Business case for Responsible Tourism getting stronger

WRTD growth

There is increasing interest in source markets for tourism products with Responsible Tourism characteristics. At the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators conference, held as part of the Dutch Travel Fair, Vakantiebeurs last month ANVR, representing 200 tour operators and 1,400 travel agencies, signed the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.  Meanwhile, Travelife certified three Dutch Tour Operators – TUI Nederland, SNP Natuurreizen and Kuoni Specialists.

ANVR has published a Vision for Tourism 2025 which seeks to balance people, planet and profit and lays out an agenda for change. IDH, a sustainable trade initiative based in Utrecht, has a public private partnership, Accelerating Sustainable Tourism Initiative,  working to certify hundreds of accommodations in long haul destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya and Thailand by 2013 as a means of addressing their sustainability.

The business case for engaging with Responsible Tourism was addressed as part of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day two years ago with presentations on Securing the Commercial Advantage from Responsible Tourism Through Marketing by TUI. Virgin Holidays and ResponsibleTravel.com

Mintel published its first report on Responsible Tourism  in 2007 and hear that another report on the market for Responsible Tourism  is due out shortly. Travel Market Report based out of Oyster Bay in New York State reported a week ago that demand for Responsible Tourism is gaining momentum among consumers and suppliers.

A study published by the Center for Responsible Tourism based at Stanford University reports that

• 93% of Conde Nast Traveler readers surveyed in 2011 said travel companies should be responsible for protecting the environment.

• 58% said their hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to its local community.

• 66% of consumers around the world say they prefer to buy products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society, according to a 2012 Nielsen Wire survey.

• According to a 2012 survey, the ‘green’ travel trend is gaining momentum among TripAdvisor members, as 71% said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months compared to 65% that did so in the past 12 months.

The 8 page summary of evidence that there is increasing recognition among both travel professionals and consumers of the business case for and importance of responsible travel: The case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics.

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Harold is Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he teaches and researches in the Centre for Responsible Tourism. Harold researches on tourism, local economic development and poverty reduction, conservation and responsible tourism and teaches Masters and PhD students. as well as the industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists. Harold also undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism which he founded in 2002 and which promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration.

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