Responsible tourism is about creating more meaningful experiences for travellers by connecting them to the local culture and the natural beauty of host communities around the world.
It is also about ensuring the communities hosting travellers benefit from tourism – through building skills, creating jobs and opportunities – all while protecting local natural and cultural integrity.
The 2002 Cape Town Declaration defined responsible tourism as “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.” More specifically, responsible tourism:
> minimizes negative environmental, social and cultural impacts;
> generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the wellbeing of host communities, by improving 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 and to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
> provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural and environmental issues;
> provides access for physically challenged people;
> and is culturally sensitive and engenders respect between tourists and hosts.