Responsible Tourism Week: Day #2

Day #2 of Responsible Tourism Week. Happy Valentine’s Day! Have a look or a listen to the tweets.

Today’s social media challenge expands on yesterday’s checklist: Be generous and write a testimonial for someone. Talk up someone else’s business. Add a star to images on Flickr, add the Facebook event to your wall or give a thumb’s up to a video on @YouTube. If you have an account on Foursquare, ‘check in’ at a place you like that you’d recommend to visitors.

Question of the day: How do we encourage and evaluate local input in tourism? I see a lot of charitable trips and volunteering options, but it’s unclear to me how much local input these initiatives have. What questions should we ask those organizing tours?

Administrative Notes: I would call your attention to the calendar online the Wiki and to the curated collection of tweets on Storify.

Today’s livestreaming real-time Zipcast focuses on artesnia and folk art. Tomorrow we are talking about all things ‘wiki’ – a Polynesian word that means ‘quick’ and which has quickly been adopted as a platform for collaboration of encyclopedic proportions. Please join us at 8:30am Mexico time (GMT-6) online Slideshare. You can preview Wiki.


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1 Response to Responsible Tourism Week: Day #2

  1. Jenny Morgan says:

    This is a great question and one that is really poignant at the moment particularly in the context of volunteer tourism.

    In terms of encouragement I think the response needs to be multi-faceted:
    1.Industry – we need to continue to promote the benefits of local input in tourism – the business case, and the industry needs to take responsibility for ensuring this. Arguably it is the only way tourism can be socially sustainable in the medium and long term.
    2.Consumers – tourists and travellers need to demand local inputs from the industry, by embodying the principles of responsible tourism, consumers can support the change in the supply.
    3.Host communities need to be empowered to demand involvement in the tourism industry that implicates their environment and livelihoods.

    I recognise that I am ultimately not providing answers to the problem nor questions that we should be asking those organising tours (I am pondering these!), but rather I hope I am suggesting a structure for such answers.

    In terms of evaluating local input in tourism then we first need to be clear about what we are evaluating. Ultimately, we are talking about wanting to change behaviour, and so therefore we need to decide upon a set of desired change outcomes and timeframes for these. Only then can we effectively evaluate our progress against them. For example (and this is very crude):

    1. Two further mainstream tour operators publishing guidelines for how they engage with local communities when developing tourist products within the next year.

    Thank for getting me thinking and for the excellent work coordinating responsible tourism week. I am learning so much and have been inspired.

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