New Forest “Living with the Enemy” Report

Jason Freezer, Visit England, referenced the report below – “Living with the Enemy” – the tourism strategy for the New Forest District – during his presentation at the RTD5 in June.  He has asked me to share the report with RTD5 participants.  Enjoy!

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Living with the enemy

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RTD5 Alberta Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

[important]Download the RTD5 Alberta Declaration[/important]

5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

June 26-29th, 2011 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

In June of 2011, 193 delegates from over 20 countries worldwide met in Edmonton, Alberta for the 5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, hosted by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – Canada. The conference was co-chaired by Laura McGowan, Director, ICRT- Canada and by Professor Harold Goodwin of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – UK. All delegates were inspired by the quality and diversity of work being done in Alberta to further responsible tourism values.

Building on the founding principles of the Cape Town Declaration (2002) and the subsequent findings of the Kerala, Belize, and Oman conferences, The Alberta Declaration presents the recommendations of this conference about what can be done to make tourism more responsible in five areas of current concern:

  1. Access for All
  2. Polar Tourism
  3. Indigenous Tourism
  4. Tourism & Local Economic Development in a Developed Country
  5. Governance

1. Access for All

For the first time at the International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations there was discussion about accessibility.

  1. Recognizes that previous declarations on responsible tourism have not encompassed the diversity of people with different disabilities.
  2. Demands that tourism providers place priority on ensuring access is available to everyone.
  3. Providers must be clear and concise in providing information about what facilities are available to people with disabilities in a variety of formats to ensure that they are accessible to all.
  4. Acknowledges that governments must sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention and Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to ensure that people with disabilities have better places to live in and visit.
  5. Recognizes that the inclusion of people with disabilities in tourism should be habitual, rather than by special arrangement, people with disabilities also have a responsibility to make clear their requirements.

 

2. Polar Tourism

  1. Must bridge the gap between tourism activity and integrated water ways and land use planning in Polar Regions.
  2. Recognizes the importance of the inclusion of local and aboriginal communities and governing bodies in tourism planning, participation and the provision of services.
  3. Recognizes that polar tourism occurs in fragile environments and on traditional lands, highly sensitive to impacts on local culture and climate change.Demands that tourism providers assume responsibility for:
    1. Environmental Conservation
    2. Cultural Preservation
    3. Improved Livelihoods for local people
    4. All forms of tourism in Polar Regions, as elsewhere, must respect local indigenous traditions and lifestyles.

3. Indigenous Tourism

  1. Stakeholders must invest in infrastructure according to, and with respect for, local community needs.
  2. Recognizes the necessity of enhanced partnerships between indigenous groups and all generations to inspire collaboration, cultural pride and a sense of identity.
  3. Indigenous tourism activity must ensure sustainable community development and capacity building; and by developing skills and expertise create meaningful employment, thriving communities and encourage the sustainable use of natural resources.
  4. Stipulates that all stakeholders must commit to their duty to consult with indigenous groups in matters of tourism, traditional livelihoods and community development, taking into account the importance of traditional land use planning.
  5. Requires transparent and accountable systems to ensure that significant economic benefits derived from tourism stay in the indigenous community.

4. Tourism & Local Economic Development in a Developed Country

  1. All efforts must include key community leaders, recognizing that places are unique and that all solutions are local.
  2. All stakeholders must seek agreement on a collaborative vision for tourism in the community.
  3. Must assist local communities to develop support networks that utilise local and external resources and expertise.
  4. Requires that tourism projects and planning include a plan for long term financial sustainability and self-sufficiency, while ensuring the economic benefits of tourism are distributed equitably.
  5. Recognizes the need for effective communication between all stakeholders, sharing both positive and negative case studies, the lessons learned, and acknowledging failures.

5. Governance

For the first time at the International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations there was discussion about governance.

  1. Destinations are people’s homes; Responsible Tourism puts local people first. Responsible Tourism is about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.
  2. With a few exceptions destinations are centred on public assets held in common, the public realm, such as beaches, public squares, ecosystems and their services streetscapes and landscapes, assets which need to be maintained; the funding for which need to be addressed.
  3. Tourism is managed locally in the destination within a national framework, many parts of government impact through action and inaction on the management of destinations. The challenge is to enable the different parts of government to work together and with other stakeholders to take responsibility for destinations and to ensure that tourism is managed sustainably.
  4. The core functions of local governance are particularly important to the management of tourism and balancing public and private interests, land use planning is of particular importance in shaping and managing the development of destinations.
  5. One of the major challenges for us is fostering co-operation and collaboration, this is a particular challenge in tourism because of the cultural and natural heritage which it uses and the range of stakeholders involved in tourism
  6. Tourism needs to make its case constituency by constituency. We need to make the case for the contribution of tourism to our communities by evidencing the net benefits.

