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Views on Responsible Tourism (2008)

In March 2008 Planeta.com conducted a survey on responsible tourism. Results were presented at the Second International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Kerala, India. Here are excerpts from the survey responses:

What do you understand responsible tourism to be?

an approach to tourism development and delivery that balances the needs of the guest, host supplier, host community and natural environment.
it is a form of tourism where tourists get involved and contribute positively towards the destination that they visit. it may be in any form, as long as it sustains the original destination as a whole.
First and foremost: respectful Also a great opportunity to learn from each other
It should be something between Cooperation and Tourism. Very sustainable which means that it has to have a social and environmental approach. It is very important that is not based on MKT issues. Respect for planet and cultures is the most important. Adapting economical needs for inhabitants of countries and ethnics, not for governments.
respect for environment and socially fair behaviour of tourists and industry with local people, local culture and local economy
Responsible tourism is treating others the way they wish to be treated. While tourism campaigns have long touted ‘destinations’ — in fact we are simply entering a place that is someone else’s home. Said Transitions Abroad founder Clay Hubbs in a 2004 interview: “The golden rule is more and more recognized as the first rule of travel and adventure travel and I’m told that group organizers are rewarded by their customers for observing it.” Perhaps responsible tourism goes a step further, to what is called the Platinum Rule – treating others the way they wish to be treated. The work ahead lies in connecting top-down and grassroots efforts. Responsible travel means extending solidarity over time. Efforts that lack continuity, even if developed with good intentions, can make situations worse.
– a way for developing tourism industry sustain ably. Not only for the current benefits, also for the future. – considering local people as the priority and tourists second
something that teaches to the tourists to respect the environment and the place where they go to spend the holiday
See the Cape Town Declaration: minimizes negative economic, environmental, and social impacts; generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry; involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances; makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity; provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues; provides access for physically challenged people; and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
minimizing negative impact on environment, cultures, and host communities while maximizing positive economic impact and education of visitor and host communities alike.
Tourism that involves the participation of local communities and their interests and does not negatively affect the environmental or the local interest and economically benefits the ones that are experiencing the impacts.
Responsible tourism challenges travelers to think about the effects of their travels, then choose to travel with good effects: making friends with people at the destination, sustaining the environment, showing respect for religions and cultures, being eager to learn–and to share.
It is tourism concerned with a balance between economic, social and environmental issues in a country.
it is tourism that is responsible to social, environmental and economical issues for the host country
Responsible tourism is tourism that does not impact the environment, benefits local communities and promotes conservation. Also implies to consume local products from local people
Tourism that actively demonstrates environmental concerns and social responsibility in their community
From the point of view of the traveler, responsible tourism is caring about the impact of your presence and actions.
Low impact, respecting the culture of the local ethnic groups,exchanging proposals for managing resources, water,energy,garbage to improve their efficiency,health and cope with the world around them.

How do you think responsible tourism can be introduced in specific locals and countries?

By example – to attract the attention of the business community that drives 80%+ of tourism, we must present a strong economic argument.
making tourists and the local communities aware of the phenomenon and its positive impacts on the sustainability of the destinations.
Locals should value what they are and what they have, should respect themselves and their territory, should be connected and transmit this to the visitors.
Governments have the main responsibility, but also through educating entrepreneurs, professionals and also tourists
Destinations do the best job in developing responsible tourism when they understand they are places and implement and communicate a place-based philosophy that respects locals and visitors. Tourism destinations that divert water from locals to satisfy the hotels cannot be said to be working in a responsible manner. Countries that do not document the development process and promotion in a public manner are not working in a fashion that is accountable to any stakeholder.
by government, organisations and media
specific projects
Government policy framework that is conducive; private sector initiatives (by associations and individual companies); tourism demand for responsible products; NGO interventions
Through education, incentives, pr campaigns.
By presenting the benefits of responsible tourism to the locals and countries and getting them involved as guides, home stays, hostels, restaurants etc
Responsible tourism begins at home. Travelers need to be educated about the issues so they can make the best travel choices. Hosts need to learn more as well. Most of the people in the world are good and they’ll do “the right thing” once they learn.
Bring more awareness on the subject and to minimize poverty in some countries which is directly linked with the development tourism only concerned with profit.
like an important programme that has positive effects
Through education and eventually regulations, but my proposal is encouraging volunteer best practices.
There needs to be government promotion and encouragement for most areas. Assistance from web sites like Planeta, supply support to individuals who introduce these concepts on their own
Responsible tourism can be promoted by making local cultural norms known to visitors, without being preachy.
With the example of an other project that has been functioning for at least 3 years successfully.

What do you think should be the main priority for responsible tourism?

Developing simple check lists for destinations and tourism operators in each sectors that they can address in order to demonstrate that they are acting in a responsible manner. templates and KPI’s are essential.
Keep the biological and cultural balance by engaging tourists in related activities, fostering connection.
People and biodiversity.
environment: that is nature, ecology and society
Communication – improving skills on the ground and on the Web. I would like to see more use of Flickr, YouTube and Slideshare for documenting events such as the Responsible Tourism Conference. Please motivate the participants to begin posting photos, video, powerpoints today!
let people know what exactly is responsible tourism and why is important
stop the exploitation of the local traditions and habits and encourage a new kind of tourism
poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation
to make sure that the ones profiting from responsible tourism are the local communities that live among the environment that is begin impacted. That responsible tourism allows the tourism industry to find a balance between economic profit and environmental protection/conservation.
Create a vision of responsible travel. What does it look like? Sound like? Taste like? Feel like? How exactly do responsible travelers act? Then communicate that vision.
Reduction of poverty in the less developed countries and awareness in the other countries where sometimes is ignorance and not poverty that prevents responsible tourism.
it should benefit host country and local communities
No impact on environment and benefit local community
Protection of the environment
Responsible tourism should promote minimum social and cultural impact.
Education regarding the protection and improvement of their environment.

Message for Responsible Tourism Conference

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