Tourism Policy

In early June 2018, the International Summit on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism held in Bogota, Colombia offered an occasion to take stock of the impact of various strategies to prevent the exploitation of children. During the International Summit, various large players of the global travel...
Bali is a heaven for millions of tourists from other countries. Hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities are mushrooming in the southern and central regions of Bali. Many Balinese women working in this sector also engage in sexual relations with foreign tourists. Where these relationships...
“La Muralla”, Cartagena’s colonial firewall, surrounds the old town of the Caribbean metropolis in the north of Colombia. Cartagena is a world heritage site and attracts hundred thousands of tourists every year. The Spanish used the wall in the 16th century in order to protect what was of value to...
Short-term volunteering or voluntourism is a growing and profitable segment of the tourism industry. But time and again, under the disguise of supposed "help", children get exploited for sexual purposes. Some cases have been reported in the media, many more have been recorded by the police.
Every year thousands of children are exploited by tourists in poor regions. Sri Lanka, too, has been a hotspot for child sex tourism for many years, due to lax law enforcement. ECPAT Sri Lanka has been working on preventing such exploitation for over 25 years. Following destination workshops with...
Despite the fact that the shipping and cruise sector is one of the most regulated sectors, still,there are situations that need closer attention as improper interpretations of international regulations may result in disadvantages for seafarers and bad working conditions aboard cruise liners. The...
Costa Rica has developed a diversified tourism model primarily based on the natural resources of the country. It includes different tourism offers which are conducted in parallel. There is no dependency and no displacement by the cruise industry, unlike in other Caribbean destinations. Through the...
In May 2016, when Carnival Cruise’s ‘Fathom Adonia’ docked in Havana, Cuba officially became the last remaining Caribbean nation to be integrated into the region’s large-scale cruise tourism network. This modern-day cruise industry dates from the 1960s, when the three major cruise lines, Carnival,...
The idea of the World Heritage List is for the international community to jointly protect and transmit particularly important cultural places and natural beauty for future generations. While the status of a World Heritage Site means protection, it also brings prestige and often many visitors. In...
The province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica has seen a series of intensive conflicts arising between communities and hotel and residential projects in relation to water. The construction and speculation fever that the area has been subject to since the end of the 1990s has positioned it as one of the...
The small Indian state of Goa has a long history of conflicts between the tourism industry and local people. For example, tourism increases pressures on the local public transport system and water supplies, which in any event are inadequate. Every weekend, and, more particularly, over a long...
Interview with Frances Namoumou of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) and Reverend Tafue Lusama, General Secretary at the Church of Tuvalu and Chairperson of the Tuvalu Climate Action Network Home to Happiness – with this slogan the official tourism website of Fiji advertises its island to...
It has not been a popular strategy in tourism marketing to promote a destination by highlighting sensitive or complicated issues. However, in community-based tourism in the Peruvian Andes, this is exactly the course that some incoming agencies and Quechua communities have started to take in order...
In 2015 Nepal experienced massive earthquakes and was left with hundreds of thousands of houses destroyed. Especially Helambu, located north-east of Kathmandu, was severely affected. In this region, tourism is a main source of income for its residents. More than two years later, the reconstruction...
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...
“Sea, sand and sun is what tourists look for in the Caribbean”, says Mitchel Lay. The 52-year-old father of five is from Antigua and Barbuda. He goes to the seaside himself almost every day. However, unlike the tourists not in order to swim, but to fish. As a professional fisherman and...
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...

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