Harold Goodwin delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the 11th Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
Goodwin, founder of the International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations series, firmly stated:
“You can’t outsource responsibility.”
In his keynote, Goodwin stressed that those in the tourism industry in South Africa must begin to make significant changes in how they operate in order to make tourism in South Africa more responsible, ethical, and sustainable.
“The argument for responsible tourism was made, and won, years ago in the United Kingdom and Europe. The behaviour of tourists travelling from these markets has already adjusted, leaving them wanting authentic, genuine and sincere travel experiences, and yet the South African industry still insists on being provided with evidence that inbound tourists want sustainable and ethical, responsible holidays.” – Harold Goodwin, Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference
Goodwin claimed that British and European tourists are “responsibly aware,” and are looking for more authentic travel experiences that provide real interactions with the local community and the local culture. These tourists also understand the impact of their travel choices and therefore will choose their accommodation and destination (and plan their trip) in line with their ethics.
Some key takeaways from the 11th Responsible Tourism in Destinations Conference keynote include:
- Responsible tourism is not a marketing tool. It is about ethics. You can either be responsible or irresponsible.
- South Africa has not been able to capture the European Market, but there is potential with a responsible travel product.
- The tourism marketing of South Africa does not bring attention to tourism products that meet the needs of these ethical travel markets.
Being responsible in the tourism arena helps to lower costs, has significantly lower impact on the environment, contributes to building better places for people to live and consequently better places for people to visit. It just makes perfect sense. – Gary Wilson, Mainstream Purchasing Director, TUI Group
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