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    You can find the exotic in York

    I was a ?tourist? in York this weekend, staying away from home in the city where I was an undergraduate, and still there are firsts.  In Stonegate a small doorway invites visitors, shoppers, locals and tourists alike, down a ginnel into a tiny secret Secret Garden, a charming escape from the crowds shopping in the misty autumnal grey of November. Annie Austen-Meek, the inventor and crafter of the softpots shares her skills with Caroline and me; and I find myself playing with compost making a fabric plant container and having fun.   The plants grow normally, absorbing ground and rain water like a sponge, the soft containers moulded to the…

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    Geotourism definitively defined

    At a conference in Portugal the two organisations which have been using different definitions of Geotourism have agreed the Arouca Declaration, which includes the following: �We recognize that there is a need to clarify the concept of geotourism. We therefore believe that geotourism should be defined as tourism which sustains and enhances the identity of a territory, taking into consideration its geology, environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geological tourism is one of the multiple components of geotourism.� National Geographic Society News posting: http://bit.ly/sbZ5ozand Center for Sustainable Destinations � National Geographic Society posting: http://bit.ly/uLLr1b  with downloadable copies of the full  Declaration in English, French, Spanish, and…

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    WTM World Responsible Tourism Days 2011

    This year's WTM World Responsible Tourism Day programme was the most successful to date stretching over three days. So successful that some of those who wanted to attend sessions were unable to do so, there were people standing along the walls and sitting in the aisles. Regrettably there aren?t larger rooms available. The objective of the programme is to educate, inspire and to challenge the industry to take responsibility for making tourism more sustainable, this year there was a little more challenging, a little more controversy. The panels on all inclusives and the debate about who profits from tourism generated were designed to challenge; they generated more light than heat.…

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    Greeening Pilgrimage

    Back in November 2009 at an event organised by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation commitments were made to greening pilgrimage cities and routes. The Armenian Orthodox Church, proposed a seven Year Plan to green the holy city of Etchmiadzin; the Muslims announced a plan for a network of Al-Kher cities (cities which are ?beneficial, wonderful and beautiful?) and that Medina in Saudi Arabia would become a Green Pilgrim City alongside nine other Muslim cities; the Jewish Seven Year Plan proposes greening Jerusalem so that a place that is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims around the world becomes a model of sustainability. In November 2011 at Assisi, a pilot…

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