Responsible Tourism is about “Making Better Places For People To Live In And Better Places For People To Visit.” Responsible Tourism requires that Expedition, Trek, Tour operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable which ultimately bring sustainable development in the world.
Bodhi Adventures has adopted the Cape Town Declaration definition of Responsible Tourism for its World Responsible Tourism Day which encourages the industry to take responsibility for making tourism more sustainable and demonstrate their responsibility.
The Cape Town Declaration recognizes that Responsible Tourism takes a variety of forms, it is characterized by travel and tourism which:
- Minimizes negative economic, environmental and social 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 changes;
- 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;
- Provide access for people with disabilities and the disadvantaged;
- And is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
Behavior can be more or less responsible and what is responsible in a particular place depends upon environment and culture.
Responsible Tourism is now core, mainstream business for Nepal.
Guiding Principles for Economic Responsibility
- Assess economic impacts before developing tourism and exercise preference for those forms of development that benefit local communities and minimize negative impacts on local livelihoods (for example through loss of access to resources), recognizing that tourism may not always be the most appropriate form of local economic development.
- Maximize local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing leakages, by ensuring that communities are involved in, and benefit from, tourism. Wherever possible use tourism to assist in poverty reduction by adopting pro-poor strategies.
- Develop quality products that reflect, complement, and enhance the destination.
- Market tourism in ways which reflect the natural, cultural and social integrity of the destination, and which encourage appropriate forms of tourism.
- Adopt equitable business practices, pay and charge fair prices, and build partnerships in ways in which risk is minimized and shared, and recruit and employ staff recognizing international labor standards.
- Provide appropriate and sufficient support to small, medium and micro enterprises to ensure tourism-related enterprises thrive and are sustainable.
Guiding Principles for Social Responsibility
- Actively involve the local community in planning and decision-making and provide capacity building to make this a reality.
- Assess social impacts throughout the life cycle of the operation – including the planning and design phases of projects – in order to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones.
- Endeavor to make tourism an inclusive social experience and to ensure that there is access for all, in particular vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and individuals.
- Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of children.
- Be sensitive to the host culture, maintaining and encouraging social and cultural diversity.
- Endeavor to ensure that tourism contributes to improvements in health and education.
Guiding Principles for Environmental Responsibility
- Assess environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of tourist establishments and operations – including the planning and design phase – and ensure that negative impacts are reduced to the minimum and maximizing positive ones.
- Use resources sustainably, and reduce waste and over-consumption.
- Manage natural diversity sustainably, and where appropriate restore it; and consider the volume and type of tourism that the environment can support, and respect the integrity of vulnerable ecosystems and protected areas
- Promote education and awareness for sustainable development – for all stakeholders.
- Raise the capacity of all stakeholders and ensure that best practice is followed, for this purpose consult with environmental and conservation experts.