International Conference on Community Development Through Tourism

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On 16th and 17th September 2014, Wild Asia attended the International Conference on Community Development Through Tourism, in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. It brought together over 300 participants from tourism authorities, community tourism experts, and practitioners from 28 nations to discuss various aspects of community based tourism development. The aim of the conference was to present case studies, examine the mechanisms (both institutional and practical) that have led to successful inclusion of stakeholders, implementation, and analysis of the lessons learned in developing community based tourism enterprises. 

The conclusion of the two day inspirational event was to accept and endorse the prestigious Phnom Penh Declaration on socially responsible tourism that benefits host communities.

 In line with this year’s theme for UWNTO’s World Tourism day of tourism and community development, we resolve to seek further understanding, participation and involvement of the citizens in the ongoing process of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism development. I hereby proclaim the Phnom Penh Declaration as the official record of our two-day international conference. 

- H.E. Mr. Tith Chantha, Secretary of State of Tourism and High Representative of H.E. Dr. Thong Kohn, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia.

Wild Asia has been fortunate to encounter regional best practice in socially responsible tourism for almost a decade. Amy, from our tourism team, was delighted to be invited by PATA to share some insights into examples of tourism projects supporting community development. She shared case studies from our annual Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards and the Inspiring Stories from Destinations competition we hold each year at ITB Asia.

It was an honour to be invited to participate in this event, alongside industry experts and inspirational leaders. PATA invited me to speak about the role of communities in marine based tourism, and it was an exciting platform to share some of my favourite stories from businesses Wild Asia has been lucky to engage. These included Scuba Junkie, Sri Lanka’s Travel Foundation, Andaman Discoveries, the ChildSafe Network, and Nikoi Island.

- Amy McLoughlin, Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award Manager.


 

For full details on the conference and the Phnom Penh Declaration, please see the official Press Release here.

All keynote speakers’ slides can be viewed online here.

Browse photos of the event here.

Responsible Tourism Events At ITB Asia 2014

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Responsible Tourism Forum & Clinics

October 29 – 31, Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Every year, ITB Asia offers practitioners, newbies and pioneers a great stage for responsible tourism topics to be discussed. Wild Asia, ITB Asia’s official CSR partner is proud to put together and announce 2014’s series of Responsible Tourism events. Experts and experienced practitioners will be presenting concepts, international standards, lessons learnt, current trends and notable regional case studies. As always, we will be stationed at the Responsible Tourism Centre Booth at Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65. Do come by for a chat with us.

Engage in a series of personalised clinics and talks to learn and be inspired by leading experts.

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Responsible Tourism Clinics, 30 October 2014 (Thursday)

Venue: Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

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Time Topic & Speaker(s)
10:00 – 10:30am How To Make Community-Based Tourism Work: Multi-stakeholder Success Stories From Thailand
Dr Jutamas Jan Wisansing, Executive Director and Consultant, Perfect Link Consulting Group and Education Chair, Pacific Asia Tourism Associations (PATA) Thailand Chapter
10:30 – 11:00am Developing Community Tourism Businesses as part of the Tour Operator Supply Chain
Adrienne Lee, Program Manager (Asia & Africa), Planeterra
11:00am – 12:00noon Revealing Of The Top 3 Winners of the Inspiring Stories Competition
2:00 – 2:30pm Child Sex Tourism is a Risk for Asian Destinations and Companies
Mike Nedelko, CRM & Marketing Manager, The Code
2:30 – 3:00pm Sustainable Practices – Small Ways That Lead to Big Improvements & Cost Saving
Ruben Cortes, Associate Director, Sustainable Building Initiative, Wild Asia
3:00 – 3:30pm Burma’s Reopening to the World: An Examination of Sustainable Tourism Development in the 21st Century
Daniel PliskeSales and Marketing at Access China Tours
 3:30 – 4:00pm Creating Competitive Advantage Through Responsible Tourism Practices
Albert Teo Chin Kion, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours & Sukau Rainforest Lodge
 4:00 – 4:30pm Climate Change And Tourism
Chan Beng Seng, Coordinator for the Global Alternative Tourism Network (GATN)
* See below for more details about each clinic. 

