Responsible Tourism is about taking responsibility, doing what you can to use tourism to make our world a better place. Responsible Tourism is a movement of people, holidaymakers, travellers, guides and businesses committed to do what they can to make our world a better place and to pass on its rich cultural and natural diversity to our children.
We can all do our bit to increase the positive impacts of our travelling and to reduce the negative; that is the challenge WTM makes to the industry through World Responsible Tourism Day. If we can -and we can all do something – we should. With power and opportunity comes responsibility. We can all contribute to making the world a better place.
Listening to the British athletes who won medals in the Olympics on Saturday that sense of responsibility shone through in the recognition, in so many interviews with medal winners, of the contribution which parents, clubs, trainers, physios, family and friends made top their success; and in their sense that they had to perform to avoid letting down them and the supporters.
Linda Cruse prefaces her book Machine Guns and Marmalade with the words of the poet Robert Frost
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that made all the difference.”
Each of the athletes took a different road, the hard road, driven by the compulsion to take part, to do their best, to give their all, and perchance to win.
Taking responsibility, trying to make a difference can be daunting. It was Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop and one of those who encourage Justin Francis and me to launch ResponsibleTravel.com who famously pointed out that “If you think you’re too small to have an impact try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”
In her book, Machine Guns and Marmalade, Linda recounts her decision to take a different road, her road, and to make a difference. In her words “an incredible journey – humbling, exhausting, stressful, challenging but rewarding beyond measure.”
The book is inspirational. Read it for the energy in imparts and for its vision, one which we can all take something from. It raised my spirits and has inspired me to engage with Linda, her “Be the Change Academy” and with Chance for Change
Her ethos of ‘Hand up not Hand Out’ has caught the attention of business leaders, including Sir Richard Branson: “Linda makes the impossible, possible. What a great adventure.”
She has imbibed and applied the thinking of Lao Tzu and applied it to tourism in Morocco where she has worked with Virgin Unite and Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot:
Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.”
Read the book, be inspired, get involved, do your bit, make a difference.