By Ron Mader
Responsible Tourism Week is a free, five-day unconference exploring down-to-earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, conscious travel, the local travel movement and ecotourism with effective and inexpensive social media.
Who should participate?
For travellers, this is an opportunity to see where to go, how to travel and who to meet. For travel businesses and local tourism leaders, this is free advertising and an opportunity to learn good practices from around the globe. For journalists and other media pros, this is an opportunity to scan beyond the horizon for new stories. Other pluses: admission is free and there’s no jet lag!
What is Responsible Tourism?
Responsible tourism is treating others the way they wish to be treated. It’s a variation on the Platinum Rule. It’s also good manners. Put another way, courtesy of the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism: Responsible tourism creates better places for people to live and better places to visit. Responsible travel is a must-have in the growing movement that connects visitors and locals.
What’s New in 2012?
Contests! We are preparing contests for travel companies and language schools featured on Planeta.com. Another contest – with rules being sorted out – acknowledges the collaboration within countries. We will recognize the countries which generate the most buzz about what responsible travel. There’s also a poster contest.
Additionally, 2012 is the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Ecotourism and we are conducting a survey asking what has been accomplished in the past decade.
What is the role of cities and responsible travel?
Responsible travel should be embedded within policies and part of the focus during the unconference will be to create a snapshot of major cities including Cape Town, South Africa; Las Vegas, USA; and Oaxaca City, Mexico.