Tourism Policy

There once was a beautiful tropical island afloat in the pale blue waters of the Caribbean called Bimini, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his well-known novel “Islands in the Stream.” Luxuriant coral reefs and mangroves provided safe refuge for bountiful marine life including a myriad of fish,...
The Maldives government is endangering coral reefs in pursuit of urbanisation and opaque mega-deals with foreign investors. After a 2016 ocean heat wave that killed 70 to 80 percent of the country’s surface corals, widespread dredging and land reclamation threatens their recovery. Under president...
Slums, Townships or Favelas: disadvantaged neighbourhoods are increasingly visited by tourists. If such excursions are organised in a socially responsible manner, they may be beneficial for both, local people and tourists, creating win-win situations. Visitors can get a better understanding of the...
“Come in, the house is yours!” Many Brazilians still use this old saying to make visitors feel at home. However, this hospitality is not found in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, but lives in the hearts and houses of people outside the hustle and bustle of the big cities. The much closer relationship...
Privacy is a very personal issue. Some might feel their privacy violated when someone else peeks through the window. Others live a very open analogue and digital life. Privacy is also a legal matter. How is the right to privacy regulated? What are the challenges we face in the protection of human...
Tourism often plays an ambivalent role in the context of poverty alleviation. The Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) in Bigodi (Uganda) shows how community participation can ensure that tourism really benefits the poor. KAFRED is one of this year’s winners of the TO...
Participation in tourism was the focus of a “Grassroots Summit on Tourism” in the village of Mothakkara in Wayanad district in the South Indian state of Kerala in January 2017 (cf. Mothakkara Declaration on Participation of Local Communities in Tourism). The gathering was used as an opportunity by...
We, the local community of Mothakkara, Wayanad, Kerala, South India, along with representatives of local self governments, civil society organisations, community-based organisations, representatives of political parties, and business representatives assembled in Mothakkara from 24th to 26th January...
The fight against corruption needs to play a more important role in the efforts to bring about sustainability in tourism, says Anja Schöne of Transparency International Germany. Corruption is an obstacle to development. Many big tour operators use tax havens and are associated with tax avoidance or...
International tourism engenders inequalities, with grave consequences. Governments of emerging economies and developing countries look to tourism to raise them out of poverty and provide employment. They subsidize expensive All-Inclusive resort developments by vertically integrated corporations to...
Whether it is a company or a destination, small players in tourism often start off with brilliant interest and zeal when developing their products. Very soon, though, their motivation tends to slow down, as there are myriad issues that affect tourism and create barriers to development. In Bandarban...
As in many other enclave-type destinations, tourism in The Gambia has developed in ways that provide few opportunities for poor people to participate. Traditionally the formal sector provides accommodation and transport. The most visible roles taken up by the poor used to be as hawkers, clustering...
In Costa Rica, coastal communities in the Gulf of Nicoya, indigenous groups and peasant communities in buffer zones of protected areas have been sharing a common fate. The legal insecurity about their land tenure limits them in their socio-economic activities. They may have high quality standards,...
Timor Leste, the world’s third newest nation, has great potential to develop community-based eco-cultural tourism into a fair and green economy for its rural communities. However, there is no political support. At the same time, the lack of infrastructure remains an obstacle to local development.
As the oldest town in Sub-Saharan Africa, Great Zimbabwe is one of the highlights of a tourist trip to Zimbabwe. As Kundri Böhmer-Bauer reports, the ruins have for more than 500 years served to legitimise different world views – with impacts on the local population, domestic and foreign tourists,...
Prior to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in early July, the 11th Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, under the title “Building New Solidarities: Working for Inclusive, Just and Equal Alternatives for Asia and Europe”. Tourism was on the agenda of an open space...
When assessing the influences of tourism on local communities, the social sustainability is often forgotten or pushed aside, while the economic benefits are given priority. However, tourism is about encounters which take place with other people, cultures and environments. In order to ensure the...
South Korea’s megacity, Seoul, has a population of ten million, and is restlessly pursuing the goal of 20 million visitors a year. However, if the city cannot maintain sustainable living conditions for its residents, then surely this goal is not sustainable. In September 2016, we are about to stop...
From 17th to 20 October 2016, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will take place in Quito, Ecuador. With an International Tribunal on Evictions at a “People's Social Forum Resistance Habitat 3“ parallel to the conference, the International...
It is estimated that 30 to 45 percent of the 2.4 million orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya live in children’s homes or orphanages. Most of these institutions are supported by foreigners, many of them well intentioned. However, supporting institutions disrupts the family and community-based...
The extent to which children are sexually exploited in travel and tourism has increased drastically and the nature of the offences has changed dramatically. With a two-year “Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism”, ECPAT has now created the largest database ever which...
Tourists who decide to travel to the „Holy Land“ usually do so only after due consideration. They often have serious concerns to visit a region which has time and again been a powder keg. However, the divided city of Jerusalem boasts of some of the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam....
More and more women travel, and often individually and as single women. As Julia Bühler reports, this often raises concerns with regard to their safety and security. Though there are an increasing number of tourism products that take women’s interests and needs into account, more could be done to...
With the increasingly complexity of global supply chains it has become almost impossible for consumers to find out whether a product is sustainable or not. Wolfgang Strasdas reports findings of research on tourism certification systems in Germany, conducted by Eberswalde University. 34 systems were...
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a new frame of reference for the international community is designed to advance both sustainability and development. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are at the core of the Agenda, but it is more than the sum of its...
