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    The ICRT grew substantially in 2007-8 and we will next year too.

    Back in July 2007 we were struggling to complete the rewrites of the Modules for the new MSc in Responsible Tourism Management and anxious about recruitment. In the event we recruited a cohort of 50+ students and we graduated out first MSc Responsible Tourism Management student, Kate Walters, yesterday.   We have done well enough to convince the University to fund 4 new posts to grow the ICRT and enable us to broaden our expertise. Three of our new colleagues demonstrated their expertise today: Dr Emma Harvey talked about carbon reduction; Dr Rebecca Hawkins debated the industry response to the ethical and responsible agenda; and Andreas Walmsley linked Responsible Tourism…

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    First ICRT Graduates at Leeds Met

    Kate Walters graduated with a distinction for her MSc in Responsible Tourism Management, the first student to graduate from the ICRT at Leeds Met. Kate joins an alumni composed of graduates from Masters programmes at the Universities of Kent and Greenwich. Kate achieved a distinction for her course work at Greenwich and for her Professional Report which she submitted to Leeds Met. Her report was the basis for the report No Water No Future – Tourism Drinking Destinations Dry which was published by World Travel on World Responsible Tourism Day in November 2007 At the same ceremony Karen Schwartz was awarded a PhD for her thesis on Sustainable Supply Chain…

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    Beyond Labels

    Back in 1999-2000 I worked with the Association of Independent Tour Operators to develop their Responsible Tourism policy. In 2000 AITO committed to a set of principles which have guided their practise and that of their members. AITO acknowledged “that wherever a Tour Operator does business or sends clients it has a potential to do both good and harm,” and they recognised “that all too often in the past the harm has outweighed the good.”  You can find their policy on their website at www.aito.co.uk/corporate_RTGuidelines.asp I worked with AITO to develop the policy and was struck by the diversity of the habitats, cultures and activities which AITO members engaged with.…

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    An Evening with Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond talked about his involvement in green and responsible tourism – concepts which he argued are used interchangeably. Richard's blog at www.greentraveller.co.uk weaves together the environmental, social and economic issues to create stories that  people want to read and repeat. Richard argued convincingly that it is the story that matters – it is difficult to mix green and flying, but it is the experience that people want to read about, that is what makes them want to book. Richard argued that in future people were likely to take trips closer to home and perhaps take one long haul trip a year to a developing country. There was a lively…

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    Who is greenwashing?

    In Sunday’s Observer  Tom Robinson asked ?Are you being greenwashed?? You can read the article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/jul/06/green.ethicalholidays The idea of ResponsibleTravel.com grew out of the ICRT when Justin was a student on the Masters at Greenwich and I co-founded ResponsibleTravel.com with him in 2001, although I sold my shares some years ago. When we created it very few people were talking about Responsible Travel and we were told by many that the idea would never catch on. The website was established as an online travel agency, a place where Responsible Tourism operators could advertise their programmes and where larger tour operators could advertise those trips. All the products on the…

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    A Reflection from The Gambia

    In The Gambia as part of an ICRT Leeds Met Africa initiative with our West Africa sister organisation ICRT-WA for a series of workshops with ASSET, the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism, the Gambian Tourism Authority and the Kartong Association for Responsible Tourism – it is now a rare privilege to work at the village level. The ICRT has two alumni completing their Masters from The Gambia and a marketing officer planning to start at Leeds Met in September; and we have one of our centenary PhD students, Louise Dixey, researching ASSET. It is an active and enriching partnership.  The partnership began with an encounter with Adama Bah…

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