Groundbreaking compassionate destination concept launched in Kerala

A new initiative has been launched in the city of Kozhikode in Kerala, which aims to ensure the city lives by the mantra of how responsible tourism should work in destinations: Better places to live, Better places to visit. CalledCompassionate Kozhikode, developed by the District Administration, in partnership with award-winning Indian responsible tourism pioneers The Blue Yonder, local organisations like Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, and many hundreds of local volunteers. And it is … [Read more...]

US snowsports sector shows tourism industry leadership on climate action

Earlier this month, representatives of all sectors of the US snowsports industry sent a letter to the White House – calling for strong climate action in Paris. The Protect Our Winters letter was signed by 92 global brands, 53 resorts, 50 professional athletes and 13 trade groups and associations – the largest group of snow sports representatives ever assembled. Signatories include such household names as resorts Aspen, Vail  and Jackson Hole, along with skiwear and equipment manufacturers such … [Read more...]

Inspiring ways tourism is helping refugees, and how it could do even more

If you only read some of the more reactionary publications around, you might be mistaken for thinking that tourism’s response to the growing refugee crisis was mostly anger at having holidays spoiled. “Holidaymaker misery” ran one headline. “British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays ‘awkward’ in Kos” announced another. But if you look beyond the bile there are some truly inspiring stories that deserve to be circulated and replicated far more. An initiative … [Read more...]

Blue Planet Tourism – time for some fresh water thinking

That tourism uses a lot of water is hardly news. Daily fresh towels. Infinity swimming pools. Golf courses surrounded by desert. The endless irrigation of hotel grounds to keep them looking pristine. The list goes on, and that’s without including the embodied or virtual water that it takes to produce most of the products we consume, and generally consume more voraciously on holiday. For example, every time anyone eats a 300g steak, it can take up to 4,500 litres of water to produce that meat. … [Read more...]

The billion tourist question. Overshoot or Opportunity?

This Thursday, August 13th, is Global Overshoot Day, which marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. First measured in 1987, when it fell on December 19, it has moved ever further forward, so that by the Millennium it fell on November 1; by 2011 on September 27, and this year falls at its earliest date yet. Over the last few months many commentators on tourism have observed the social equivalent … [Read more...]

What happens when tourism reaches the limits to its growth?

If you walk round Muswell Hill, the part of North London where I have lived for nearly 20 years, you'll occasionally see a man lying on the pavement, fine paintbrush in hand, a full palette of colours by his side. Known locally as 'Chewing Gum Man', artist Ben Wilson creates miniature paintings on discarded splodges of gum. The discovery of a new 'piece' on the ground or a wall brings a smile to my day. Yet unsurprisingly he is hardly known outside the area we live. He's not got the caché of … [Read more...]

How can cities meet the needs of locals and tourists?

Over the last few weeks there have been several stories in the press (including two on this blog) about issues to do with overcrowding at destinations and the hostility brewing between locals and visitors. The issue is out there – what is needed now is discussion on what to do about it. As Harold Goodwin wrote last week: in Barcelona, they are attempting to limit the numbers by freezing new tourist accommodation licenses. However, while quotas can potentially work in remote countries like … [Read more...]

Why tourism industry should lead efforts for gay rights

As any one who uses Facebook will know, many of your friends (and perhaps your own) profile photos took on a rainbow-coloured hue this weekend. People across the world clicked their support for equal marriage being declared legal in the USA, on the same weekend that Pride Festivals took place across the world. They were joined by many international companies which took the opportunity to spread various rainbow-themed marketing images that positioned their brands on the side of equality for … [Read more...]

Why is tourism industry so quiet about climate change?

Last week 80 major British firms sent a letter to the prime minster calling for the UK to be at the forefront of actions to address climate change. Published in the Financial Times, the signatories came from a wide range of industries and included the likes of Coca Cola, Unilever, BT, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and SKY. There was, however, not a single tourism company on the list. Why not? Of course none may have been asked, but if ever there was a time to make extra effort to position yourself … [Read more...]

Five steps to a successful towel and linen reuse scheme

Following several recent news stories about hotel approaches to towel and linen sustainability, here is a simple guide to getting it right. 1:  USE THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MATERIALS POSSIBLE W Hotels in North America have launched a new range of bed linen made from recycled plastic bottles. Early May saw the hotel launch the Ekocycle range of bedlinen, designed in a partnership between Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, and Coca Cola. Each king size Ekocycle sheet contains around 31 … [Read more...]