Water consumption and tourism: how to respond

tourism and water africa

2013 is the International Year of Water Co-operation and the 20th anniversary of World Water Day. Yet the UN estimates that 783 million people still do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.

This is an issue for the industry and for consumers. Tourism Concern ran a WET Pledge campaign last year when travellers and holidaymakers pledged to reduce their water consumption while on holiday in someone else’s home and they produced Make a Splash tips for a water friendly holiday.

WTM supports Just A Drop

WTM supports Just A Drop

World Travel Market supports Just a Drop, set up in 1998 to reduce child mortality by delivering accessible, clean, safe water. WTM and Reed Exhibitions has been a Premier Partner of Just A Drop for 14 years and money is raised every year during the Captains of Industry Lunch and from stands in the main boulevard.

Back in 2007, we addressed the challenge of water for an industry that uses a lot of water in other people’s places, an industry often challenged for using water profligately whilst local communities go short in Spain as well as in the developing world.

This year during the International Year of Water Co-operation we are addressing the issue of water consumption in the main debate on World Responsible Tourism Day. For all of us it’s time to take action and reduce tourism’s water consumption in water stressed areas.

The debate: ‘Is the tourism industry doing enough to reduce its water consumption fromtakes place at 14:30 – 16:00 on Wednesday 6th November.



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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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