Tourism Concern works for ethical and fairly traded tourism wherever we can make a difference – campaigning, informing, supporting. Our freshly designed website is still being populated so there’s more to come on our Resources and Travel Guide pages. But our Campaigns pages are already bursting with examples of how we carry out our work and why it’s so important.
Different campaigns, same approach.
Our campaigns are sparked by the needs reported to us by the communities and organisation at destination countries, or by travellers who have witnessed problems on their holiday.
We start by consulting with partners and stakeholders involved in the issue at hand (water equity, land grab, international volunteering, work conditions, sex tourism…) We also perform due diligence and spend several months researching, asking, investigating, and collecting case studies. This enables us to build a proposal for solutions and a strategy for implementing them.
Our campaigns require funding, and the search for support is an on-going effort at Tourism Concern.
Our solutions are diverse and fit specific issues in specific destinations. But they always revolve around three areas: influencing people, government, or the industry; being the voice of marginalised communities, and creating alternatives to the way things are done.
We aim to change the way that tourism is traded and developed through collaborative work with industry, government, development and human rights NGOs.
We lobby government and challenge industry to be accountable and expose serious abuses through our campaigns. Tourism Concern’s voice has contributed to both the UN Marrakesh Process and the deliberations of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
We also encourage holidaymakers to challenge their own perceptions about the cultures they visit and the real impact of their holiday. We provide tourists with information so that they can ask the right questions and make informed choices when booking their holidays. Our educational resources and publications are designed to influence critical thinking and stimulate ideas.
2. Supporting marginalised voices
We help people and communities in destination countries to get their voices heard in the UK media. We also help them to develop their own campaigning skills, through capacity building and developing tools. Our campaigns are always related to issues affecting people in destination countries.
3. Creating alternatives
We create approaches and tools to maximise tourism benefits to local communities. We aim to improve industry practice and work with community-based tourism initiatives to strengthen and promote their operations.
Tourism Concern is governed by a Management Council of 9 trustees. They provide oversight and maintain accountability. Our current trustees are widely representative of the tourist industry, human rights and development organisations, academia and education sectors. Details of current Council Members are available in the People section.
As charity trustees, their role is to govern the organisation and provide overall policy direction to achieve its aims in the most efficient and effective manner, consistent with the organisation’s values and approach. They have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Tourism Concern, ensuring it is solvent, well-run and delivering its charitable objects.
Although the Council Members are ultimately responsible under the Memorandum of Association for the management and administration of the charity, the Charity Commission guidance recognises that because of the scale of work undertaken by a charity such as Tourism Concern, decision-making on management is delegated to the Executive Director and through them to the employees. Tourism Concern has a written delegation of authority to the Executive Director. Council Members are elected by the Governing members at the AGM or can be co-opted by the Council at any time throughout the year.
As a membership-based organisation, the involvement and support of our Members are vital. Members attend the Annual Meeting and help shape our campaigns, suggest new areas of research and provide valuable feedback on our work and partners. We have four levels of Membership:
- Gold Member
- Professional Member (for individuals working in the tourism or related industries)
- Student Member (for those studying tourism or a related course).
Details are available on our website. All Members are invited to special events and the annual meeting but do not have a governing role, and do not share or have responsibility for the liabilities of the charity.
Partners are organisations including other charities, companies and institutions with whom we are comfortable working with. This includes our:
- Academic Network (universities and educational establishments)
- Ethical Tour Operators Group
- Ethical Volunteering Group
- Partners listed in the Ethical Travel Guide