 

 

Signed at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on June 29, 2011 by co-chairs Laura McGowan and Harold Goodwin, on behalf of the Conference.

Laura McGowan                                                                               Harold Goodwin

ICRT Canada                                                                                       ICRT International

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Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

[important]Download signed declaration [/important]

2011 Declaration

5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations

Tourism is a significant economic driver in Alberta.  Annually, it contributes over $5 billion in visitor spending and $537 million in provincial tax revenues.  It also supports more than 90,000 jobs throughout the province.

Because tourism is vitally important to Alberta, it is essential that we respond to the shifts that are occurring in the marketplace.  Travellers are coming from new countries and the kind of experience they seek is changing.  In general, people are looking for opportunities to move off the beaten path and connect in more meaningful ways with people, places and cultures.

The shift in traveller expectations challenges Alberta’s tourism industry to refresh and develop product that better meets the visitor’s changing needs.  We are learning from other countries who have found ways to enhance tourism products, destinations and experiences.  They market experiences that are unique to their country and their culture, provide value for money and strive to better understand and meet the needs of visitors.

Good governance and collaboration are required for emerging opportunities to work closely with other sectors to create a stronger tourism industry, specifically land-use planning.  Decisions about land can either enhance or hinder tourism efforts.

To make Alberta a top destination in a global market, all stakeholders have an important role to play.  No one group or organization can do this alone.

It is about what all stakeholders can do when they work together with a shared focus to increase competitiveness, sustainability and growth of the industry.  The panel on governance shared experiences from around the world on how to effectively coordinate different orders of government and to work with the private sector and communities.

By strengthening partnerships, we build the foundation of a vibrant, responsible tourism industry.  By actively engaging all of our partners, we create enthusiasm, commitment and accountability.  Most importantly, we will have a far greater opportunity to achieve results that benefit everyone.

The learnings and leading practices exchanged at the 5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, combined with strong collaborative relationships with our key stakeholders will help to deliver results that benefit people who travel, the tourism industry , and the communities, cultures, and natural places we visit.

Signed at Edmonton, Alberta, on June 29, 2011.

 

Bill Werry, Deputy Minister

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation

 

Daily RTD5 presentations are now available

For those of you who could not join us for RTD5 in Edmonton, we have the presentations available for you to download!

We have now updated all available presentations (Power Point with Audio) so you can benefit from our panels and discussions.  This is our way to make sure as much discussion, knowledge and experience on responsible tourism is shared by as many people as possible!

*Please take note that due to technical difficulties, not all presentations could be recorded.

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2011 Destination RT E-zine is now available!

Don’t miss your chance to learn the latest on responsible tourism in destinations!

Alongside the RTD5 conference put on by ICRT Canada in Edmonton, a new edition of the e-zine Destination:RT  has now been published and is available for free download.

Download and Enjoy!

 

ABTA’s Nikki White to deliver key note address

ABTA is delighted to announce that Nikki White, ABTA’s Head of Destinations and Sustainability will deliver a key note address at the 5th Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference in Edmonton, Canada on 27th – 29th June 2011.

As a leading authority on sustainability, Nikki will outline the strong business case for being sustainable, explain ABTA’s engagement strategy and give examples of achievements through initiatives like the Travelife Sustainability System – a global sustainable supply chain management system. Since joining ABTA, Nikki has shaped ABTA’s sustainability engagement strategy that not only delivers across a diverse membership, but also demonstrates clear leadership on industry and destination challenges.

Nikki White said: “Consumers around the world are telling us that they want sustainable tourism products but responsibility for ensuring holidays are sustainable rests with the industry. This conference will act as a catalyst to main-stream the Canadian approach to sustainable tourism. It is an honour to be asked to attend”

For the first time, the Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference will open with a youth conference designed to share ideas and inspire tomorrow’s industry leaders to put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Harold Goodwin from the International Centre for Responsible Tourism commented: “Research conducted by the Canadian Tourism Commission in 2009 found that UK tourists were least likely to aspire to purchase an environmentally friendly holiday. Despite this the UK industry has arguably made more progress on making tourism sustainable than any other market. Having Nikki White at the conference will offer the chance for delegates to learn from this experience both good and bad in tackling sustainability at both industry and destination level.”