School of Sport and Service Management

Time to transform tourism

Professor Marina Novelli, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Tourism and International Development and a leading tourism activist, is calling for a worldwide shake-up to make the industry more sustainable, just and inclusive.

Professor Novelli contributed to the development of and is a signatory to the ‘Berlin Declaration on Transforming Tourism’ which is demanding “concrete activities and actions from the international community to transform tourism”.

The declaration, developed and signed by world-leading civil societies from 19 countries in Africa, Asia Europe and Latin America, says the “current dominant tourism model is not able to support the necessary transformation of our world envisaged by the 2030 Agenda”, the agenda set out by the United Nations for sustainable development.

It continues: “On the contrary, in too many cases it is exploiting people, harming communities, violating human rights and degrading the environment. Transforming our world is not possible without transforming tourism.”

The declaration came after a three-day workshop in Berlin, organised by Bread for the World – Tourism Watch, a charity dedicated to raising tourists’ awareness about responsible travel. They are involved in human rights and a dialogues with the tourism industry to improve its impacts on communities at large.

The declaration includes three core principles:

  • Human rights and self-determination of communities must be at the core of every tourism development. This includes the right to meaningful participation and consultation including free, prior and informed consent on whether, to what extent and in what form tourism takes place.
  • If tourism is developed, it needs to seek a widespread and fair distribution of economic and social benefits throughout the recipient communities, including improving local prosperity, quality of life and social equity.
  • Tourism should be a positive and beneficial experience for travellers and hosts alike in order to act as a force for mutual understanding, empathy and respect.

Professor Novelli said: “We are calling on as many individuals and organisations as possible to sign the declaration.”

The full text of the Berlin Declaration on Transforming Tourism and related compendium can be downloaded here

Professor Novelli will be talking on related issues and about Travel and Tourism in the Age of Sustainability on 29 March 2017.

For information on tourism courses click here.

Kerry Burnett • March 14, 2017

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