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ECOCLUB, Issue 94
*About the Author: Ms. Pamela A. Wight, is a Principal, Pam Wight & Associates, and an Honorary ECOCLUB Member. Ms.
Wight has played a leading role in the organisation and management of the United Nations International Year of Ecotourism
and was also responsible for drafting the Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism as a Rapporteur. Ms Wight is a consultant who
works in the broad realm of sustainable tourism, but with particular experience in the area of ecotourism.
Shaping a Fair Globalisation in Tourism
Excerpt from a new study entitled “
Tourism as a field of Activitity in German Development Cooperation*”
authored by Matthias Beyer, Nicole Häusler and Wolfgang Strasdas, all of Fachhoschule Eberwalde, University of Applied
Sciences. Published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for
There is a growing interest in fair trade in tourism.
Certainly, however, a plausible
Fair Trade label and
fair-traded travel also pose great challenges. While
industries may receive quality certification for
relatively complex products such as
footballs and textiles, tourism, due to its nature as a service industry, can only earn the
Fair Trade label for such individual components as accommodations, catering, travel
guidance and souvenirs. Fair Trade promotion and awareness campaigns would allow
the development cooperation
to make a significant contribution to fair trade in
tourism as well.
An important point in this connection is Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR),
which means that enterprises take responsibility for society and the environment as a
basis of sustainable corporate governance. CSR and
tourism might even become a
future core issue for
development cooperation, since the spectrum of CSR
many areas relevant to development policy which also affect tourism:
• Compliance with human rights
• Establishment of social standards
• HIV/AIDS prevention
• Supplier certification
• Occupational safety
• Consumer protection
• Climate protection
• Environmental sustainability
• Sustainable use of natural resources.
Shaping a Fair Globalization:
According to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development (BMZ), shaping globalisation means improving
the social, political and economic framework at all levels. The aim is to let developing countries participate in the benefits of
globalisation, rather than making them the victims of this process.
Today it is possible to fly from one end of the world to the other in a short time. In the last decades, it was usually only people
in the Western world who were able to afford business or leisure travel. There has been a dramatic turn in recent years, as the
Asian upper and middle classes, in particular, have begun to travel as well, demonstrating a growing popularity for trips to
Western countries.
Tourism is thus one of the central elements of globalisation, offering through its “tourism lens” an interesting and unique view
on key issues of globalisation, including
identity, cultural heritage, authenticity, ownership and
gender, as well as social,
environmental and economic sustainability.
It does not require deeper political insight to realise that we are not so much at the dawn of the age of sustainable development
as in the midst of an age of globalisation characterised by neoliberal policies that is far from reaching its zenith. While in view
of its dynamics it seems that no one is able to predict its long-term impact on humanity, the growing influence of globalisation
on people’s lives can already be felt around the world.
As a result, we are dealing with two concurrent discourses today – the globalisation discourse and the sustainability discourse –
yet without so much as a
clue as to how the sustainability discourse intends to
achieve its objectives in a world that is
dominated by the process of globalisation. Due to relatively
weak lobbying and authority, the sustainability
discourse is also at risk of being appropriated or even
exploited by the globalisation discourse, which might
take on the
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