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...]

Innovator Spotlight: developing community tourism in remote rural India

Maroon Migrates develops innovative responsible tourism experiences in the Indian state of Gujarat. For the first of our new style Spotlight, Jeremy Smith speaks to the company's founder, Nischal Barot, about how the company's approach to responsible tourism and the lessons he has learned along the way. What inspired you to create your business? My hometown is the source of my Inspiration. I am from the Narmada District of Gujarat. Returning home after my Masters in Environmental Science, I … [Read more...]

The art of good responsible tourism communication: Are we talking to the right people?

It's not surprising that if one of our blogs is about marketing or communicating responsible tourism, it gets more hits. Or that at WTM last year more people were trying to cram into a room to hear a talk on marketing responsible tourism than were to discuss issues around tourism and child protection. People want to know how to make their businesses successful, and how to communicate what they do to get more guests. Last weekend, however, I stayed in a bed and breakfast in the British seaside … [Read more...]

Poaching, Hunting and Responsible Tourism – is there an answer that will please everyone?

South Africa has just announced that last year 1,004 white rhinos were poached in the country, up from 668 the year before and just 13 in 2007. An ever-worsening tragedy in itself, and the threat to South Africa’s responsible tourism industry, which plays a huge role in protecting habitat and providing jobs, is vast. “From a responsible tourism point of view we have to make it a priority,” Fedhasa CEO Eddie Khosa was quoted as saying last month. “Our wildlife resources are key to South Africa … [Read more...]

Innovator Spotlight: community backpacking heaven with Bulungula Lodge, South Africa

Of all the places I have visited, few have left as much of a mark on me as a remote lodge on South Africa's Wild Coast called Bulungula. It changed the way I think about responsible tourism in so many ways that the challenge is going to be packing them all in to a few hundred words... It dispelled the myth that eco / responsible tourism is expensive. Bulungula is offgrid, has solar showers, is local in all its sourcing and employment practices, and has one of the best views I have ever seen … [Read more...]

Tourism and Wildlife: tackling poaching crisis and turning crisis into opportunity

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been learning how South African tourism's response to the poaching crisis affecting rhinoceros and other wild animals has lessons for anyone working in tourism - whatever issues they face. I arrived here straight after WTM, with two initiatives that won at this year's Responsible Tourism Awards very much on my mind for their relevance to tourism and wildlife poaching. Nam Nern Safaris (based in Laos) won the prize for best for wildlife protection for its … [Read more...]

Innovator Spotlight: community tourism on Cuba’s remarkable organic urban farms

What does the idea of a Cuban holiday conjure up? Hanging out in bars in Havana, smoking the world's most famous cigars, and driving around in oversized old cars? Maybe heading to the beach? Probably drinking some rum, and listening to the music of Buena Vista Social club. These are the best known stories when it comes to this little understood island off the coast of Florida. Less so the idea of visiting an urban farm. Cuba Select Travel offers all manner of the better known delights. But it … [Read more...]

WTTC 2013 awards reward Responsible tourism and sustainable development efforts

The four winners announced this month for the World Tourism for Tomorrow awards are a reminder of the breadth of sustainable development issues such tourism operators address, and in many cases of the timeliness of their actions. In the Philippines, Il Nido was recognised for  more than two decades of work in sustainable development and tourism, and for being ahead of the curve by focussing not just on the much vaunted triple bottom line approach, but rather the Quadruple, namely Financial … [Read more...]