The first International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations took place in Cape Town in 2002, it was organised with Western Cape Tourism as a side event to the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg ten years on from Rio.
The Cape Town Conference established the city as the birthplace of the idea of Responsible Tourism in Destinations. The 2002 conference brought together tourism businesses, governments and inter-governmental organisations to discuss how the ideas of Responsible Tourism developing in Europe could build on the South African national policy adopted in 1996. The Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism endorsed by 280 delegates from 20 countries placed the City has been at the forefront of Responsible Tourism implementation in South Africa and globally. The World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism programme used the Cape Town Declaration’s definition of Responsible Tourism. The World Travel Market 2014 Industry Report published in November 2014 reported that 86% of respondents perceived sustainability to be important to their business and more than 60 per cent of respondents said that responsible tourism will increase over the next three years, 30% say it will increase significantly.
The 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations will be held on 14 and 15 April 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. An academic day on 13 April will precede the conference. The conference will be co-chaired by the City of Cape Town, Professor Harold Goodwin (Manchester Metropolitan University and International Centre for Responsible Tourism) and Heidi van der Watt (Responsible Tourism South Africa). It takes place during Africa Travel Week 2015, incorporating WTM Africa, hosted by the City of Cape Town and organised by Thebe Reed.
Responsible Tourism formed a cornerstone of the first Tourism Development Framework adopted by the City of Cape Town in 2004. 10 years and 10 conferences on, RTD11 presents an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved in Cape Town, South Africa and elsewhere around the world, to document good practices applied by different producer groups, and set the agenda for change for the next 10 years. The conference will result in Responsible Tourism Practitioner’s guide to realizing Responsible Tourism in destinations – reflecting the input on what works from keynote speakers, panellists and delegates. This conference, like the one in 2002, aspires to review practice and set the agenda for the next decade and to identify the best answers to the question: How can tourism be used to make better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit?
Conference discussions will focus on practical solutions that create prosperous and sustainable urban destinations, the responsibility of tourism producer groups and the partnerships needed to make it work.
The conference will
* explore responsible tourism and how to secure competitive market advantage from it;
* discuss the issues of inclusion of marginalized citizens as producers and consumers of tourism and identify ways of making tourism more inclusive; and
* identify how the design of tourism products using Responsible Tourism principles can contribute to making better places for people to live in to live in and for people to visit.
Confirmed speakers include:
Adama Bah (ASSET Gambia)
Professor Harold Goodwin (Manchester Metropolitan University and International Centre for Responsible Tourism)
Judy Kepher-Gona (STTA – Kenya)
Lee-Hendor Ruiters (National Cleaner Production Centre – South Africa)
Manisha Pande (Villageways, India )
Heidi van der Watt (Responsible Tourism South Africa)
There will be many more speakers to come, making this event the most informative and best-value conference of its kind in South Africa.
Information about further speakers will be placed here as it becomes available.
The following organisations have already confirmed generous sponsorship:
City of Cape Town
Cape Town Tourism
A detailed sponsorship prospectus is available for companies interested in sponsoring RTD11. Organisations interested in sponsorship opportunities are invited to contact:
Heidi van der Watt
Founder and Director: Responsible Tourism South Africa
Cellphone: South Africa +27 (0) 83 263 2269
Visit the WTM Africa website for information about registration sxd cfb
Visit the ResponsibleCapeTown.co.za website for updates