• Uncategorized

    The Future of Tourism in Barcelona

    I was privileged last Thursday to be asked to address the industry in Catalonia about what Responsible Tourism means for Barcelona. Next week in Barcelona we are holding the 7th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations and we shall briefly have the opportunity to engage in the debate during the conference next week. A tourism tax was introduced in Barcelona in November last year, it is a small amount per night – for a 5* property it is €2.25 for others it can be as little as €0.45. I understand that two thirds of the revenues is used for promotion. The debate is hotting up. How many more tourists…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  IPCC,  Uncategorized

    IPCC, Clmate Change Update

    There is overwhelming evidence that the average temperature of the earth is rising and we have understood the contribution of greenhouse gases to that process for 150 years. Given the potentially, and increasingly likely, disastrous consequences the precautionary principle requires that we take action now to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. The Summary for Policymaker,   Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is now available In each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. “Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water…

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    Trust is at the Heart of Responsibility

    Consumers expect the goods and services which they purchase, from producers and suppliers, to be fit for purpose, to be safe not to jeopardise their health and to have all the qualities and characteristics that were claimed for it when they purchased it. Responsible Tourism is the responsibility agenda for the travel and tourism sector. When consumers buy a holiday or travel experience they need to be able to trust the supplier and destination. When Marks & Spencer, the quintessentially British High Street chain, was in commercial difficulties they improved the style and quality of the goods they sold, the ensured that they became more price competitive and they made…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  Perfect storm,  Uncategorized,  Water

    Climate change is causing human conflict already – the problem is now in Syria.

    We rarely hear  progressive opinion from the USA. That is not to say that it does not exist there. William R Polk served on the State Department’s Policy Planning staff during the Kennedy years. In a thought provoking piece about the Syrian chemical attack issue Polk explains why Syria has entered a crisis – and it is to do with water. Climate change produced drought, hunger and displacement – and civil war. “Syria has been convulsed by civil war since climate change came to Syria with a vengeance. Drought devastated the country from 2006 to 2011.  Rainfall in most of the country fell below eight inches (20 cm) a year, the…

  • Uncategorized

    What was the value of Oscar Wilde?

    “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. And a sentimentalist, my dear Darlington, is a man who sees an absurd value in everything, and doesn’t know the market place of any single thing.” Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan Others have suggested that it applies to economists – unkind perhaps? George Monbiot debated the efficacy of valuing ecosystem services with Tony Juniper in an exchange in the Guardian in August  last year. Monbiot argued that payments for ‘ecosystem services’ look like the prelude to the greatest privatisation since enclosure. Read more Tony Juniper countered that campaigning against economic valuations could inadvertently…

  • aviation,  Carbon,  Climate change,  Uncategorized

    Emissions Trading isn't working and may be dangerous

    While we wait to hear in October whether the EU will be extending emissions trading to international aviation it is worth reflecting that the cost of carbon pollution  is very low. Not much of an incentive. On the carbon offsetting website Terrapass you can buy a metric tonne for $13.12 EU Allowances (EUAs are trading at around €5.5 as I write this For the background on the EU ETS As they argue “By putting a price on carbon and thereby giving a financial value to each tonne of emissions saved, the EU ETS has placed climate change on the agenda of company boards and their financial departments across Europe. A…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  Uncategorized

    Danger: climate change deniers at large in the House of Commons

    It is interesting how politicians demand much higher standards of proof when the facts are inconvenient; more than the criminal justice system standard of beyond reasonable doubt.   For the facts on how spurious their case is see George Monbiot’s piece in today’s Guardian read more They are not very numerate either ….. Please follow and like us:

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    Trip Advisor needs to be taken seriously – by the reviewed and the reviewers

    Trip Advisor was launched in 2000, by 2010 it had become the world’s largest travel website with the vast majority the content user generated. In Haworth, Bronte Country, with our Masters students the summer, it seemed that every tourism related business was proudly displaying its green circles environmental health certificate and its Trip Advisor stars. Trip Advisor is taken very seriously by businesses – they know what damage a poor review can do. But those who write reviews need to take them seriously too. “Adam Tudor, a partner at Carter Ruck, a leading firm of libel lawyers, said it is always possible that a UK hotel, or a member of…

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    Clive Stockil

    Clive Stockil  has received  a Lifetime Achievement Award in the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards. Within a couple of minutes of meeting Clive on his Save Valley property in 1995 he asked me the challenging question “Why is the cow not an endangered species in Africa?” and reminded me of the work I had done during my Political Science degree at York on common property resources and the Tragedy of the Commons. I ask out students Clive’s question every year. A quiet man of deep thought I had the privilege to work with him when we were researching Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development in the ‘nineties. Save Valley was one of…

  • Uncategorized

    We need a level playing field on carbon pollution from aviation

    TUI Travel PLC has called for an industry standard on reporting fuel and carbon efficiency for UK airlines. They want a set of common metrics to report carbon emissions to ensure greater transparency so that customers can make informed decisions about which airlines to choose. Last year the European Union postponed the imposition of the Emission Trading Scheme to international carriers, a system intended to put a price on carbon pollution and to encourage the industry to reduce emissions. The travel and tourism industry contributes about 5% of global CO2 emissions with air transport accounting 40% of the travel and tourism sector’s emissions around 2% of global emissions. On current…

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