Speaking at the responsible tourism workshops at SATTE 2010 was, to use a cliché, like preaching to the converted. For most, if not all, the people who attended believe that ‘responsibility’ is the future of tourism and travel. Yet, the deliberations of all three panels and the discussions that followed re-emphasised the conviction that responsible tourism or responsible travel is the way to go.
The workshops also drove home the point that responsibility can be profitable; that businesses can be responsible and also make money. This assertion was the thread that ran through the segment on ‘responsibility and profitability’. What I do wish, though, is that this segment had featured someone from cgh Earth, which went the responsible way many moons ago — perhaps even before ‘responsible’ had entered the business and tourism lexicon, especially in India. For each time I hear the cgh story, I learn something new about how responsible businesses can also be successful businesses.
At the end of the day though, responsible tourism is about each one of us taking responsibility for our actions. We simply cannot outsource responsibility. Not a new idea, but nevertheless one worth thinking about, internalising and practising.