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...]

How tourism can help the people of Nepal today

Since the earthquake in Nepal on April 25th, travel companies from across the world have launched fund raising drives to help the country's people. Intrepid's non-profit arm the Intrepid Foundation received more than $40,000 within the first 24 hours of launching its appeal. The speed and scale of responses like this makes two things immediately clear: these companies have sizeable networks of supporters who trust what they say, and there are a lot of tourists who want to help. But can people - … [Read more...]

African Responsible Tourism Award winners are ‘reinventing’ travel to continent

Looking across the winners of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards, one encouraging trend is clear. Several of the winners are not just examples of what you might class as typical 'African' tourism done well. Instead, they are challenging such preconceptions and stereotypes, and reinventing traditional tourism models along the way. Take Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana, which has won the Best for Resource Management Award. Not only does it have the 'most advanced biogas plant in any … [Read more...]

Is a good Tripadvisor profile now more important than a good hotel website?

I have just stayed at a wonderful homestay on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. My traditional wooden rice cottage had been saved from demolition, transported here and rebuilt. The food was amazing homecooking using produce from the surrounding paddies and farms. It deserved its Tripadvisor ranking as the second best place to stay on the island. But its website was almost non existent. Three photos, all of beach nowhere near the lodge, and no relevant copy. It was clear our hosts had no idea … [Read more...]

#justonerhino shows bloggers and companies can collaborate for conservation

http://youtu.be/EyWawRQQwdc At WTM in November, Colin Bell, founder of Wilderness Safaris, proposed an innovative approach to addressing the problem of poaching wildlife such as rhino and elephant in Africa. Companies profiting from tourism to the continent would pay a 1% levy on profits towards the conservation of the species that are a major reason why tourists visit. It's an elegantly simple proposal that highlights what can be done through co-ordinated collective effort - and it deserves to … [Read more...]

Why I think the DearTripadvisor Campaign is wrong

Strange things are happening in the world of certification and sustainability. It's all to do with a campaign called DearTripadvisor, which is urging the world's largest travel review site to let it's users rate hotels on sustainability, and then for Tripadvisor to include their rating alongside the ratings for cleanliness, service, food etc. Last year, Tripadvisor launched the Greenleaders scheme in the US, enabling hotels to apply to sign up. Earlier this year it launched in Europe. In the … [Read more...]

Collaboration is the only way forward for sustainable destination development

Recently on the island of Bali, the risks inherent in developing tourism disconnected from the destination community have become clear. Local residents are angered by plans to build an artificial island in Benoa Harbour, whose 800 hectares of land will then host villas, apartments, luxury hotels, a theme park and a Formula One racing circuit. Waves of discontent are growing, seen most recently on Oct 18 when several thousand people attended a 12 hour concert held in protest at the plans. Yet … [Read more...]

What do you get if you cross sustainable tourism with a sense of humour?

Not a lot. At least not from the many mirthless hours I have recently spent wading through websites and marketing campaigns trying to find examples using humour to talk about responsibly run tourism. Plenty about saving the planet. Not much that suggests people enjoy doing it. Anyone who has ever tried to talk about the importance of sustainable tourism will know how hard it is to keep the crowd interested. For most of the world, sustainability might be necessary, but it's dull. It's why … [Read more...]