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MAIN EVENT:

Responsible Tourism Forum & Networking, 31 October 2014 (Friday)

Venue: Conference Room Hibiscus, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall D1

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Time Details
11:00am – 1:00pm RESPONSIBLE TOURISM FORUM & NETWORKING & WILD ASIA’s RESPONSIBLE TOURISM AWARDS CEREMONY 
Join us for an inspiring forum session as we discuss four hot topics that surround responsible tourism. Speakers will push the envelope to discuss sustainable tourism market trends, provide tools and applications in achieving sustainability and share an incredible case study of sustainability in Gobi. The following are the four topics:

  • Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Best Practices, Tony Charters, Principal, Tony Charters and Associates
  • Eco labels for hotel, why you should commit, what benefits you should expect, Nicolas Dubrocard, Associate Advisor, Wild Asia 
  • Sustainable Tourism Trends, Emerging Markets & New Media, Jens Thraenhart, Founder, Digital Innovation Asia 
  • Evolution of an Ecolodge: Lessons from the Gobi, Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder and CEO, Nomadic Expeditions and the Three Camel Lodge

Following the forum, winners of the notable Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 will be announced. Guests are invited to mingle and network after the event over some light refreshments.

* See below for more details on the forum topics. 

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countrysideHow To Make Community-Based Tourism Work: Multi-stakeholder Success Stories From Thailand 

Speaker: Dr Jutamas Jan Wisansing, Executive Director and Consultant, Perfect Link Consulting Group and Education Chair, Pacific Asia Tourism Associations (PATA) Thailand Chapter
30 October (Thursday), 10:00 – 10:30am @ the Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

Stories from 13 selected communities from 6 designated areas for sustainable tourism development will be shared. These communities have been on the systematic process to manage the resource vulnerabilities and risks of being too overly popular, together with multi-stakeholders co-create community tourism products to meet market demand based on an appreciation of community local wisdoms. The clinic’s discussion will be focused on how to ensure CBTs are sustained on a long term basis – what’s the secret behind thriving CBTs?

Beyond Unique Escapes (3)Developing Community Tourism Businesses as part of the Tour Operator Supply Chain

Speaker: Adrienne Lee, Program Manager (Asia & Africa), Planeterra
30 October (Thursday), 10:30 – 11:00am @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

This presentation is about incorporating sustainable practices that empower local communities into tour operator supply chains. The tour operator working directly with its foundation, is working directly with communities to empower under served women and youth to access market-driven approaches to create sustainable businesses. There is often a resource gap between non-profit organizations and blended-social purpose businesses that are attempting to benefit the communities in which they work. Without a strong market, these non-profits or community tourism projects often fold and fail. However, when partnered with a for-profit operator, tourism businesses have one of the greatest reaches and spread to provide opportunity for marginalized communities, and allow social enterprises to scale, access knowledge transfer, and develop their first revenue generating programs.

LOGO_Inspiring Stories from Destinations_2012-page-001Revealing Of The Top 3 Winners of the Inspiring Stories Competition 2014

30 October (Thursday), 11:00am – 12:00pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

Come and be inspired by change setters in the tourism industry! The top 3 winners of this annual competition are operators with an amazing story to tell. They have been selected based on their exceptional efforts in preserving destinations and shaping local communities. This is your chance to glean from their experience & be inspired to make a difference! Read 2012 and 2013 winning Inspiring Stories.

DSC_0242Child Sex Tourism is a Risk for Asian Destinations and Companies

Speaker: Mike Nedelko, CRM & Marketing Manager, The Code
30 October (Thursday), 2:00 – 2:30pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

The Code would like to highlight the need for child protection as part of responsible and sustainable tourism and present it in the context of “crisis and risk management”. Even in Asian tourism sphere, the current initial thoughts of “crisis and risk management” may invoke precautions to prevent natural disasters that can impact tourism, such as tsunami and floods. However, there is also a real risk for a destination’s or a company’s brand and reputation when it comes to crimes of sexual exploitation of children or other crimes relating to children.

resefSustainable Practices – Small Ways That Lead to Big Improvements & Cost Saving 

Speaker: Ruben Cortes, Associate Director, Sustainable Building Initiative, Wild Asia 
30 October (Thursday), 2:30 – 3:00pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

Sustainability is important for all tourism businesses, rural and urban. There has never been a better time to act for the benefit of your business and the “bottom line”. In this clinic session, Ruben will speak about some basic systems and ways that businesses can adopt to reduce negative impacts on the environment, reduce utility bills and ultimately benefit the business on the long run. The presentation will focus on proven steps that businesses can take in order to reduce their environmental impact in an affordable and effective way.

