• Uncategorized

    Exodus abandons Omo Valley tours

    Oliver Smith has just published a news story on Telegraph Travel announcing the Exodus has suspended all trips to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia over concerns about the exploitation of the tribal communities that live there. The diverse tribes of the Omo Valley have been heavily visited by tourists lured by their body art and in particular the lip plates. As is so often the case the building of a new road, linking the towns of Konso and Jinka, has increased the numbers of tourists arriving. Oliver quotes an anonymous spokesperson “Many more people have started visiting and tourism to the region is becoming negative – rather than going for…

  • Uncategorized

    Sustainable stories and tourism marketing

    I wrote before about the opportunity which World Responsible Tourism Day and the supporters’ logo offers business who are at WTM, or at home,  to make something of their Responsible Tourism activities. There can be no trick in this, you have to be doing what you say you are doing to take responsibility; you need to have some sustainable stories to tell about what you are doing to make tourism more responsible. If you have something to say you need to say it. This year the UK newspaper the Guardian ran a story: Communicating sustainability: the rise of social media and storytelling. It is a story about how companies are increasingly using the web and intelligent…

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    Demand for travel experiences with the characteristics of RT continues to grow

    There is increasing interest in many source markets for tourism products with Responsible Tourism characteristics. There is growing demand for authentic and memorable experiences, travellers and holidaymakers are seeking to get closer to the people and their places in the destinations which they choose to visit, they want deeper and more memorable experiences. Those memories are created in the interaction between host and guest and their natural and cultural environments. In traditional sun, sand and sea destinations like The Gambia holiday makers are leaning to drum and cook local dishes, wear Gambian dress,  volunteering, visiting villages and learning about agriculture. As they get closer to the destination and local people…

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    Enabling Market Access for emerging entrepreneurs

    Alushca Ritchie, CEO of the Cape Tourist Guides Association and Chairwoman of the Federation of South African Tourist Guide Associations (FSATGA) has expressed concern that under the provisions of the new Tourism Bill in South Africa, tourist guides and their employers could face hefty fines for operating without being registered. Regulation can improve quality and ensure minimum standards, that is a good thing. However, regulation can also be used to protect the interests of those who are already established in the industry and enable them to protect their entrenched interests against those of new emerging entrepreneurs who can be disadvantaged or excluded by regulation. The challenge is in the detail.…

  • Volunteering

    Volunteering is back in the news

    The panel on volunteering at WTM last November was a lively discussion about what needs to be done to make volunteering more responsible. peopleandplaces have published advice for people thinking about volunteering abroad – download a copy of the essential questions to ask any organisation you are thinking of travelling with Two different perspectives on volunteering abroad from the UK have appeared in the press over the last few days. Ben Goldfarb writing for Forum for the Future estimates that as many as 10 million well-meaning travellers are flocking to work abroad, volunteering in construction, education, conservation and health projects.  He suggests that people volunteer abroad – there are after…

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