Thanks for paying attention to Responsible Tourism Week! In a better world, every week is Responsible Tourism Week and every day is Responsible Tourism Day.
Many thanks to everyone who was engaged, creative and generous. The output on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube was an inspiration. Tomorrow I’ll be sending out the link to a questionnaire that surveys participants. Think about what you enjoyed and what we can all do better.
What surprised me? The level of retweeting on Twitter. As one friend told me, “It’s a easy way to engage.” It also makes for good introductions, particularly valuable in a global conversation. Also, the notion of ‘hashtag’ was more widely accepted (meaning it didn’t freak out so many people).
I am pleased that the notion of using #rtweek2011 throughout 2011 was retweeted and cheered on. Our dialogue is just beginning.
Another plus was watching ‘threads’ develop over the past three years. Responsible Tourism Week helped identify issues such as volunteering, community-based tourism, alliances to protect children from sexual exploitation as topics that require further dialogue.
The big star of the event in my mind is the City of Cape Town which rose to the occasion and produced a jaw-dropping series of blogs, profiling responsible tourism in action. If that weren’t enough, there were campaigns on Flickr and local radio to raise awareness. To use my commonwealth slang, I was gobsmacked.
I was a bit disappointed not to hear from more tourism enterprises — the guides, the companies. That said, if you look at most company websites, little mention is made of ‘responsible tourism.’ It might be implicit rather than explicit, but often the story goes untold.
Next steps – We have created a brand new event: Slow Adventure Saturday, a slow walk and webinar – scheduled for March 12. It might just be Anders and me, but we’re going to have fika (coffee) and rooibos tea and mezcal. We should be able to webcast portions online. Details and free poster (!) online
A reminder: If you enjoyed Responsible Tourism Week and all the work that goes on behind the scenes … financial contributions are welcome via ChipIn!