myanmarBurma’s Reopening to the World: An Examination of Sustainable Tourism Development in the 21st Century

Speaker: Daniel PliskeSales and Marketing at Access China Tours
30 October (Thursday), 3:00 – 3:30pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

Now that Myanmar’s government has recently begun allowing travellers/tourists to freely enter the country, the formerly non-developed tourism industry is quickly becoming a major contributor to the nation’s economy. With these quickly increasing visitor numbers, tourism infrastructure development must focus on steady sustainability if it is to succeed as well as provide substantial benefits and opportunities for the country as a whole. The future of Myanmar’s tourism industry is dependent on sustainability practices and initiatives and therefore, must imitate its neighbor’s positive examples in order to preserve vast natural resources for future generations. Myanmar’s tourism development and future perceptions as an international tourist destination will have great implications for Southeast Asia as a whole, as they quickly become a key player in the regions tourism industry.

Spice villageCreating Competitive Advantage Through Responsible Tourism Practices

Speaker: Albert Teo, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours & Sukau Rainforest Lodge 
30 October (Thursday), 3:30 – 4:00pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

In a highly competitive business environment, brands are required to push the envelope to create evergreen unique selling propositions (USP). Albert will present three case studies based on the award winning Borneo Eco Tours, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, and Borneo Ecotourism, Solutions and Technologies Society (BEST), a non-profit foundation. The strategies discussed are from lessons learnt after being in business for 23 years. They include triple bottom line concepts, specialized responsible tourism practices that improve operations synergy and leverage on business strengths. Albert will also discuss challenges faced and solutions applied when dealing with community projects.

Beach stormTourism And Climate Change 

Speaker: Chan Beng Seng, Coordinator for the Global Alternative Tourism Network (GATN) 
30 October (Thursday), 4:00 – 4:30pm @ the  Responsible Tourism Centre Booth, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall E, J65

With its close connections to the environment and climate itself, tourism is considered to be a vulnerable and highly climate-sensitive economic sector. Climate affects a wide range of environmental resources that are essential attraction factors for tourism. Climate change will make destinations less attractive and jeopardize major sources of income. There are direct impacts like altered seasonal patterns or coastal erosion, loss of beach area and higher costs to protect and maintain waterfronts. Also there are indirect impacts of climate change like water shortages. Higher costs for risk management for touristic infrastructure might change the demand side of tourism markets or the visitor numbers. Furthermore, the awareness of tourists towards climate change and other environmental issues is likely to be a major driver of their future holiday choices. Operators that do not adapt to this emerging ‘climate aware’ market risk losing market share to more responsive competitors. This clinic will discuss the important relation between climate change and tourism, and will try to show some alternatives and help to promote a responsible and sustainable tourism, which bring not only benefits for the tourism industry but also to the people whose livelihood depends on tourism.

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Responsible Tourism Forum & Networking 

31 October (Friday), 11:00am – 1:00pm @ Conference Room Hibiscus, Basement 2, Exhibition Hall D1

Join us for an inspiring forum session as we discuss four hot topics that surround responsible tourism. Speakers will push the envelope to discuss sustainable tourism market trends, provide tools and applications in achieving sustainability and share an incredible case study of sustainability in Gobi. The following are the four topics:


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Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Best Practices 

Speaker: Tony Charters, Principal, Tony Charters and Associates
It is easy to assume that only high tech solutions can be applied to achieve sustainability. This may be the case for economies that have very high labour costs and relatively cheap access to technology. In economies where labour costs are low and imported technology is very expensive there are alternative solutions to achieve sustainability and to provide memorable tourism experiences. This presentation will draw on case studies from across the globe and relate the findings that are relevant to the ASEAN region.

all inclusive holiday Eco Labels for Hotels: Why You Should Commit & What Benefits You Should Expect

Speaker: Nicolas Dubrocard, Associate Advisor, Wild Asia
Eco labels for hotels represent great challenges and lead to many questions, we will answer them during this presentation. We will highlight the advantages of a sustainable approach to face potential environmental crisis such as water shortage. We will discuss the guest new requirements in terms of environmental respect and the green market positioning. We will take into account the impact of competing for an eco label on the staff. We will browse the operating costs savings linked to a sound environmental management system. Finally we will introduce Wild Asia solutions to support your efforts to get an eco label.

