You may have heard of ‘responsible tourism’ and may be unsure about what this really means. A widely accepted definition of responsible tourism, as given by Harold Goodwin, Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and advisor to the World Travel Market on Responsible Tourism Advisor is given below:
Responsible Tourism is about “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Responsible Tourism is about what we do as producers and consumers to achieve sustainability.”
Further details are given in the definition from The Cape Town Declaration (Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism – Responsible Tourism Partnership).
- Minimises negative environmental, social, and economic impacts.
- Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.
- Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances.
- Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity.
- Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social, and environmental issues.
- Provides access for physically challenged people.
- Is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
At Roam Wales, we acknowledge the impact that an increased number of visitors to Wales can have in terms of the environment, local resources and communities and understand the need for responsible tourism.
We aim to minimise the negative effects of travel and tourism and aim to preserve the heritage, environment, and communities we visit.
We develop meaningful connections with the places and people we visit and are respectful of the local environment, heritage, and customs. As a locally owned and run business, we understand the importance of choosing to work with fellow locally owned suppliers and businesses wherever possible. We are incredibly proud of where we live and work and create and maintain meaningful relationships with the people and places, we visit on our sightseeing tours of Wales.
We endeavour to minimise the potential negative impacts of our business, including minimising single use plastics, timely maintenance of our vehicles to ensure efficiency and the provision of accessible vehicles for physically challenged people.
We encourage visitors to Wales to be a real part of the Welsh community, albeit on a temporary basis.
With this in mind, we ask our guests to consider the local environment, be considerate of the communities we visit in terms of courtesy and respect. Some examples of things to consider as part of being a responsible tourist in Wales might include:
- Supporting local people and the local economy, choosing local businesses for dining, accommodation, gifts, and purchases.
- Minimising your single plastic use, by choosing more sustainable options.
- Approaching travel with a responsible mindset allowing you to truly understand the places and communities you visit, establishing connections and gaining a deeper understanding of the culture, customs, and communities of Wales.
- Avoid taking natural souvenirs – for example not picking up sand or shells from beaches.
- Responsible hiking.
- Taking your litter with you and being mindful of noise levels and respectful behaviour in local communities.
By considering being a responsible tourist, you bring benefits not only to the places you visit, but to your own experience – making it more fulfilling and establishing a deeper connection with the people and places you see.
Responsible tourism is crucial for a sustainable future for global tourism, and we are fully committed to playing our role in this as a provider of guided tours of Wales. We truly believe in encouraging our guests to become part of the communities we visit together and to endeavour to preserve and develop those communities together.