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...]

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...]

Innovator Spotlight: Janine Duffy of Echidna Walkabout

On 5 November 2014, Australian wildlife tour company Echidna Walkabout won Gold for Best for Wildlife Conservation in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London. Jeremy Smith spoke to their co-founder Janine Duffy about the challenges and passions driving her business. 1: What inspired you to create your business It was love!  23 years ago Roger and I were working together and found we had a shared love of nature.  That led to a love of each other, and a great … [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...]

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...]

Innovator Spotlight: discover hidden Peru with Amazonas Explorer

For 30 years Amazonas Explorer has been taking travellers to see the best that Peru has to offer. Their owner Paul Cripps spoke to Jeremy Smith about the challenges of running a responsible tourism business in South America 1: What inspired you to create your business? I actually bought the business from a fellow rafting enthusiast twenty five years ago. I was out here rafting and kayaking as much as possible and the opportunity came up. To be honest the original motivation was to just enable me … [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...]

Tourism and water use – time for some fresh thinking

I've been looking into hotel water sustainability innovations over the last few days, trying to find some stories for a blog to mark World Water Day, which happened last Sunday. I've been reading how water accounts for 10% of utility bills in many hotels. And how globally demand for water is projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. I've also read many of the efforts the industry is making. Of the impact of low flow showerheads and toilets, or simply washing smaller loads in smaller machines. … [Read more...]

Will Airbnb and the sharing economy hurt or help responsible tourism?

A few years ago I visited around 200 ecolodges, homestays, community run guests houses etc around the world as part of my research for a book on the best in sustainable tourism. As a result of my experiences, I knew I would always seek out these places for my own holidays. Not just because of their ethics, but because I had a much better time. I met more inspiring people, got closer to wildlife, stayed in more remarkable places. Over the last two months I have been exploring what has happened … [Read more...]