Tourism can be a huge force for good, helping local communities by providing employment, improving living standards and acting to protect natural resources and habitats. Unfortunately a lot of tourism does exactly the opposite. Which is why we need your help – please consider making a donation to one of our campaign below.
We are campaigning for Better Tourism – trips where you experience the real community and the community gets real benefits as a result. Holidays that bring long term benefits to the local community, create decent jobs for local people, promote sustainable growth and are welcomed by the local community.
Our campaigns support communities in challenging harmful practices and promote forms of tourism that bring real benefits to local people. This year our work will focus on:
Indigenous People and Tourism – code of conduct for tour operators
Human zoos, exploitation and dubious ‘traditions’ that actually inhibit real cultural exchange – the relationship between tourists and indigenous people is complex and frequently disappointing for both, with often only tour operators benefiting. We have worked to raise awareness of these issues with tourists and tour operators for a number of years. However it is clear that if the interaction between tourists an indigenous people is to be positive, then a strong code of conduct for tour operator’s engaging with indigenous people is needed. Please support this campaign – donate today.
Cruise Ship Tourism
Cruising is a growing trend and although brings some benefit to destinations, the reality in most cases is that they convey large numbers of low value passengers, who have limited time for meaningful cultural exchange and leave behind large amounts of rubbish and pollution. The large cruise ships have an enormous ecological impact and notoriously poor working conditions. Additionally many destinations have become highly dependant on this form of tourism which can inhibit the development of other, more sustainable forms of tourism. Please support this campaign – donate today.
Ethical Treatment of Animals in Tourism
Tourist activities that exploit animals only continue because tourists choose to support them. Tourism Concern campaigns for ethical tourism – tourism that benefits local communities and respects both the people, places and animals that form part of our holiday. At the heart of what we do is helping tourists make ethical and informed decisions, knowing the facts, and opting in or out according to these facts. Please support this campaign – donate today.
Porters, who carry extremely heavy loads up steep mountain paths for tourists on trekking holidays, frequently do so without adequate clothing or shoes. As a result of our ground-breaking campaign Trekking Wrongs: Porters Rights more than half of Britain’s trekking tour operators have now adopted our code of conduct to improve conditions for mountain porters. But recent events have shown that porters still feel their rights are not respected. Make a donation today and help us lobby the industry to adopt best practice.
In the Andaman Islands semi-nude Jarawa women are being forced by local police to dance for tourists in exchange for food. Instead of protecting the women the police take bribes from tour operators. Our Indigenous People’s code of conduct for tour operators provides guidance on how to engage with indigenous peoples to ensure respect for their rights. Make a donation today and help us provide advice and information to tourists to be more responsible.
Slum Tourism is the controversial phenomenon of organised excursions to informal settlements or ‘slums’ in places such as India, the favelas in Rio and the townships in South Africa. We are raising awareness and using our expertise and position to influence tour operators to undertake these tours ethically and in a way that benefits local residents. Make a donation today and help us support local residents and give them a voice in tourism development.
The resurgence of the all-inclusive holiday model, where tourists are invited to ‘leave their wallets at home’, has significant implications for employees, other local businesses, the destination economy, as well as the tourist experience in terms of meaningful cultural exchange.
Volunteering overseas on development projects is rapidly growing in popularity and more tour operators are now offering ‘voluntourism’ packages; however serious questions have arisen about how some such projects are managed and how the benefits are being shared. It is also a challenge for prospective volunteers to identify organisations that embrace best practice.