Tourism's Burden is not always visible

Bristol, 15 January 2019: The Travel Foundation has partnered with Cornell University and EplerWood International to analyse how the more damaging impacts of tourism's rapid growth can be better understood and managed globally.

After decades of steady growth, international tourist numbers surpassed 1 billion for the first time in 2012. The report shows that destinations across the world are not prepared for the unprecedented demands this has placed on them, leading to alarming reports of overtourism. With growth set to continue exponentially, reaching 1.8 billion tourists by 2030, a global crisis is looming.

While overtourism is an important symptom, the use of vital natural, social and public assets without recompense is highlighted as the core of the problem.  The report suggests that, wherever it exists, tourism places an "invisible burden" on destinations and their residents. The invisible burden leaves inadequate revenue to provide a sustainable foundation to manage the rapid growth of tourism worldwide.

Integrated Rural Tourism Development Event: Discovering rural wonders at their best and delivering them to the world.

Yerevan, Armenia (13 December 2018) - Armenia shapes its future to be a unique sustainable destination, building capacities in effective tourism planning and managing. A diverse group of tourism and development professionals from across Armenia has joined a blended training program on PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development), and successfully completed the first segment, a 3-week-long tailored online training course. The participants will then undertake an onsite face-to-face training session taking place in Yerevan (December 20-21, 2018), to complete their training and to prepare for the PM4SD-Foundation certification, accredited by APMG International.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2018 in Maun, Botswana, brought together 150 delegates from 26 countries, as well as hundreds of viewers joining the live broadcast of the conference.

An opening speech was given by His Excellency The Fourth President of the Republic of Botswana; Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama. Other speakers came from near and far - from Botswana, different parts of Africa, and from further continents such as Asia, America, and Europe. Session topics included: "Destination Management – finding the right balance between overtourism and under-tourism"; "Wildlife Conservation and Tourism"; "Certification Body Collaboration Through Mutual Recognition or Shared Service"; "Recommendations for Market Access for SMEs"; "Achievements towards the 17 SDGs in the Tourism Sector"; and more.

New ETC Report calls for Visa Liberalisation for Chinese Travellers

Brussels, 3 December 2018 - Europe’s visa regimes are among the most restrictive in the world according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) which estimated that 74% of the global population would have required a visa to travel to Europe in 2015. This number largely accounts for visitors from long-haul source markets which are amongst the most valuable as they tend to stay longer and spend more per day than the average visitor. The European Travel Commission (ETC) has published a report quantifying the potential impacts of visa facilitation for Chinese travellers on European tourism.

The Larvalbot

Brisbane (25 October 2018) - An out of the box idea to match-make coral and deliver new coral ‘babies’ using robotics onto the reef has won the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Out of the Blue Box Reef Innovation Challenge, securing $300,000 AUD (approx. $225,000 USD) to bring the idea to life. The proposal to restore coral reefs on a grand scale is the brainchild of Southern Cross University’s Professor Peter Harrison and Queensland University of Technology’s Professor Matthew Dunbabin whose innovative concept was declared the winner from a short list of five finalists. The concept is designed to be activated during the annual mass coral spawning event this November on the Great Barrier Reef when corals reproduce simultaneously in spectacular fashion. Scientists will capture hundreds of millions of coral spawn from the corals that have survived the two recent mass coral bleachings, and rear them into baby corals in mass quantities inside large floating enclosures. A new generation of robot will then play ‘stork’, delivering the tiny baby coral larvae out onto reefs.

Quang Nam (VNA) – Preserving intrinsic values of local cultural heritages and accelerating tourism promotion should be included in Hoi An city’s mechanisms to support sustainable tourism development, according to a local official.

Read more: Hoi An preserves sustainable tourism development - Vietnamplus.vn

Progress in Measuring Tourism Sustainability

Madrid, Spain (30 October 2018) – The World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) initiative Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) received a boost last week when its working group met in Madrid (24-25 October). After successful pilot studies to produce credible and comparable data, the initiative is on track with its aim of getting the MST framework adopted as the third international standard on tourism statistics. The group of experts creating a statistical framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism met to establish the MST initiative’s major goals for 2019. The initiative is creating a draft framework for a data standard for tourism’s impact on sustainability and plans to have it adopted as the third international standard on tourism statistics by the UN Statistics Commission (UNSC).

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is undertaking a two-year project to analyze and help to strengthen small-scale, boutique hotel and household-based tourism businesses in Cuba and to compare their economic, social, and environmental impacts to large-scale cruise tourism. This project involves research studies and field work together with universities in Pinar del Rio and Holguin provinces as well as in Havana. The project is directed by CREST executive director Martha Honey and coordinated in Havana by Rafael Betancourt, who is working with teams of academic in the two provinces and in Havana. The activities include supporting sustainable tourism workshops in the respective Congresses that both universities will be holding in spring and summer 2019 and organizing learning exchanges/study tours for academics from both universities.

Voices of the Wind: Traditional Instruments in Laos

Luang Prabang, LAO PDR – TAEC’s newest special exhibition, “Voices of the Wind: Traditional Instruments in Laos” is now on display after more than two years of extensive research and documentation in remote regions of northern Laos led by Belgian ethnomusicologist and curator, Dr Marie-Pierre Lissoir, and the TAEC research team. A highly interactive and intimate exhibit, display spaces communicate three important contexts of instrumental practices: ritual, instrument-making, and courting. Through village scene re-creation, audio stations, and interactive video and photograph kiosks, visitors will enter a world rarely seen by the general public.

The Natural Protected Areas Commission (Conanp) bans the construction of any new large hotels, golf courses or airstrips and the dumping of wastewater into the sea around this small island off the coast of the Yucatán peninsula, while visitors will not be allowed to bring throwaway plastics

Read more: No large hotels, golf courses, airstrips—or throwaway plastic—on Holbox