Sustainable tourism should help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as stipulated in the 2030 Agenda. However, the sector is far from a sustainable path. In a commentary, Nina Sahdeva shows that tourism is a volatile business. After terrorist attacks, Kenya, Egypt, Tunisia, France,...
A diversified destination with a carefully planned supply chain may give poor rural women the opportunity for a fair share of the benefits created by tourism development. Yeşil Valiz Association in Turkey works with men and women on renegotiating gender relations and prepares rural women for...
Tourism development along the Northern and Eastern Sri Lankan coast is characterised by increasing involvement of the military. Several cases of land grabbing and displacement have been documented. In a study published in 2015, the Swiss Society for Threatened Peoples pointed out violations of...
Under the title “Entwicklungsfaktor Tourismus“ (“Development Factor Tourism“), the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) has presented a comprehensive statistical analysis of the money spent by German tourists in developing countries and emerging economies. The study shows how...
International residential tourism – or the retirement migration – is a recent phenomenon in the Andean area. However, in some places it has already caused conflicts and rapid changes in social and economic structures. Sharp increases in the price of rural land have made it almost impossible for...
The new ”Human Development Report 2015“, published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), describes the positive development effects of work, but also shows that they depend on certain conditions. This also applies to the tourism sector. While work generates income, secures livelihoods...
Respecting human rights along the entire supply chain is a major challenge for tourism enterprises. With outsourcing becoming more and more common, companies need to make increased efforts to identify and prevent exploitative working conditions, human trafficking and forced labour. Especially the...
In early November 2015, hotel housekeeping staff in many parts of the world drew attention to their work and unacceptable working conditions. The “Global Week of Action“ was part of the international trade union campaign „For a safe and secure work place“, organised by the International Union of...
Hard work, withheld passports and twelve hour working days without breaks or overtime pay – this is the reality for migrants working at hotels in Dubai, according to a report by the Swedish organisations Swedwatch and Fair Action. The findings, derived from interviews in three selected hotels and...
Extreme weather events such as heat and drought, torrential rains and cyclones are increasing due to global warming. They lead to major destruction, economic damage and loss of human lives. The poor run even higher risks of falling victims to extreme climate conditions, says Sabine Minninger. This...
With high emissions, enormous growth rates and a lack of binding reduction targets, the bunkers threaten to undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change, writes Annegret Zimmermann. It is therefore more urgent than ever to address aviation and shipping at the highest level of climate...
At the end of September, the United Nations will adopt new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are to beimplemented by all countries, acknowledging that the rich and powerful have special responsibilities. Chee Yoke Ling of Third World Network is part of a "Civil Society Reflection Group on...
The effects of climate change, capacities to adapt and the positive and negative impacts of tourism are not evenly distributed. The prime victims are the poor and marginalised, they pay the price. Therefore, a differentiated approach in both tourism development and climate negotiations is essential...
With a share of about 40 percent, oil dominates global energy supplies. Maintaining living standards or even improving them requires increasing supplies of cheap oil. However, ‘Peak Oil’ – the actual end of cheap oil – is in direct contradiction to this. It questions the projected growth of the...
Tourism has entered a period of “Great Acceleration” in humanity’s global environmental impact. Even if efficiency gains were substantial, these would be outpaced by arrival numbers, growth in the average distances travelled, and a trend towards greater resource use intensities in a small but...
Aerotropolis projects are among the largest megaprojects pursued by governments and corporations. These airport centric developments destroy farmland and forests, and act as economic enclaves, fostering corporate growth and excluding host communities. All over the world, developments called an ‘...
Every year, large numbers of tourists visit the Chilean Easter Island Rapa Nui to see the well-known Moai statues. As Corina Schaub reports, this has serious consequences for the local population. In March and April, indigenous people occupied the Rapa Nui national park in order to draw attention...
By Tulika Bansal and Vicky Bowman Myanmar is going through a “triple transition”: from a military system to democratic governance, from a centrally directed economy to a market-oriented economy, and from 60 years of conflict to peace in its border areas inhabited by different ethnic groups. Ethnic...
By Christina Kamp When tourists pay to "offset" their emissions from air travel, an equal amount of emissions needs to be reduced elsewhere. These reductions must be real and additional. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows countries like Germany to meet part of their reduction commitments...
Forest protection is not suitable for market-based CO2 offsetting, says biologist and forest activist Jutta Kill. She explains the dangers forests are facing over time, which may turn them from carbon sinks into sources of carbon emissions. Such dangers include forest fires and natural decay after...
By Christina Kamp In many parts of the world, forests are cut down and degraded. Climate change increases the urgency of effective forest conservation. Sustainable solutions for forest protection are hard to find – and need to suit local conditions. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) may be a...
In post-conflict situations and in the aftermath of natural disasters, tourism is often one of the first sectors to flourish again. In many cases, governments promote tourism even before initiating a process of reconciliation or reconstruction.Drawing upon the results of a recent study on human...
The Sri Lankan government promotes the country’s image of a peaceful and prospering holiday destination – despite Sri Lanka’s gruesome past. As Angela Mattli shows in her article based on a more comprehensive report by the Swiss Society for Threatened Peoples, after 26 years of civil war the human...
Some of Myanmar’s flagship sites such as Bagan, Inle and Kyaiktiyo, are already under environmental and social pressure from the effects of tourism, which is affecting the livelihoods of local inhabitants and long-term viability of these places as tourism destinations. The Danish Institute for...
In March, 2011, a "Theological Consultation on Tourism" took place in Chennai, India, led by the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT)and organised in collaboration with the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). It was followed by an international consultation "Theology of Tourism"in...

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