Why Responsible tourism?
Currently there are various different types of “being better” tourism; all of them have more or less the same objectives: looking at your social, environmental and economic impacts. Each type can have a certain focus, some of the more popular terms are described below.
In Rttz, we felt that Responsible Tourism best described the type of approach that is needed in Tanzania.
Responsible Tourism is tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’.
The 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations defines Responsible Tourism as follows:
“Responsible Tourism is tourism which:
• minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts
• generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well being of host communities
• improves working conditions and access to the industry
• involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
• makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity
• provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
• provides access for physically challenged people
• is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence”
Ecotourism is: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Source: The International Tourism Society
Community tourism (sometimes called community-based tourism) is a form of tourism which aims to include and benefit local communities, particularly indigenous peoples and villagers in the rural South (ie ‘developing world’). For instance, villagers might host tourists in their village, managing the scheme communally and sharing the profits. There are many types of community tourism project, including many in which the ‘community’ works with a commercial tour operator, but all community tourism projects should give local people a fair share of the benefits/profits and a say in deciding how incoming tourism is managed.
Source: Tourism concern
Sustainable tourism is tourism attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves. Sustainable tourism is not the same as ecotourism.