next genSustainable Tourism Trends, Emerging Markets & New Media

Speaker: Jens Thraenhart, Founder, Digital Innovation Asia

In a dynamic, ever-changing, and robust sector, sustainable tourism pioneers and leaders need to be constantly adapting to the changing environment in their approach to do business better, thus continually leaving a positive impact. Understanding current market and technology is also important to responding to appropriate strategic approach. Sustainable tourism is emerging and businesses need to gear up for the next generation of informed travellers.

three-camel-lodge-02Evolution of an Ecolodge: Lessons from the Gobi

Speaker: Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder and CEO, Nomadic Expeditions and the Three Camel Lodge

What makes a lodge “eco”? While” reduce, reuse and recycle” are fundamental aspects of environmentally friendly operations, a true ecolodge goes beyond the green footprint to embrace direct support for cultural and natural heritage, while delivering meaningful social and economic benefits to local people. This presentation tells the story of how Mongolia’s pioneer Three Camel Lodge became recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s 25 best lodges by developing a successful business model based upon sustainable tourism best practices.

Awards

Following the forum, the Winners of the Wild Asia’s 2014 Responsible Tourism Award will be revealed. Esteemed winners will be announced, each representing a specific category; community engagement, cultural preservation and overall most inspiring responsible tourism operator. The Award winners are leaders in their destinations, making change that will help shape the future of travel for the better. This is your chance to meet the people behind Asia’s leading sustainable tourism organizations. Read more about this year’s Award Finalists.

** Note – All sessions and speakers are subject to change. All changes will be updated on this webpage.

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Event organised and supported ITB Asia, Wild Asia, The Blue Yonder and ITB Berlin”s Official Partner Country 2015 – Mongolia, Nomadic by Nature:

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Call For Papers & Presentations For ITB Asia 2014 Responsible Tourism Events

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Call for papers and presentations. Take a role at ITB Asia’s Responsible Tourism Events, 29 – 31st October 2014 in Singapore.

 

This is your opportunity to take an active role and share your knowledge and experience at the Asia’s largest travel trade show. We are looking for sustainable tourism practitioners who are seeking to inspire others in making tourism a driver for change socially, environmentally and economically for Asian destinations.

We are seeking presentations and/or papers for the following topics below. The organizing committee is also open to explore other related topics, kindly contact deborah@wildasia.org if you have other ideas not in the list:

  1. Quality and profitable eco/green/sustainable tourism
  2. Marketing Responsible Tourism via New Media and other channels
  3. Indigenous & cultural tourism
  4. Crisis and risk management
  5. Grooming the next generation for sustainable tourism
  6. Wildlife and nature-based tourism
  7. Sustainable certification and accreditation schemes for operators
  8. Supply chain management for sustainable operators
  9. Mainstreaming Responsible Tourism
  10. Sustainable tourism trends and emerging markets
  11. Best practice case studies: Achievements & challenges

Submission guidelines:
Closing date for submissions 30 July, 2014 (Wednesday).

Paper/presentations must address the following:

  • Relevance to Asian-based tourism operators and helps promote the mainstreaming of responsible tourism in Asia
  • With case studies, please share lessons learnt and outcomes of the project/program

Please include the following in your paper / presentation:

  • Name and profile of author/presenter
  • The title should aim to be precise and concise so that it conveys a clear message
  • Abstracts should contain brief summary of the content areas of your proposed topic

Note to speakers:

  • All presenters must be able to cover their travel and accommodation costs
  • Speakers will be given a complimentary speaker pass that includes access to the trade show for the day of your presentation
  • Presenters will be notified if their paper/presentation has been accepted by 13 August 2014 (Wednesday)

Submission of Paper/Presentation:
Please email your paper or presentation, including an abstract to Deborah Chan at deborah@wildasia.org by 30 July, 2014 (Wednesday).

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APECO 2014, Sabah, Malaysia

16th – 18th October, Sabah, Malaysia

 

coverWild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Initiative will be at this year’s APECO, the 8th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference. The event will be held between the 16th and 18th October 2014, at Kota Kinabalu’s The Pacific Sutera Hotel, Sabah, Malaysia. 

APECO is a prominent ecotourism event in the Asia Pacific where ecotourism academicians and industry experts from the Asia Pacific region congregate to network and exchange views on ecotourism, conservation, garden heritage, coastal forests, marine life and community based projects.

Wild Asia’s Amy McLoughlin will be speaking as part of the pre-conference workshops on how to align ecolodges and other accommodation to international responsible tourism standards. She’ll be showcasing best practice case studies we’ve encountered, especially through our annual Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards.

