I was invited to speak at the AITO Conference in Kerala
about the commercial case for Responsible Tourism. I first became involved with
AITO in 1999 when following the VSO campaign I did a survey for AITO looking at
the activities and attitudes of their members.
The membership was then, as it is now, taking responsibility ? AITO was
in the forefront when it made its commitment in 2000.
?? we recognize that in carrying
out our work as Tour Operators we have a responsibility to respect other
people’s places and ways of life.
We acknowledge that wherever a
Tour Operator does business or sends clients it has a potential to do both good
and harm, and we are aware that all too
often in the past the harm has outweighed the good.?
Stirring words ? AITO had not capitalised on its early
leadership and has now fallen behind. The adoption of an opaque certification
scheme and carbon offsetting undermined the boldness and vision of the early
The PowerPoint presentation which I made in Kerala at the
AITO conference can be downloaded here
Some AITO members remain leaders
in the field but AITO needs to do more to encourage them and others.
Responsible Tourism is the right thing to do and it brings commercial