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China Heeds Call for Responsible Tourism

September 20, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

International Sustainability expert Stewart Moore, CEO for EC3 Global and EarthCheck, called on the tourism industry in China to take collective action to introduce more responsible tourism operations.

Mr. Moore was the keynote speaker at the 3rd China Responsible Tourism Forum. The Forum was organised by The Pacific Asia Travel Association( PATA) in collaboration with the ASEAN-China Centre and the Jiuzhaigou National Park Administration.

The forum was held in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jiuzhaigou Valley and its theme was “Beautiful China – A Responsible Visitor Economy”. CRTF provided delegates from all parts of the visitor economy in China and other ASEAN countries with the opportunity to hear and debate critical new research and policies as well as challenges, opportunities and emerging issues influencing the industry’s sustainability and future development.

In his keynote speech, Stewart Moore stated the industry must commit to a plan of action that has some bold sustainability goals and stretch targets. Simply committing to current management and work practices will not be good enough.

As the CEO for PATA Martin Craig said, “The Asia-Pacific region is at a critical point growing at a rapid rate compared to the rest of the world. We must pay careful attention to how we are developing our businesses and the impact our practices will have on our environment and culture.”

Mr. Moore noted, “The tourism industry does not have to deliver on every desired sustainability outcome from day one, but we do need to take steps that we can build on over time. Sometimes focussed initiatives such as water conservation and waste reduction can provide a good starting point for the industry to generate some level of confidence.”

“It is also important as an industry that we must learn to collaborate on sustainability issues and’ join the dots’. The most effective sustainability programs across the world have come about from operators and communities working together to achieve collective outcomes. This includes small business clusters, resort precincts, communities and destinations,” said Mr Moore.

“On UN World Tourism Day, EC3 Global will focus on raising awareness of tourism’s role in water access through promoting its International White Paper on Water and Tourism. The white paper provides a global context on water stress, availability and stewardship, and discusses the implications for the tourism industry along the three dimensions of cost, availability and quality,” said Mr.Moore.

The EarthCheck Research Institute, together with Ecolab, prepared an international White Paper on Water and Tourism. The EarthCheck Research Institute will follow this white paper with two further research reports that will address water use benchmarks and baselines for hotels together with models to guide operational best practice.

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