Hola! Gooie môre! Good Morning! Lotjhani! Dumêlang! Sanibonani! Xewani! Ndi matsheloni! Molweni! (All protocol observed.)
Nice to see you again, Mr. and Mrs. Indaba. Have you been responsible in the year since last we spoke?
Ahh – how I remember everyone raving aboutCape Town’s Responsible Tourism in Cities Conference at Indaba 2011, and the beautiful stand the Responsible Cape Town guys built out of milk crates, empty plastic bottles, and rough-hewn wood! (Did you see how it lit up at night?)
Truth is, those two things probably had more effect on the way I think about tourism than almost anything I’ve ever seen or done at any of the fifteen or so Indabas I’ve attended.
Responsible tourism, I realised, is the only way for us in the future – if we’re to have a future.
With climate change, economic change, massive changes in the way consumers have begun to approach the way they travel, and the ever-looming threat of a global collapse in the supply of fossil fuels, the challenges we’re facing are greater now than ever before. And our industry isn’t going to be able to fully meet these challenges if each of us clings blindly to our own pet ‘isms’ – eco-tourism, sustainable tourism, mass tourism, sports tourism…
We need a bigger consciousness.
And responsible tourism – ‘creating better places to live in, and better places to visit’ – is that bigger consciousness since it’s about all our isms, and more.
It’s about the legacy of tourism, and the world we’ll leave behind when we’ve finished taking (and offering) our hospitality, our adventures, and our experiences.
With a billion foreign arrivals expected around the globe this year (one sixth of all humans alive today!), every one of us needs to become responsible for what we do when we travel, and what we do when we host other travellers.
So tell me: what are you doing that makes your Indaba – and aligns your product – with the principles of Responsible Tourism?
Help us to make twitter – both an addiction and an incredibly useful tool – trend this weekend with the following #hashtags:
Responsible Tourism: #RTyear2012 and #ResponsibleTourism
And you can watch how Indaba is doing againstNew Zealand’s TRENZ 2012 tourism trade show (Queenstown, 7 to 10 May) by following the Hashtag Battle here.
(The hashtag for TRENZ: #trenz2012)
And in case you’re wondering who to follow at Indaba this year: @MartinHatchuel, of course.
Now go away on holiday – it’s in the economy’s best interests.
… And in the meantime… have a GREAT tourism week!
Martin Hatchuel – BarefootWriter
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About This Tourism Week
This Tourism Week – a free service brought to you by BarefootClients.co.za – is a personal e-letter and informed commentary on issues affecting South Africa’s tourism industry. Please note that the articles in This Tourism Week may only be reproduced with permission (want it? Mail me – firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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