Responsible Tourism tries to answer to tendencies of change in offer, choice, and consumption of touristic products connected to environmental protection, the benefits and impact that this type of tourism must have and bring in local communities.
Every form of tourism can fit into the concept of responsible tourism which is not a niche product.
Responsible tourism does not reduce the quantity of available resources for the future generations and does not future potential tourists to enjoy the same experience as they do today. In other words, responsible tourism has a very little impact on the environment, educates tourists on important aspects, while creating economic benefits in the community.
This type of tourism usually involves destinations in which the main attractions are the flora, fauna or cultural heritage. One of the main objectives is to stimulate appreciation towards nature, traditions and communities.
The first ideas on responsible tourism started to grow in the Manila Declaration of the World Tourism Organization in 1980 which talked about respect and responsibility. These ideas were highlighted at meetings in Goa in 1982 and St. Anselmo – California in 1984.
When tourism is sold, where to local or foreign buyers, this consumption implies a relevant local impact. A lot of times the local community is found out of control of this process, which is why sustainable tourism asks for local management as well.
The first international conference on responsible tourism was held in Cape Town in August 2002. There it was stated and exemplified how a destination must manage tourism and attract demand, linking tourism development to the local community’s needs.
In the Cape Town Declaration is shown how important it is for touristic destinations to improve the places people live in and tourists visit. Responsible tourism must diminish the negative impact and maximize the good impact in these places.
After the Cape Town Declaration, people started thinking about responsible tourism from economic, social, and environmental points of view.
Now the method in which it should be managed needs to be known, as responsible tourism is in continuous evolution and must be guided by both tourists and the tourism industry.
In Romania tourism has a major impact and its development must involve a wide process of territorial planning both legally and governmentally.
We now need a touristic and territorial policy including laws, rules, promoting and developing objectives. All decisions, whether individual or collective, should be made in a frame of reference which should lead to tourism and territory development.
In Romania this type of implementation will need time. Touristic activities in our country are still developing. Investments are being made in local communities – which until now have been exploited –, in natural and cultural resources – which until now have not been sufficiently respected and protected not by laws, institutions, or people. Thus improvements in this field can be observed.
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