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What would Responsible Cruising look like?

It was as a result of RTD3, the International Conference on Responsible
Tourism in Destinations in Belize
in 2009 and the issue of cruising was placed on the Responsible Tourism  agenda. The Belizean government wanted us to
address cruising during the conference and cruising was addressed as one of the
four themes.  There were four
recommendations.

 

C. Cruise Tourism Impacts in Belize and the World

1. in negotiating
agreements with cruise ship operators governments in Central America and the
Caribbean need to negotiate effectively to maximise the local economic
development impacts and to increase the benefits which go to local communities
through the sale of crafts and employment. More focus needs to be placed on
yield rather than landing numbers.

2. the carrying
capacity needs to be managed to avoid the commodification of culture and the
negative effects of tourism

3. there needs to be
regional collaboration in negotiating with the cruise lines on landing fees,
activities and the regulation of operational practices

4. cruise ship arrival
numbers need to be capped at a sustainable level determined by national
government in order to ensure the environmental, social and economic
sustainability of Belize.

 

Ross Klein spoke in Belize and demonstrated the extent
and depth of his research. Aware that there were Responsible Tourism issues in
the cruising industry internationally we invited Ross to the UK to speak at one of our Evenings with, to do a
seminar with the industry and to speak at an ICRT conference in Leeds.

 

The agenda covered economic, social and environmental issues in
cruising. There were presentations on cruising for people with disabilities, on
river cruising and on tourism, including cruising, in Antarctica. We did not look at labour conditions at the
ICRT conference in Leeds on March 12th – we shall continue to look at
cruising. 

There is a forum on Responsible Cruising on www.irresponsibletourism.info
and for good
examples the Responsible Tourism
forum

 

This is regrettable because the conference did therefore
focus on the issues, and there is a long list of them. As long as the industry prefers
to ignore the criticism and not to participate then conference reports will be
negative.

 

We do not believe that all the cruise operations have all
the issues identified

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