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Responsible Tourism (RT)

The ESRT Programme is committed to the guiding principles for Responsible Tourism which were identified in the CAPE TOWN DECLARATION on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (2002) as such:

Guiding Principles for Economic Responsibility


·         Assess economic impacts before developing tourism and exercise preference for those forms of development that benefit local communities and minimise negative impacts on local livelihoods, recognising that tourism may not always be the most appropriate form of local economic development.

·         Maximise local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing leakages, by ensuring that communities are involved in, and benefit from, tourism. Wherever possible use tourism to assist in poverty reduction by adopting pro-poor strategies.

·         Develop quality products that reflect, complement, and enhance the destination.

·         Market tourism in ways which reflect the natural, cultural and social integrity of the destination, and which encourage appropriate forms of tourism.

·         Adopt equitable business practises, pay and charge fair prices, and build partnerships in ways in which risk is minimised and shared, and recruit and employ staff recognising international labour standards.

·         Provide appropriate and sufficient support to small, medium and micro enterprises to ensure tourism-related enterprises thrive and are sustainable.


Guiding Principles for Social Responsibility


·         Actively involve the local community in planning and decision-making and provide capacity building to make this a reality.

·         Assess social impacts throughout the life cycle of the operation – including the planning and design phases of projects - in order to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive ones.

·         Endeavour to make tourism an inclusive social experience and to ensure that there is access for all, in particular vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and individuals.

·         Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of children.

·         Be sensitive to the host culture, maintaining and encouraging social and cultural diversity.

·         Endeavour to ensure that tourism contributes to improvements in health and education.


Guiding Principles for Environmental Responsibility


·         Assess environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of tourist establishments and operations – including the planning and design phase - and ensure that negative impacts are reduced to the minimum and maximising positive ones.

·         Use resources sustainably, and reduce waste and over-consumption.

·         Manage natural diversity sustainably, and where appropriate restore it; and consider the volume and type of tourism that the environment can support, and respect the integrity of vulnerable ecosystems and protected areas.

·         Promote education and awareness for sustainable development – for all stakeholders.

·         Raise the capacity of all stakeholders and ensure that best practice is followed, for this purpose consult with environmental and conservation experts.

Created Date: 5/15/2012
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