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...]

How to turn waste management into a tourism attraction

So bad has the problem of rubbish and human waste despoiling the world's tallest mountain become, that starting this month, climbers on Mount Everest will have to bring back 8kg of rubbish and waste per person. This will be weighed and checked and only when confirmed will their climbing group be given back their $4,000 deposit. When I first read this story I saw it as a positive step. Visitors were being compelled to take responsibility for their impact. Then I noticed on the BBC that the 8kg … [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...]

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...]

Which is more revolutionary – Airbnb or a caravan park?

The cover of Time magazine for February 9, 2015 is an article by Joel Stein called 'Tales From The Sharing Economy'. It looks at how various companies are disrupting entire sectors, from Uber for taxis to Yerdle for unwanted home goods. For tourism the big name here is Airbnb, founded in 2008, but already operating in 190 countries, with more than 425,000 people using it every night, and valued at more than $13 billion. Over the last month I have stayed in three Airbnb properties in Australia. … [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...]