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    WTM, orphanages and taking responsibility

    On World Responsible Tourism  Day in 2011 Michael Horton  from ConCERT in Cambodia  spoke about the concerns that there are in Cambodia about many of the orphanages which attract tourists as visitors and volunteers. As Michael pointed out “Emotions run high when visitors are faced with children living in difficult conditions. Holiday packages that include visits to, and voluntary work in, orphanages have a wide appeal, from gap-year teenagers to middle-aged professionals who wish to do good during their holidays, and the numbers continue to grow.” UNICEF had expressed concern that orphanages in Cambodia had become so lucrative that the “demand” from tourists and volunteers had created supply and that…

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    What is certification’s role in ensuring Responsible Tourism?

    Back in 2010 we asked at WTM whether green certification makes a difference. Three years on we are again looking at the issue of certification at WTM this November, asking: “What does certification contribute to Responsible Tourism?” (Tues 5th 12:00).  Responsible Tourism is about addressing the issues which matter locally across the sustainability agenda; it is about  tackling the problems and seizing the opportunities which arise as a consequence of tourism – be they economic, social or environmental. Not all issues arise in every destination. This year’s debate is about a major concern, water, but even that is not an issue everywhere. The only really global issue is atmospheric carbon pollution. Greenhouse…

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    RT makes business sense in Kerala – and elsewhere

    Down in Kumarakom, in Kerala, for their international conference reviewing the progress that has been made in the state since the International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations launched their local economic development initiative in 2008. The focus has been on benefiting local communities by enabling them to engage more successfully with the tourism industry because that was the priority decided upon by the panchayat, the local government unit closest to the communities. Effectively local people set the priorities for making their village a better place to live in through tourism. The Kumarakom Panchayat President Ms. Dhanya M R, was a speaker on the Responsible Tourism programme at WTM in 2011. She talked eloquently,…

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