To register for the event, please visit the APECO website here.

 

Responsible Travel Pavilion, PATA Travel Mart

17th – 19th September, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 

highlight banner-339Wild Asia is delighted to be working in partnership with PATA at their 2014 PATA Travel Mart (PTM), held between 17th and 19th September, Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center, Cambodia.

As sustainable tourism specialists, we’ll be at this year’s first Responsible Travel Pavilion at the event…and we hope you will join us.

The Responsible Travel Pavilion, located within the country pavilion, has been created for the first time at PTM to allow organisations to showcase their proven practical responsible and sustainable business practices. The Pavilion will provide further opportunity for participants to network and do business with like-minded organizations – to share their knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned in an informal setting.

If you’re a responsible tourism hero and would like to showcase your business at this year’s PTM, please contact amy@wildasia.org to obtain further information and a registration form.

 

Is Sustainable Tourism Achievable in Asia?

Ipoh Presentation_Deborah Chan_Responsible Tourism

“Is sustainable tourism achievable in Asia?” that was the question posed by Deborah Chan, Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Associate at a seminar organized and attended by HFT Luzern, a Swiss tourism university. A group of 80 students from the university spent three weeks in Malaysia touring the peninsular and attending weekly seminars at satellite cities in Malaysia as they explored issues pertaining to tourism in Asia. At the seminar, Deborah was delighted to encounter passionate and initiated budding industry players in the hospitality field who were eager to learn, probe for answers and think out-of-the-box for solutions that plague the mass tourism scene.

The seminar was graced with leading tourism players from the private and government sector such as Diethelm Travel, YTL Group, Tourism Perak, Tourism Malaysia and Wild Asia each sharing their perspective, insight and challenges of tourism in Malaysia. Deborah shared an insightful presentation of the current perception of responsible tourism in Asia and presented case studies from which the students can glean from.

Deborah Chan_Ipoh Presentation_Responsible Tourism (1)So, with all the talk about sustainability and tourism, the tough question asked was…

“Is sustainability just a growing fad or a nice marketing gimmick? And can Asian operators adopt best practices that will keep the industry thriving for many more years to come?”

While many operators have jumped on the bandwagon and waved the ‘Go Green!’ flag, there are movers and shakers in the industry who are undeterred when it comes to creating positive impact. Wild Asia has received over 190 applications from 14 Asian countries in the past 8 years for their annual Responsible Tourism Awards. These applications are incredibly thorough and are benchmarked against the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) initially developed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

From these applications, Wild Asia have recognized and awarded 57 finalists and winners across Asia. Selected case studies were presented at the seminar in hope that their stories and examples would inspire young budding tourism professionals to create change from within the industry.

Deborah started the presentation with an unveiling of facts that acknowledged the tourism industry as a powerful driver in the global economy.

  • By 2020, a whopping 1.6 billion tourists will be making annual trips internationally (UNWTO);
  • In terms of gross economic power, tourism is in the same category as oil, energy, finance and agriculture;
  • At least one in ten people around the world is employed by the travel and hospitality industry;
  • Tourism creates $USD 3 billion in business every day!

As a result of this boom, tourism also produces a series of negative effects that are often side-lined, ignored or not talked about. These negative impacts include; environmental deterioration, loss of biodiversity, exploitation of local communities and corrosion of cultures and traditions.

However, not all is lost and tourism can be a force for change.

There are tourism players in Asia who have stepped up as a catalyst for change. For example, Lisu Lodge have gone over and beyond to engage and develop the local community in the hill tribes of northern Thailand through capacity building and employment, creation of sustainable secondary source of income and indigenous community led initiatives that are tourism related.

Soneva Resort, a luxury brand and innovator in sustainable tourism. Soneva supports clean water projects, an orphanage initiative and a hunger alleviation charity. They have helped implement a local ban on shark fishing, established a coral restoration project, and their innovative carbon calculator ensures they continuously strive for inspirational resource efficiency.

A Malaysian example that was quoted is Scuba Junkie, a dive operator based in beautiful Mabul Island off the east coast of Sabah. The company strives to be sensitive and have a positive effect on this unique area. Introducing the first rubbish collection scheme on the island, they are improving waste management and protecting their natural assets. They also run a Turtle Hatchery and are championing the Semporna Shark Sanctuary, in order to help save our seas.

