- Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership
- Found Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism 2002
- Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Board Member, Institute of Place Management
- Co-chair of the International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations since 2002, he drafted Cape Town Declaration.
- Advisor to World Travel Market on Responsible Tourism London, Cape Town, Dubai and Sao Paulo
- Chair of the Judges for the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards.
- visiting professor and ‘Research Associate’ at the Treborth Botanic Garden at Bangor University
- Chair of Travel Philanthropy
- Non-executive chair of the volunteer placement organization peopleandplaces.
- Chair of the Advisory Council of Village Ways
- Member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas
In the 1990’s much of his research and consultancy was on tourism and conservation, particularly in and around national parks; he directed a major study for DFID on Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology 1994-1997, looking at parks in India, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. Consultancy work on tourism development in and around national parks and heritage trails in Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria followed.
His inaugural lecture at Manchester Metropolitan University, Taking Responsibility for Tourism, reveals a good deal about what makes him tick. The comments made in the ‘little black book” presented at the party to celebrate 10 years of Responsible Tourism in April 2011 are revealing too. In October 2015 he was interviewed for Sustainability Leaders.
In 1998 he wrote the first paper on Tourism and Poverty Elimination for DFID, this led on to his work with the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership and to training, evaluation and consultancy work on tourism, local economic development, and poverty reduction. In The Gambia, he led a market access project for informal sector craft workers, guides, fruit sellers and juice pressers which significantly increased their incomes. He is currently writing a book on Tourism and local Economic Development to be published in 2019
Since the mid-90’s Harold has been involved in action research, pursuing the concept of responsible tourism in the UK with tour operators and campaigning organisations like VSO and Tearfund in the UK; and in destinations working with industry, governments, and communities to make tourism more sustainable and to enrich host communities. Harold assisted the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa to develop practical responsible tourism guidelines.
Harold in World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, proving the content for WTM London, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Africa and WTM Latin America. He chairs the judges and oversees the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the family of awards associated with them in Africa, India and Latin America.
Overtourism is the antithesis of Responsible Tourism and Harold is developing an online resource for those coping with success and writing regularly on the challenges of destination management in both cities and cultural and natural heritage sites. His third book will most likely be on destination management in 2021.
Harold has worked as a consultant and researcher for the UN World Tourism Organization, the UK’s DFID, the EU, the World Bank, KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, the International Finance Corporation, the Aga Khan Development Network and the International Trade Centre; and for a host of tour operators including the Association of Independent Tour Operators and the Federation of Tour Operators/ABTA.
Harold is a director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership (RTP) which works to develop links between UK tour operators and responsible tourism businesses and organisations in destinations. The RTP runs the series of conferences which began in Cape Town on Responsible Tourism in Destinations. He co-founded ResponsibleTravel.com with Justin Francis, although he is no longer a shareholder or director he watches the development of the company with paternal interest and distance. In 2007 he created Irresponsible Tourism.info to provide a space for whistle blowing and debate.
Harold was Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University 2007-2013 and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University November 2013 until his retirement on July 31st 2016. Harold is now an Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.