Archivos diarios: 23/02/2013

Being responsible is the key to sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism is defined in the Brundtland Report of 1987 as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”1. It is fitting, then, that we look at sustainable tourism as a journey from then to the now, and beyond that into the future.

What is the difference, then, between sustainable and responsible tourism really? Sustainable tourism and responsible tourism have the same goal of sustainable development, but responsible tourism is regarded as a pathway towards sustainable tourism.

Responsible tourism is about making “better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit” – in that order. It is about using tourism rather than being used by it. It is about identifying the locally significant issues and acting to deal with them.

Over the past couple of years the phrase “sustainable and responsible tourism” has gained currency. But they are not the same thing. Responsible tourism is about taking action; it is about identifying the economic, social and environmental issues which matter locally and tackling them, bringing the stakeholders together to exercise responsibility.

Responsible tourism is a way of life and doing business. It is more than a form of tourism or a special project, as it represents an approach to engaging with tourism, be that as a tourist, a business, locals at a destination or any other tourism stakeholder. It emphasises that all stakeholders are responsible for the kind of tourism they develop or engage in. While different groups will see responsibility in different ways, the shared understanding is that responsible tourism should entail an improvement in tourism. Tourism should become “better” or more sustainable as a result of the responsible tourism approach.

So what does responsible tourism look like? Focusing in particular on businesses, according to the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism, it will have the following characteristics: Lee el resto de esta entrada