Other case studies presented include Agri Tourism in India, El Nido Resorts in Philippines, Heritance Kandalama in Sri Lanka, Andaman Discoveries in Thailand and Nikoi Island in Indonesia.

Sustainability is not all about the operator, it’s about the traveler

Deborah Chan_Ipoh Presentation_Responsible Tourism (2)

“The main reason why I’m in hospitality is because I love to travel. I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t enjoy seeing the world,” says Fabian Wilhelm. Sustainable tourism therefore needs to connect with the traveler. While operators are thinking of new ways to benefit the local community, preserve the environment and sustain the economy, they (operators) also need to think of new ways to involve the traveler and create exciting experiences that are out-of-the-box.

One thing for sure, social networks are powerful marketing tools that allow multi-dimensional conversations. An empowered, educated and informed traveler can act as a catalyst to spread the word to other travelers and potentially shake the industry to create new order in mass tourism’s modus operandi. The traveler therefore needs to experience the destination and be simultaneously educated with good travel practices that leave positive impact before they can speak up about sustainable tourism.

In conclusion, sustainable tourism is achievable in Asia, however this movement requires multi-stakeholder effort and a persistent push for it to gain enough momentum that will one day set in motion an avalanche of positive impact. Wild Asia hopes that in the short presentation given, more destination thinkers and movers will be enlightened to create more mindful ways of travel.

Presentations From Responsible Tourism Events At ITB Asia 2013

On behalf of ITB Asia and the other co-organizers, Wild Asia would like to thank you for participating in the Responsible Tourism Clinics and Forum at ITB Asia 2013. We would also like to thank all our speakers who graciously spared their time to share their wealth of experience and knowledge with us. The outcome was overwhelming and we hope that 2013 will be bigger and better. Please contact rt@wildasia.org if you wish to be part of 2013′s Responsible Tourism events.

Below you will find the full set of presentations throughout the 3-day event. Click on the links below to view the presentations. Let’s continue to “Learn, Be Inspired and Make a Difference!”

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Voluntourism – Are The Extra Hands Helping? by Martin Stevenson & Amy McLoughlin

Voluntourism is a growing travel sector and with it comes the pros and cons of volunteering abroad. For the volunteer, it can be a travel and learning experience, a new way of seeing the world while giving back, but for the local communities it may be disruptive, intrusive to local cultures and traditions or its benefits short lived. How effective and sustainable are voluntourism programs?

Martin Stevenson – Voluntourism Through The Eyes of A Backpacker 

Amy McLoughlin – The PEPY Story 

Impact Of Sustainability Initiatives On Customer Choice by Kumud Sengupta

What impact do sustainable business practices by travel companies have on travellers’ choice of a travel service provider (hotel, resort, tour operator etc.)? A survey was commissioned by Market Vision in mid-2013, aimed to determine the extent to which demonstration and promotion of sustainability initiatives by travel companies can impact customer choice behaviour. The results suggest that, all else being equal, a certain proportion of travellers would be inclined to patronize a travel company whose sustainability credentials are easily visible while a larger proportion would be inclined to go with a travel company whose sustainability credentials are easily visible and are endorsed by a credible third party assessor. A smaller proportion of travellers would not care. What should eco-tourism businesses do to attract such customers and influence their choice?

Be a Hero: Child Protection in Responsible Tourism by Patchareeboon Sakulpitakphon

The sexual exploitation of children should not be a part of the tourism reality, but it is. Although tourism is not the cause of this crime, offenders utilize the services and infrastructure of the tourism industry to carry out the crime. Thus, the tourism industry has a responsibility towards combating the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The Code is a tool that allows your company to implement child protection for responsible tourism.

Poverty Alleviation Through Sustainable Tourism Development: An Idea Or Reality? by Chananya Phataraprasit, Djinaldi Gosana and Hannah Won

A debate has arisen over the actual effects the tourism industry has within developing countries, and to what extent it helps the poor. The concept of tourism as a means of poverty alleviation has been around for nearly a decade, but there is a continuing debate over its effectiveness. Is tourism actually helping to give families and communities a better life or are here leakages that we do not see? Hear from various credible sources including the people on the ground and decide for yourself.

