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    Trust and responsibility go together like a horse and carriage ……

    When we buy a holiday we are a buying a dream, when it goes wrong we lose something important to us. It is a big item purchase when it fails us we lose the experience and the memories, for most of us it is a long time until the next holiday. We go without and save for the week or two away, if it goes wrong it is a big loss. We are buying a dream, a promise, an intangible…. We need to be able to trust the people we are buying it from. The industry realised this long ago – ABTA has rules which ensure that members sell travel…

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    Market research reveals increasing demand for the products of socially responsible products

    According to a recent Nielsen global survey, consumer sentiment toward socially responsible companies is growing. In the year-and-a-half since Nielsen published its “Global, Socially Conscious Consumer” report, the percentage of global consumers willing to reward companies that give back to society grew by 5 percent—increasing to 50 percent from 45 percent. This is what Nielsen say about their research results “Nielsen used stated willingness to spend more on goods and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society as a proxy for how much consumers care about brand investments in social impact. The results provide one simple gauge for whether consumers care—about cause marketing, shared value,…

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    Is Barcelona being spoilt by tourists? What can we do about it?

    Two years ago BBC’s Fast Track programme asked “Is Barcelona being spoilt by tourists?” They asked whether mass tourism is spoiling Barcelona’s charm and authenticity. It’s an important question. Some would argue that the city and city life have been improved by tourism. Others are increasingly expressing concern about the changes which tourism is bringing to the city and the negative impacts that come with them. Has Barcelona been too successful in attracting tourism?   View video 1 Others are asking who the port of Barcelona for – is it for locals or is it to become an “elite home port to the world’s ocean going playboys and playgirls.” Is Barcelona…

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    Responsible Tourism makes business sense

    Responsible Tourism has become mainstream. Big operators like Thomas Cook and TUI, and hundreds of smaller business have taken responsibility for making tourism more sustainable. This has long ceased to be a niche market. ABTA, the UK’s largest travel trade association which includes all of the larger operators and thousands of travel agents, has adopted sustainable tourism as a major part of its core work on behalf of its members and has a team working on sustainability. Sustainable production and consumption is becoming part of mainstream consumerism – you can’t afford to ignore the trend. Marks and Spencer’s Plan A campaign is a leader – but many others are now…

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    Caveat Emptor: tourism, orphanages and the road to hell

    responsibletravel.com has taken the principled position of not offering volunteering trips which feature orphanages until there are industry best practice guidelines and criteria for child-focussed volunteer trips. The Facebook pages on better volunteering and better child protection have contributed to the campaign to secure change. Change is needed because children fare better in their families, we should be supporting families, and residential care should be the last resort.   But on this issue the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As Justin Francis articulates the challenge for the industry in his blog “Inadvertently, well intentioned volunteers are fuelling the demand for orphans.   In Cambodia 74% of children in…

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    More active managment of the climbers on Everest.

    I have blogged previously about the increasing conflicts about the use of the space on Everest as it becomes more crowded. The BBC has reported that a Nepalese government team will be located at base camp to “monitor and help expedition teams, coordinate rescues and protect the environment.” Purna Chandra Bhattarai, chief of the tourism industry division that oversees mountaineering, told the BBC. “The Integrated Service Centre will also facilitate climbers by offering them communication and safety related services.” Mr Bhattarai says that, starting from next year’s spring climbing season, the team at base camp will represent the government’s administration on the ground. Observers say it was getting difficult to…

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