Visitor Economy Taskforce NSW argues for authenticity and development controls

The long awaited Visitor Economy Taskforce Report (VET)to the NSW Government includes recommendations proposed by the ICRT – Australia’s White Paper ‘ Building Tourism from the bottom up’ sent to the VET committee.  At the heart of the VET report is the recognition that consumers are seeking an authentic experience, very much a core principle discussed by Professor Harold Goodwin, (associate director of the ICRT – Australia)  in his book Taking Responsibility for Tourism and identified as a contributor to the Responsible Tourism movement. The ICRT – Australia argued that key to building this authenticity was to find the unique points of difference within a precinct and destination.

An approach reflected in the VET Report. “Destinations must work to integrate arts, culture, events, nature, heritage and other visitor experience development initiatives into their Destination Management Planning. This will allow destinations to strategically position themselves in delivering experiences where they have comparative strengths, building on their key attributes to be more appealing to visitors and providing visitors with a more authentic and satisfying stay” VET Report page 129.

The VET report acknowledges that the responsibility of building tourism’s economic sustainability lies with destinations which research and plan to maximise positive impacts. It also requires destinations to identify their competitive points of difference through their Local Distinctiveness qualities, as recommended by the ICRT – Australia’s White Paper.

The report recommends that the unique local qualities be protected “against encroachment by other forms of development activity which may impact on their sustainability or potential to contribute to the visitor economy.” VET Report page 78. This was also strongly recommendation in the ICRT – Australia’s White Paper.

Responsible Business Planning – training programme launched

Part of a Responsible Destination programme a one-day workshop will be held on Thursday 30 August 2012 in Molong, hosted by Central NSW Tourism and funded by Destination NSW through the 2011/12 Regional Product Development Program. The workshop will be facilitated by Christopher Warren, Director of the ICRT and seek to build tourism providers capacity to strategically plan their small business, community group or tourism department for stronger success and to maximise its economic, social and environmental contribution to the destination. This is part of a destination wide product development and Tourism programme devised by the ICRT-Australia  more

6th International Responsible Tourism Conference – Brazil

The 6th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (RTD6) will be held as an official side event of the Rio Earth Summit. RTD6 is taking place in Sao Paulo 18-20 of June 2012 in the run up to Rio +20 which runs 20-22 June. The conference is being co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Harold Goodwin, of Leeds Metropolitan University and the ICRT , and Prof Dr Eduardo Sanovicz, University of Sao Paulo and former president of Embratur. Central to the conference will be to discuss how much progress has been made in achieving sustainable tourism since 1992?

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Launch of Progress in Responsible Tourism

Progress in Responsible Tourism, a new journal with academic articles, practitioner’s reports and case studies in the field has now been published. The first edition contents may be seen here.
Momentum is growing to support and apply the campaign of Responsible Tourism around the world. Tourism faces many challenges, set against the backdrop of UNWTO figures that indicate significant tourism growth our world’s finite resources continue to be used in an unsustainable way and the human cost of tourism is still of concern. This new journal provides practical examples and studies to tackle the issues of today, aviation, child trafficking and supply chain management. Progress in Responsible Tourism has been launched in time for World Responsible Tourism Day and the World Travel Market.

Seizing the Opportunity – Australia’s Interest in Selecting Responsible Accommodation

Global Eco Conference Sydney 7-10 November 2011,   the ICRT – Australia presents new paper.
The ICRT – Australia will be presenting the findings from its research into Australians green travel attitudes and indicate market opportunities for tourism businesses.

This survey, in part, benchmarks the Australian consumer response against previous international surveys. This provides the tourism sector with a wider picture of Australia’s international standing and the hurdles to be overcome if we are to achieve a more sustainable future.

Who would benefit from hearing this paper? Tourism Task Force, policy makers, state and federal tourism agencies, national parks, peak tourism bodies, regional tourism organisations, destinations managers, attractions managers and ecotourism accommodation operators.

The findings will also be of  interest to operators as it will identify the level of consider awareness and interest in Responsible Tourism in Australia, the value of accreditation and the scope for Responsible Triggers to encourage greater Responsible consumer behaviour during their leisure time.

The Global Eco Conference is being organised by Eco Tourism Australia with the support of National Parks & Wildlife Services

ICRT Presentations – What is Responsible Tourism?

The ICRT Australia has commenced a series of presentations through 2011 to raise awareness of Responsible Tourism and the businesses case for destinations and operators to take Responsible Action. Presentations include the Australian Institute of Tourism Officers and the New England North West Tourism Symposium.

What is the ranking of international hotel chains by Corporate Social Responsibility?

The ICRT UK has just completed 6 months of research to determine the ranking of leading hotel chains and their performance. Read and download presentation

Intrepid Travel become finalist in Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual awards have short listed Australia’s Intrepid Travel in the Global Tourism Business category. The news comes at a time when Intrepid Travel has also announced that it is joining forces with TUI to establish a joint adventure travel business. TUI has  wide reaching sustainable policies and Intrepid Travel a dedicated Responsible Tourism section with visitor guidelines, and company sustainable policies.

The Tourism for Tomorrow awards encourage responsible environmental and social actions. The judging process requires entrants to send a written submission. Finalists are selected for each of the four categories and visited by the judges.

Global Tourism Business category finalists are:

Intrepid Travel, Australia
Sabre Holdings/Travelocity Global, USA
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Hong Kong

Conservation category finalists are:

Frégate Island Private, Seychelles
Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe,
The Jane Goodall Institute/Budongo Ecotourism Development Project, Uganda

Community Benefit category finalists are:

Agri Tourism Development Corporation, India
Guludo Beach Lodge, Mozambique
Pride ‘n Purpose – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Destination Stewardship category finalists are:

Alpine Pearls, Austria
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, South Africa
Nurture Lakeland, UK

World Responsible Tourism Day Success

The organisers of World Responsible Tourism Day, the UNWTO sponsored event, claimed that the 2010 event was their most successful; expectations are that 2011 will record an even larger level of tourism support.

While this CSR event has captured the imagination of many tourism businesses worldwide it is still in its infancy in Australia. In 2009 there was only one entry, last year 6 organisations joined. Following the fires in Victoria in 2010 and the floods in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania in 2010/2011 will the Australia’s tourism sector now start to become more involved in this worldwide event? 

World Responsible Tourism Day expectations for 2011.

New Australian Responsible Tourism online resource to be launched

A new consumer online tourism service, Responsible Tourism Australia will be launched shortly show casing industry best practice. Specialising in only Australian holidays it will provide both responsible travel and tourism information. Content is therefore expected to focus on consumer travel advice and a responsible traveller code. There will also be a consumer responsible resource providing definitions for sustainability terms. This may contribute to encouraging industry transparency and the avoidance of Greenwashing. Responsible Tourism Australia is encouraging tourism businesses to come forward now with their responsible accommodation, attraction, event, and destination or service for inclusion in the project. Responsible Tourism Australia is being developed by Warren & Associates.