Nowadays, the words “responsible”, “green” and “sustainable” are finding their way in front of every type of activity that we find on the market. Even though these terms reflect a healthier and compassionate lifestyle, they also attract
a wide number of customers due to the social trend which has swung over to the ethical way of seeing things in everyday life.
Now it is the turn of tourism to get the “ethical treatment”, and the term Responsible Tourism has been circulating in blogs, travel fairs (see WTM responsible tourism day) and other publications for the past few years, and it seems like there is an ever growing database of tourism orientated businesses which are adopting the “responsible” label. Why? Well because it attracts the tourist of course.
Responsible tourism started off as a strategy to use tourism as a tool to alleviate poverty in impoverished areas of the world, as its criteria includes economic benefits for communities in the destination, respect towards nature and cultural values, valorisation of national heritages and the promotion of sustainable living (renewable energy, permaculture, recycling, etc.). The majority of travel businesses that started off the trend strived towards this and still do, however there is a danger that there will be an increasing trend for businesses to jump on the band wagon to win a quick buck without taking into consideration the real meaning of responsible tourism.
Now there is a chance for businesses seeking profitability through the right use of responsible tourism (using the Cape Town declaration criteria) to learn how to grow their ventures whilst respecting the ideals and values on which the industry started off on. A conference regrouping speakers specialised in the field of responsible tourism and business titled “The Business Case for Responsible Tourism” will be held at the WTM travel fair at EXCEL London on the 12th November 2009.
“This conference tackles responsible tourism in quite a different manner,” said Fiona Jeffery, World Travel Market’s chairman and a pioneer of responsible tourism over the past 16 years. “Its remit is particularly relevant in these challenging economic times.”
On hand to speak and present at the conference are a number of leaders in the responsible travel market, including:
- Justin Francis, managing director and co-founder of responsibletravel.com, will be demonstrating how ethical travel businesses can also be profitable.
- Catherine Mack, national journalist on responsible tourism, is planning a talk on how a sustainability reputation adds value to brands and attracts growing media interest.
- Gregg Anderson, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager for UK and Europe, will outline how the role of sustainable tourism.
- Dr. Xavier Font, director of studies at the International Center for Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University UK, will be speaking on about web marketing.
For more information, click here.
Visit www.westafricadiscovery.co.uk for Responsible Tourism trips in West Africa & Information on the West African region.