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...]

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...]

Innovator Spotlight: Making ski-holidays more sustainable with Snowcarbon

Jeremy Smith speaks to Daniel Elkan, who founded Snowcarbon to make it easier for skiers travelling to the Alps to get there as sustainably as possible. 1: What inspired you to create your business? I set up Snowcarbon to help other skiers have a more sustainable and enjoyable journey to the Alps. Many people who fly or drive to the Alps would actually prefer to travel by train if they were able to find out how to do it, or persuade their friends to. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, you … [Read more...]

Beyond the bucket list: My dream destination for 2015

I wasn't going to join the ritual of list making that takes place at this time of year, especially as I already had a go in 2014. But then people I respect kept reinventing the bucket list, and I wanted to get stuck in too. First Bret Love and Greenglobaltravel asked five of the world's leading responsible tourism experts for their ideas for countries that actually 'deserved' our tourist dollar. Then last week in these very pages Harold Goodwin chose not to look for destinations for 2015, but … [Read more...]