was defined in Cape Town in 2002 alongside the World Summit on
Sustainable Development. This definition, the
Cape Town Declaration is now
widely accepted and has been adopted by the World Travel Market in
2007 for World Responsible Tourism Day.
The Cape Town Declaration called "upon countries, multilateral
agencies, destinations and enterprises to develop similar practical
guidelines and to encourage planning authorities, tourism
businesses, tourists and local communities - to take responsibility
for achieving sustainable tourism, and to create better places for
people to live in and for people to visit."
Responsible Tourism is about taking responsibility for achieving
sustainable development through tourism. Responsible Tourism places
the emphasis on applying principles, which can be found in the Cape
Town Declaration, for economic, social and environmentally
sustainable development through tourism; and recognizes that the
priorities and mechanisms will be different in different places
reflecting our world's natural and cultural diversity.
Recognising that Responsible Tourism takes many forms, that
different destinations and stakeholders will have different
priorities, and that local policies and guidelines will need to be
developed through multi-stakeholder processes to develop responsible
tourism in destinations.
Having the following characteristics, Responsible Tourism:
- minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts;
- generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances
the wellbeing of host communities, improves working conditions and
access to the industry;
- involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and
- makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and
cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world's diversity;
- provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more
meaningful connections with local people, and a greater
understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
- provides access for physically challenged people;
- is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and
hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
UN WTO Global Code of Ethics
2002 Cape Town Declaration principles and approaches to Responsible