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    Open letter to the Board of the GSTC

    Dear GSTC Board Members,We are committed to the development of responsible and sustainable tourism. We believe that tourists want more information about how the impacts of tourism in destinations are being addressed, and about how they can play a positive part in this. Businesses want credible approaches which have value in the market place and which enable them to demonstrate what they have achieved.  However we feel that the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria meet the requirements of neither consumers nor tourism businesses. It is not possible to provide sustainable tourism experiences by focusing only on the tourism businesses. The criteria are no more than a wish list which distract from…

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    Responsible Aviation: challenging the aviation industry.

    The discussions about aviation emissions are ?hotting up? as negotiations begin ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The aviation industry is under increasing pressure to step up and make its contribution to the essential reductions in global emissions. The G8 in July pressed the aviation sector to make their contribution outside of the national carbon account targets. The aviation industry is the ?first global industry to commit to a carbon-neutral growth target by 2020?. Yet the strategy for achieving this seems to be based on the vain hope for some magic, non-polluting fuel. Neither International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), nor International Air Transport Association…

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    Two ICRT graduation ceremonies in July

    This year I have had the pleasure of attending two graduation ceremonies for ICRT Masters graduates, one ?robed? at Leeds Met the other as a guest at Greenwich. The ICRT and the Masters course moved form Greenwich to Leeds Met and we still have a few students completing their dissertations at Greenwich. You can see the photos online. Amongst this year’s Master graduates Katelijne Lenaerts has secured a post as project manager of a European Community tourism project in Suriname, Lucy McCombes is joining the ICRT as a Research Fellow, Linda Ver’sdal is developing her responsible tourism business in Norway www.ansvarligturisme.org , Anna Waddilove is writing up her research as…

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    Responsible Volunteering

    Respect is at the heart of responsible volunteering. We established people and places to enable volunteers to engage with communities abroad, to share their skills and knowledge and to work together as partners to achieve their host’s goals. Mutual respect between host and guest is crucial in such a partnership. people and places volunteers never replace a local employee: they work as colleagues, contributing as part of the team, and enjoying the privileges of being an ?insider?. Our volunteers travel as paying guests who roll up their sleeves and muck in – paying guests because they pay their way. Too often when working abroad I have come across ?volunteers? who…

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    Travel Pledge Launches

    Travel Pledge is an exciting new opportunity for holidaymakers and travellers to put something back into the destination where they have travelled or holidayed ? whether in the UK or abroad. When we travel we make connections, we make acquaintances and friends and we often want to give back through giving ? we want to make a contribution to making a place a better place to live in or to visit. In the late 1990’s when I was working closely with a number of tour operators developing Responsible Tourism policies it was apparent that there was a great deal of charitable giving by holidaymakers and that this was a challenge…

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    Viral Marketing is Powerful?

    When  United Airlines broke his acoustic guitar Canadian singer Dave Carroll sought compensation – the baggage handlers had been throwing guitars about. United refused to pay compensation so Dave Carroll recorded United Breaks Guitars and posted it on You Tube  As Dave Carroll explains “In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn´┐Żt deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone…

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    The Responsible Tourism Movement in a low carbon world

    Justin Francis, one of our alumni with whom I co-founded ResponsibleTravel.com in 2001 has been reflecting in his blog on the state of the Responsible Tourism Movement. In the UK the Movement grew out of the campaign run by VSO in the mid-nineties to raise awareness amongst UK consumers about the impacts of their holidays on other peoples? places. That concern struck a chord; and market research demonstrated that consumers cared more about the responsible credentials of the company than whether they had travelled with them before. First the Association of Independent Tour Operators and then the Federation of Tour Operators declared their support for Responsible Tourism. ResponsibleTravel.com has grown…

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