Archivos diarios: 20/06/2013

A conversation with Prof. Harold Goodwin

descarga (1)Jlag had the pleasure to interview Harold Goodwin. Harold has been at the heart of the movement for Responsible Tourism for the last fifteen years campaigning and working with the industry and governments to develop better forms of tourism around the world. Harold is Professor of Responsible Tourism Management and a Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. He works with governments and intergovernmental organisations, including UNWTO and UNEP, on governance, tourism and local economic development and poverty reduction. He talks with us about the difference between sustainable and responsbile tourism, he makes reccomandations to the EU institusions. His talk is very inspiring. Enjoy the interview, know more reading Harold’s book: Taking Responsibility for Tourism and take the opportunity to meet Harold at the European Summer School.

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How would you define the concept of responsible tourism to be understood for everybody?

It still surprises me that people are confused about the difference between sustainable and Responsible Tourism, they are not the same thing and the terms are not interchangeable.

It was Krippendorf writing in his seminal work The Holidaymakers who first wrote about the sense of responsibility which consumers evidence – look how successful that has been in promoting fair trade and rejecting animal testing. Krippendorf pointed out that “every individual tourist builds up or destroys human values while travelling.’ and that “it is not a bad conscience that we need to make progress but positive experience, not the feeling of compulsion but that of responsibility.”

The fundamental point is that tourism is a social activity; it is not a natural phenomenon. Tourism is what we make it as consumers, producers, communities and their governments. The way of expressing this which makes most sense to people is that Responsible Tourism is about making better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit; in that order.

This definition comes from the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations which drew on experience form South Africa and the UK, form government and business. There were two main reasons for the emphasis on Responsible Tourism. First, sustainable tourism had been reduced to meaning green, sustainable tourism was supposed to be about the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, Responsible Tourism was in part about reasserting that, based on the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics. Lee el resto de esta entrada