A few months ago I typed the phrase “does responsible tourism work?” into a browser and got precisely one result. This is emblematic of a problem that has long beset those working for a more sustainable travel industry – where can I find case studies, facts and figures, and hard evidence to support the claims that this is a better way of working, for travellers, businesses and for the communities people visit?
Such figures do exist, and indeed are springing up with increasing regularity all over the place, but finding a volume of such research is an arduous task. Thanks to the launch of the new Best Education Network (Best EN) website, however, this may no longer the case.
Best EN has been running think tanks and conferences around the world for 14 years now. This year’s think tank takes place in Ljubljana, on the topic of Politics, Policy and Governance in Sustainable Tourism. It features keynotes from Professor David Simmons on “sustainable tourism, market failures and the challenge of neo-liberal market economies”, and by Dr Dirk Gläser, Acting Director for the Sustainable Development of Tourism Programme of the UNWTO.
The new website gathers the wealth of research and resources developed over 14 years, ranging from PowerPoint slides to research papers and abstracts. There is also a growing range of online teaching materials available free of charge.
Although the primary focus is content developed for and during their think tanks, there is also an ‘external resources’ section, featuring databases and resources not held on their own website. Although this section is still in its infancy, they openly encourage people to add to it by emailing Anja Hergesell.