Manchester to host Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference



The eighth international Responsible Tourism in Destinations (RTD8) conference is being held at Manchester Metropolitan University on April 3-5.

Coinciding with both English Tourism Week and Responsible Business Week, the event is set to attract delegates from all over the world, in an effort to address the challenges of tourism development and management.

The first conference took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2002, as a fringe event of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Some 280 people from 20 countries were in attendance.

At the inaugural event, the Cape Town Declaration was drawn up, which called for countries “to take responsibility for achieving sustainable tourism, and to create better places for people to live in and for people to visit”.

The conference has since been held in cities like Alberta, Sao Paulo and, last October, Barcelona. The most recent edition attracted 336 registrations with representation from 16 countries, 25% of which were international.

Harold Goodwin, professor of responsible tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, helped create the conference series as part of his work with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. He will be giving a lecture on ‘Taking Responsibility for Tourism’ on April 3.

Ahead of the event, Goodwin said, “Travel and tourism are what we make them. We can change the way we travel and holiday to make better experiences for consumers, better business for companies and better places to live in for people. We can make tourism better. In Manchester, the debates will be about how to do it.”

On the agenda are panel discussions on making better places for people to live in, the priorities for the next few years and whether tourism uses destinations or destinations use tourism.

Climate scientist Prof Kevin Anderson will give a keynote speech on why it is so difficult to get people to act on climate change, while leading travel association ABTA looks at why destinations matter.

VisitEngland, which co-ordinates English Tourism Week, is also heavily involved with the Manchester event. Chief executive James Berresford said, “In our role as the national tourist board, it’s an opportunity for VisitEngland to showcase England’s wonderful destinations, and the work being done across the country to manage destinations responsibly – for the benefit of local communities, the economy and the environment.”

For the full agenda and more information on how to attend this essential event, see here. Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.

Further reading:

Why tourism can be a force for good in the developing world, and why it isn’t

‘No tourism if you kill the environment’, Philippines ecotourism conference hears

Ecotourism helps reduce poverty, new study shows

Sustainable tourism: ‘going green’ doesn’t just mean a splash of colour

The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2014


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