever greater numbers, are seeking more sustainable holidays. Increasingly travellers are looking to purchase more sustainable travel opportunities, but they report that these options are difficult to find. In this session, you will hear from industry leaders about the trends and how to respond to them.

Moderator: Tanya Beckett
Matt Callaghan, Director of Customer and Operations, easyJet Holidays
Danielle De Silva, Director of Global Sustainability at Booking.com.
Arvid Singh Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Tourism
Eva Stewart Global Sector Head of Travel & Tourism, YouGov
Chris Warren, CEO My Green Butler

Tuesday 8th Sustainable Stage
12:00 – 13:00 Responsible Marketing – securing the business advantage

“Tall poppy syndrome” is used in Australia and New Zealand to describe the fear that some businesses have about talking about how they make tourism better, they fear that they'll be criticised.  It is an issue for businesses that take responsibility and make tourism better for the environment, nature and local people. Too often, the syndrome discourages businesses and destinations from talking openly about their achievements out of modesty, a sense that they are not yet perfect, or fear of being criticised or sabotaged. In this panel, we’ll explore with businesses which do effectively use their responsibility in their marketing and equip you with the “Dos and Don’ts” for your business. An opportunity to learn from those who have successfully used their sustainability efforts as part of their marketing

Moderator: Harold Goodwin

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Professor and CEO Meaningful Tourism Center.
Ian Corbett, Sustainable Business Manager, TUI
Xavier Font 
Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey
Sarah Habsburg-Lothringen,
 Hotel Marketing Consultant & Founder of The School for Responsible Tourism
Rupesh Kumar  Responsible Tourism Mission, Kerala
Tim Williamson, Customer Director, Responsible Travel

There is more on the market for RT here  & some suggestions on marketing RT here

7. Why Responsible Tourism Makes Business Sense.
There is no one business case for Responsible Tourism - there are several reasons 

Monday 7th November Sustainability Stage 10:30 – 11:25 Panel: Why Responsible Tourism Makes Business Sense
There are multiple reasons why taking responsibility for making tourism better and more sustainable makes business sense. It can enhance product quality and reduce costs; it minimises risk, ensures licence to operate, and reduces staff turnover, reducing training costs and enhancing quality For many it is also the right thing to do. We more often hear about the market advantages, richer, more authentic and guilt-free experiences. Differentiation is valuable to any business, non-price competition can attract new customers, build reputations and encourage referrals and repeats. In this session, you will hear from businesses which have benefitted from taking responsibility

Moderator: Harold Goodwin
Tasha Hayes, Operations Director & Sustainability Officer, Contiki
Glynn O'Leary, Chief Executive, Transfrontier Parks Destinations (TFPD)
Carol Rose, Senior Sustainability Manager, ABTA
Charlotte Wwiebe , Group Sustainability Director, TUI
Claire Whitely, Head of Environment, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

8. How diverse is our industry?

Tuesday 8th November Sustainable Stage 10:30-13:00

10:30 – 11:20 Our world is diverse but how diverse and inclusive are our businesses?
Our industry depends on our world’s diversity; we travel to experience that difference – cultures, nature, climate and landscapes. If everywhere was the same, there would be far less desire to travel and experience the other. There would be fewer business opportunities. But how diverse and inclusive is our industry? In the age of mass travel, it is all too easy to ignore groups with different interests or who are differently abled. Our panellists will share their experience of employing the differently abled and providing travel and itineraries for groups who often feel excluded from the mainstream industry. Pricing, too, is an issue. How can we provide great experiences for families and those with lower incomes?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin
Adama Bah, Director ICRT West Africa
David Meany, Director Partner Marketing, The Travel Corporation
Manisha Pande, Village Ways and ICRT Foundation, India
Gustavo Pinto, ICRT Brazil

9. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance pushes ahead 

Free carbon measurement tool upgraded
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has updated its Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) and is calling on the hospitality industry, including corporate clients and booking platforms, to use common measurement metrics to ensure a transparent and globally comparable approach to carbon, water and waste reporting.  This version was developed with the support of Greenview. It aligns with the latest GHG Protocol guidance and better incorporates. renewable energy. Publicly available carbon emissions factors have also been added to the tool to make it more accessible to all. The use of the HCMI is supported by leading industry organisations including World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), who will incorporate it into the guidance they give to the industry and corporate travel managers.
You can find out more about updates and access the new tool on the HCMI webpage.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) have announced a new strategic partnership between the two organisations to drive advanced ESG efforts within the hotel and hospitality industry. As part of the partnership, AHLA, AHLA Foundation, and the Alliance will amplify and collaborate to support one another's programs and solutions including the AHLA Foundation’s workforce development programs and the No Room for Trafficking campaign, and the Alliance’s social and environmental sustainability tools and resources.

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) – the leading global network in responsible hospitality – and the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) – a charity which helps support a route into work for young people worldwide through free skills training – have signed a co-operation agreement to help further youth employment in the hospitality sector. GTTP works globally to introduce its curricula to Education Departments and local educational communities, offering support through teacher training and helping to build local partnerships to secure work experience and internship opportunities for students. more

10. Miscellany

The next edition of RT News will be out in December 
The Responsible Tourism Hub provides quick links to curated material on Responsible Tourism.
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The URL www.rtp.education takes you directly to the RT Hub, which provides easy links to Responsible Tourism on the WTM websites and RT Partnership.

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Other Responsible Tourism Newsletters

The Sustainabilist UAE
Responsible Cape Town
Climate Change in 7 charts

Responsible Traveller, South Africa
Encounter Africa


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