What is RT

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”
Responsible tourism is fast becoming a global trend. Operators, destinations and industry organisations in South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States, the Gambia, India, Sri Lanka, are already practicing Responsible Tourism, and this list is growing. Recognising the global significance of Responsible Tourism World Travel Market, one of the world’s largest travel exhibitions, has created World Responsible Tourism Day, to be celebrated annually during November. World Responsible Tourism Day is endorsed by the World Tourism Organisation and World Travel and Tourism Council.

What Responsible Tourism is not!
• Responsible Tourism is not another form of ‘niche tourism’ – Responsible Tourism is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism – for the environment, local people and local economies.

• Responsible Tourism does not only take place in protected natural environments – Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving metropolis, a desert, rural village, sub-tropical island, medieval town – can be a Responsible Tourism operation.