On behalf of ITB Asia, Wild Asia would like to thank you for participating in the Responsible Tourism Clinics and Forum at ITB Asia 2015. We would also like to thank all our speakers who graciously spared their time to share their wealth of experience and knowledge with us. We had a stellar crowd at the Responsible Tourism Centre booth and many meaningful and passionate discussions took place. Let’s hope they translate into reality, making destinations better for tourists and local communities that depend on it. If you missed the responsible tourism events, don’t fret. We have compiled the presentations below. Click on the title or image below to view the presentation of your choice. Wild Asia hopes that you glean from these amazing case studies and knowledge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be part of 2016′s Responsible Tourism events.
Speaker: Graham Harper, Director of Educational and Responsible Travel, Buffalo Tours
Elephants in captivity are an ethical concern. Rapid tourism growth coupled with inadequate regulations encourage treatment that threaten the survival of these amazing wild creatures.Welfare of elephants must be improved and we believe responsible tourism is the most viable solution. Tourism done right can assist the survival of captive elephants throughout Asia and provide clients with an inspiring experience. This session presents the Good, the Bad & the Ugly of elephant experiences by following the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism developed by ABTA, Travelife Sustainability criteria, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism & Sports Elephant Standard, and Buffalo Tours captive elephant camp checklist.
Speaker: Paul Eshoo, Regional Conservation Enterprise Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Tourism is often described as a way to provide alternative livelihoods for people living around protected areas. For the sake of conservation, this general theory may be more effective with more targeted incentives for the protection of specific species. The use of incentives through tourism payments is being explored by WCS at sites in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Lessons learned can be applied by others in the industry with little cost and high impact.
Speaker: Chananya Phataraprasit, Founder, Asian Oasis Travel
The presentation will focus on the philosophy of Asian Oasis Travel and the concept of sustainable tourism. It will cover the company’s main principles, which are preservation, development, sustainability and delivery, with overview of how each principle is implemented and the result. We will also share our challenges and success stories.
Speaker: Hanna Maier, Junior Advisor, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
A single disaster event has the potential to cause widespread damage and economic disruption, affecting private and public investments in tourism destinations, and the country’s image and reputation, while posing a threat to the lives of tourist, workers and surrounding communities. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is collaborating with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Asia and Pacific (UNISDR) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) within the framework of the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) to improve climate and disaster risk management and to strengthen resilience in hotels and throughout destinations.
Speaker: Shannon Stowell, President, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)
Shannon Stowell will provide an overview and definition of adventure tourism and discuss the market and environmental opportunity it represents today. Included in his presentation are statistics on the market value of the global adventure tourism market and results from original survey research into the preferences and behaviors of U.S. adventure travelers (one of the largest source markets for international adventure travel). Included are survey results indicating an interest in Asian destinations for adventure travel. Mr. Stowell will also share information on when adventure tourism product development makes sense for a destination, trending activities, the importance of environmental management and tour operator best practices in securing a competitive position in the global marketplace for adventure experiences, and the triple bottom line benefits of adventure tourism market development.
Ecolodges Indonesia (ELI) is a for-profit social enterprise with an inclusive business model that focusses on biodiversity conservation and improving the livelihoods of its staff and immediate suppliers. The company is guided by veterinary medicine specialists, volunteer environmentalists and sustainable tourism professionals from within Indonesia and internationally. All five of the ecolodges is subject to an in-house ecological plan which has enabled one of the ecolodges to achieve a carbon footprint more than 30 times less than the average in the tourism hotspot of Kuta,Bali.
Speaker: Mariglo Laririt, Director of Environment and Sustainability, El Nido Resorts
El Nido is a small municipality in the Philippines. Typical of most of the country’s coastal villages, its economic base was fishing, using a variety of methods legal or not, until the late ‘70s. El Nido’s natural environment, however, is far from typical. It is an area of extraordinary biodiversity and stunning vistas. Doors were opened to Tourism when Ten Knots set up a rustic dive camp in one of the islands. Three and a half decades later, Tourism’s footprint is evident in every aspect of life in El Nido. For better or for worse, who is responsible?
Speaker: Luo Peng, Founder, Eco Action
Based on EcoAction’s successful pilots trips, Hainan Tropical Forest, Giant Panda, and Asian Elephant, Luo Peng will explain the holistic approach of integrating nature, wildlife, community and education into her tours. Her unique business model combines key elements that make up a destination – the environment, wildlife and people dependant on it. EcoAction have helped connect urban travellers with China’s amazing and diverse ecosystem.
Speaker: Yurie Nagashima, Business & Development Manager, Kinyei
Kinyei has been operating two small businesses, a bicycle tour operator and a café, while employing local youth in Battambang, Cambodia. Kinyei has always regarded the partnership with local communities as critical for the businesses to thrive and become sustainable. The road has not been easy, however, especially when the businesses are small, just starting, have limited capital, and need to compete in a competitive market. The presentation will highlight the activities Kinyei has done with the local communities, how we train and manage local youth to become competent and confident professionals, and challenges and lessons learned along the way.
As of June 2, 2015, Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) was established in Bangkok with the aids of Thai government, DASTA. The Network will supply more hands-on connections and relevant opportunities for members working together at a regional level. It will provide more networking and business opportunities, significant information, educational materials and networking prospects to both small and large organisations within Asia. The founding member countries comprise of Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, China, South Korea, Mongolia, India, Laos, Pakistan, Bhutan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines and Australia. Be there to learn how you can engage and grow together with AEN!
Speaker: Thabo Brian Dithebe, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Tourism Organisation