Monday, November 28, 2005

G4T #19: Social Impacts of Travel and Tourism

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related postThis week I discuss updates to my show notes page, and the social impacts of tourism and travel on destinations, including both from tourists and from the tourism industry. (Total Length: 29 min, 55 sec)

In the podcast I commented on the Responsible Tourism awards, and I quoted a remark made at those awards about the fact that although consumers are more aware of sustainable (social and environmental) issues today, this is not yet seen as a major marketing advantage by tour companies. Related to this, Scott McCabe of the Sheffield Hallam University in the UK posted this interesting item on an email list today:

From: McCabe, Scott
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 3:29 AM
To: trinet-l@HAWAII.EDU
Subject: RE: Tourism and Local Transportation

Dear all,

just a brief contribution to this debate, i read a brief article in a UK free newspaper the other day that UK consumers are not interested in sustainability issues when thinking about or taking holidays, and that whilst many people do worry about the environment and engage in recycling, energy saving etc in daily life - whilst they are on holiday they want to forget about these issues (i only read it briefly so apologies if i misquote). however - it raises a number of issues pertinent to this discussion:
- perhaps consumers see environmental sustainability as an obligation and holidays are still valid as a means to escape everyday duties like these therefore sustainability should be the preserve of governments and industry to implement and it is wrong to assume that consumers will eventually demand sustainable tourism products
- perhaps what is more important is making consumers aware of unfair/unethical/immoral practices - which is much more likely to effect a more responsible attitude from consumers, and then industry and governments alike?

Here are the links to sites mentioned in this week's podcast:

* Responsible tourism is the way forward (Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market)
* Responsible Travel Forum (online; Feb 21-22, 2006)
* Peace Corp finds renewed passion in volunteerism (full article now requires purchase!)
* World Citizens Guide
* Nude act of foreign tourist at holy place angers residents of Pushkar
** NEW: Inserted on 8 Dec 2005: Guidelines issued to facilitate foreigners’ stay in Indian holy town
* World Tourism Organization - Global Code of Ethics