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World Responsible Tourism Day 2016
November 8, 2016
The 2016 WTM World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) will commemorate two key responsible tourism anniversaries; 20 years of responsible tourism and 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Days.
The South African Government’s 1996 white paper; The Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa is widely heralded as the start of responsible tourism. The white paper looked at how the post-apartheid South Africa can benefit from tourism and proposes responsible tourism as the key guiding principle to build the sector. The paper puts responsible and sustainable tourism at the centre of its overall strategy, making sure both the country’s natural resources are protected and not over exploited or over commercialised while also making sure all its citizens benefit from an increase in tourists. It also puts an emphasis on tourists to respect the environment and culture of the country.
Furthermore in 2007 WTM London rebranded its Environmental Awareness Day to World Responsible Tourism Day, broadening the agenda of the day’s programme. WRTD, which will take place this year on Tuesday 8 November, is now the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world. Nearly 2,000 delegates attend the responsible tourism programme at WTM London, organised by Manchester University Responsible Tourism Professor Harold Goodwin.
Although WRTD will be celebrated at WTM in London, it will also be highlighted worldwide throughout the year. Tourism organisations involved in responsible tourism can apply to be official WTM Responsible Tourism Champions and benefit from the use of the WTM Responsible Tourism banner in advertising, on marketing collateral, on social media, on websites and at conferences, exhibitions and events. Some WTM Responsible Tourism Champions also organise activities to mark WRTD.