2014 Responsible Travel Week, February 10-16, allows us to reflect on some of the reasons we believe in online conferences and promote hybrid events that connect gatherings in the natural world and online. Hashtag: #rtweek14
What is Responsible Travel? Responsible travel is treating others the way they wish to be treated. It’s a variation on thePlatinum Rule… it’s also good manners. Rephrasing the Cape Town Declaration “Responsible travel creates better places for to live and better places to visit.” Good friends agree that responsible travel is a must-have in the growing movement that connects visitors and locals.
Who should participate? Everyone’s invited! For visitors, this event is an opportunity to see where to go, how to travel and who to meet. For local tourism leaders and travel businesses, this is free advertising and an opportunity to learn good practices from around the globe. For journalists, authors, bloggers and other media pros, this is an opportunity to scan beyond the horizon for stories and a way to share the news about features you’ve published. Active participants will be featured on this page and we will be happy to retweet your tweets, add stars to your Flickr photos, like your comments on Facebook, +1 on Google+ and give the thumbs up on YouTube videos.
Why participate? If you are curious about responsible travel, this event lets you explore the topic in depth. It’s a catalyst for many to get up to speed on the off-the-shelf social web channels. If you prepare a bit and budget time during the week, you’ll learn a lot. Exemplary performance will be recognized and rewarded. Let’s pool our talents and learn together. The more information we share, the easier it is for others to join these efforts.
How much time does it take to participate? This depends entirely on you. If you are presenting a program or tour, then there’s considerable preparation time. If you are keen on learning what’s taking place around the globe, then there will be time you need to budget for perusing the Twitter feed or watching the Google+ hangouts. If you are casually interested, then it’s adviseable to give yourself at least 15-30 minutes/day to consult this wiki page and the exterior links each day.
May I contribute $ to support Responsible Travel Week? Individual donations and institutional support are welcome. If there are large contributions ($500 and up), we would like to integrate this as a payment for webinars to keep the conversation moving forward.
What are the benefits to general participants? Idealistically, you have the opportunity to gain in terms of knowledge and networking. You have the opportunity to learn and use multiple social web platforms to present your work. In terms of quantifiable benefits, engaged participants find their number of Twitter followers or likes on Facebook grow during Responsible Travel Week. You can also track the number of new endorsements on LinkedIn, views on Slideshare presentations, views or edits on wiki pages. If you prepare presentations or posters before or during the event, we can feature these items as links as well as amplify their web presence via the socialweb.
What are the featured topics? We are seeking some interesting stories about tourism’s connections to accessibility, biodiversity conservation, indigenous peoples, food, parks and protected areas, volunteering and water conservation/recreation. Other big questions to be explored are the connections between city and rural environments. Other topics: child protection, hunting, public transportation, mission trips, sports tourism, e-waste and the proper disposal of batteries.
What’s new in 2014?
• New local events in Las Vegas. For the second year we’re conducting the global unconference from one of the world’s most storied cities. Look for early morning photosafaris and soundwalks in Henderson parks. Those with more ambitious ideas are encouraged to let us know.
• Increased use of Google+ for Live Hangouts. Now we can chat directly with participants with live Q&A.
• Flipboard! Check out the Responsible Travel Flipboard
• Outbounding. Upvote your favorite RT features on Outbounding.