Bali CoBTA

Lisu Lodge 

Hannah Won – Orphanage Tourism 

Story Telling – How To Communicate Responsible Tourism (Without Sounding Boring!) by Adrianna Tan,  Jeremy Torr and Robin Boustead

Responsible Tourism as tool for branding and marketing is slowly dulling in the background with too many cases of greenwashing and/or boring technical achievements in sustainable practices. It’s time to sharpen your marketing edge and liven up the way you tell your story without compromising on credibility and the great business practices you have adopted. Find out how others have told their story and what travellers are really looking for.

Telling Travel Stories 3.0 by Adrianna Tan, Popaghandi.com

Sustainable Tourism: We All Need To Talk About it by Jeremy Torr, Storylocker

Great Himalaya Trail: A Case Study by Robin Boustead

Responsible Tourism Events At ITB Asia 2013

Responsible Tourism Forum & Clinics

October 23 – 25, Suntec City Convention Center, Singapore

ITB Asia offers every year a great stage for a range of events relevant to tourism professionals who consider essential to be updated with the most recent changes and trends in the industry. In this context, Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism team is present every year promoting Responsible Tourism practices through its unique  efforts across the continent. Do drop by the Responsible Tourism Centre at Booth E75, Hall 402 for a chat with us.

Engage in a series of personalised clinics and talks to learn and be inspired by leading experts.

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Responsible Tourism Clinics

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Date Time Venue Topic & Speaker(s)
23 October (Wednesday) 2:00 – 3:00pm ITB Asia Clinics Area Food Experiences In Travel
23 October (Wednesday) 3:30 – 4:30pm ITB Asia Clinics Area Voluntourism – Are The Extra Hands Helping?
Martin Stevenson & Amy McLoughlin
24 October (Thursday) 10:00 – 11:00am ITB Asia Clinics Area Impact Of Sustainability Initiatives On Customer Choice
Kumud Sengupta
24 October (Thursday) 11:30am – 12:30pm ITB Asia Clinics Area Experiential Travel – Tapping Into The Secrets Of Creating Holidays That Stick!
Tushar Khandelwal
24 October (Thursday) 1:30 – 2:00pm Responsible Tourism Centre. Hall 402 – Booth E75 Be a Hero: Child Protection in Responsible Tourism
Patchareeboon Sakulpitakphon
24 October (Thursday) 2:30 – 3:30pm Responsible Tourism Centre. Hall 402 – Booth E75 Revealing Of The Top 3 Winners of the Inspiring Stories Competition
25 October (Friday) 11:00am – 1:00pm ITB Asia Clinics Area Responsible Tourism Forum & Wild Asia’s 2013 Responsible Tourism Award ceremony.
Forum will feature 2 exciting topics by a panel of experienced & knowledgeable speakers. Stick around to find out the winners for the Responsible Tourism Awards. See below for more information.

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Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference, Kenya

Nairobi, September 24th – 27th 2013

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Wild Asia is a Media Partner of the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2013

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The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), now in its seventh year, is a unique annual conference providing practical solutions to advance sustainability goals for the tourism industry. Offering invaluable learning and networking opportunities, the ESTC is a leading international meeting place where innovative minds gather to discuss ideas that inspire change. In 2013, the ESTC will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 24-47, and will bring together 450+ professionals from across the industry. Advancing policies and practices benefiting businesses and communities, the ESTC helps reinforce the roles of tourism in building a more sustainable future. www.ecotourismconference.org

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(Banner photograph credit: Randy Crossley on National Geographic)

Presentations from Responsible Tourism Clinics & Forum at ITB Asia 2012

On behalf of ITB Asia and the other co-organizers, Wild Asia would like to thank you for participating in the Responsible Tourism Clinics and Forum at ITB Asia 2012. We would also like to thank all our speakers who graciously spared their time to share their wealth of experience and knowledge with us. The outcome was overwhelming and we hope that 2013 will be bigger and better. Please contact rt@wildasia.org if you wish to be part of 2013′s Responsible Tourism events.

Below you will find the full set of presentations throughout the 3-day event. Let’s continue to “Learn, Be Inspired and Make a Difference!”

Responsible Tourism Clinics

Holistic Property Management by Andrew Johns, Sanctuary Resorts

Responsible Tourism Reporting by Raj Gyawali, Social Tours

Tourism as a Tool for Conservation by Raj Basu, HELP Tourism

Responsible Tourism Forum

Greening the Supply Chain to Increase Profit in Business by Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Greenearth Travel, ICTP

New Media as a Strategic Communication in Sustainable Tourism by Jens Thraenthart, Dragon Trail