In 2000 DEAT published national Responsible Tourism guidelines for the private sector, which subsequently became the sector planning guidelines for local government. In 2002 the first International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was held in Cape Town. This conference coincided with the WSSD (World Summit on Sustainable Development) conference which was taking place in Johannesburg at the same time. Prof Harold Goodwin cochaired the conference and what emerged was the definition of Responsible Tourism in the form of the Cape Town Declaration. This definition has been reaffirmed at the second International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations in Kerala in 2008. The Kerala Declaration on Responsible Tourism was adopted by the World Travel Market (WTM) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
(UNWTO) for World Responsible Tourism Day.
All forms of tourism can be more responsible. The goals of Responsible Tourism are very similar to Sustainable tourism (which are environmental integrity, social justice and maximising local economic benefit)with the exception that Responsible Tourism requires that individuals, organisations and businesses are asked to take responsibility for their actions and the impacts of their actions. This shift in emphasis has taken place because not much progress has been made on realising sustainable tourism since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. This is partly because everyone has been expecting others to behave in a sustainable way. The emphasis on responsibility in responsible tourism means that everyone involved in tourism – government, product owners and operators, transport operators, community services, NGO's and CBO's, tourists, local communities, industry associations – are responsible for achieving the goals of responsible tourism
...can be adopted as an agenda for change in Ecotourism, Green Tourism or Green Travel, Geotourism, Voluntourism, Slow Travel, Adventure Travel. And so too for the local South African tourism market in:
Check out the cultural experiences and shark diving operators certified by Fair Trade Tourism South Africa FTTSA
Responsible Tourism is not another form of 'niche tourism'. It is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism for the environment, local people and local economies.Responsible Tourism does not only take place in National Parks, Game Reserves or protected natural environments. Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving city, a game reserve, a township, a coastal town or a wine estate can be a Responsible Tourism operation.
Certain aspects of the Cape Town Declaration are very generic; it is for destinations and tourism service providers to determine their priorities in the light of the environmental and sociocultural
characteristics of their destination. All forms of tourism can be more responsible. Progress relies on “all stakeholders taking responsibility for creating better forms of tourism and realising these aspirations.”
Responsible Tourism "relishes the diversity of our world's cultures, habitats and species and the wealth of our cultural and natural heritage" and therefore accepts “that responsible and sustainable tourism will be achieved in different ways indifferent places. ”
One policy or set of criteria will not apply everywhere and neither should they Responsible Tourism is not another form of ‘niche tourism’. It is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism for the environment, local people and local economies. Responsible Tourism does not only take place in National Parks, Game Reserves or protected natural environments. Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving city, a game reserve, a township, a coastal town or a wine estate can be a Responsible Tourism operation.
Responsible Tourism was defined in the 2002 Cape Town Declaration as:
The declaration concludes with a commitment 'to work with others to take responsibility for achieving the economic, social and environmental components of responsible and sustainable tourism.'
One local organisation taking the Responsible Tourism agenda forward and making it their responsibility to change the mindsets of the South African tourism industry are Fair Trade Tourism South Africa or FTTSA.