Responsible Tourism

From Responsible Tourism:


Responsible Tourism is about taking responsibility, responding, taking action to address the social, economic and environmental issues of sustainability that arise in destinations. It is about doing something about it. It is about, making a difference.

It is in destinations that tourists and local communities interact in the local natural and socio-cultural environment. It is in destinations that tourism needs to be managed in order to minimise negative impacts and to maximise positive ones. The management of tourism in destinations cannot be reduced to the environmental agenda, it is as important to consider the economic and social issues that arise in destinations.

Our world's destinations are diverse reflecting the natural diversity of our planet and the wealth of cultures that have arisen as people evolved in different environments and with particular histories, cultures and understanding of the world and of our place in it. Responsible Tourism celebrates that diversity and recognises that whilst destinations can learn from what has been done elsewhere, all solutions are local requiring the engagement of a unique set of stakeholders. Issues and priorities vary from place to place, only solutions which address the particularities are likely to be successful. These defining characteristics of particular places and communities, the very reasons that make them different from where we live and therefore worth visiting, must be addressed if effective solutions are to be implemented. 

South Africa was the first country to adopt an explicitly Responsible Tourism strategy, challenging the stakeholders to take responsibility for developing forms of tourism that would benefit the new South Africa. 

The first International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations took place in Cape Town in August 2002 as a side event of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. It was this international conference attended by 280 delegates from 20 countries which passed the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations which founded a movement which challenges all stakeholders to engage with the issues which arise in destinations and to do what they can to address them.

2002 The Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations
2008 The Kerala Declaration on the roles of stakeholders 
2009 The Belize Declaration on cruising, second homes, climate change, local economic development and tourism's impacts in the coastal zone.
2010 October 10-12 Oman
2011 June 27-29 Edmonton, Canada 
2012 Brazil
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