The responsibility is yours:
Emeritus Professor Harold Goodwin
WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Director Institute of Place Management at
Manchester Metropolitan University &
Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership
Orkney Tourism Spring Summit 2017
What is the future of Orkney?
What does the future hold?
“The future cannot be
predicted, but futures can be
invented. It was man’s ability
to invent which has made
human society what it is.”
Dennis Gabor, 1963 (Engineer)
“The best way to predict the
future is to invent it.”
Alan Kay, 1982 (chief scientist)
• Will Orkney be
used by tourism
or will it use
tourism for its
What about putting something back?
Sir Colin Marshall,
British Airways 1994
Tourism and the travel industry “is
essentially the renting out for short-
term lets, of other people’s
environments, whether that is a
coastline, a city, a mountain range or a
rainforest. These ‘products’ must be
kept fresh and unsullied not just for the
next day, but for every tomorrow”
Our holidays their homes
Who do you want to
Do you care who comes?
Culture & Tourism
life is someone
Swedish NGO fly-posting in
Ljubljana, Summer 1997
Actions and consequences can be
attributed to individuals or legal
entities, who can be held
accountable, and legally they are
Individuals and organisations are
expected to respond and to make
a difference. This requires
partnerships, a plurality of
relationships, learning, praxis,
and critical reflection.
The Ostrich problem
• They’ll sort something out
• to respond, to act,
• responsibility implies and requires action.
• critical to creating change is acknowledging
and owning up to problems, and taking
responsibility for making changes.
• Responsibility is free – you can take as much
of it as you can handle
The antonym is Irresponsible
Two primary meanings
• Unreliable, untrustworthy,
unlikely to be held to
account or mentally or
financially unfit to be held
• Lacking a sense of
responsibility, akin to
carefreeness the trait of
being without worry or
Manchester Metropolitan University. Centre for Responsible Tourism MMU
Tourism is a social construct
• Tourism is what we –
producers make it.
• We can change it.
• “every individual tourist
builds up or destroys
human values while
• “rebellious tourists and
• “Orders and
prohibitions will not do
the job – because it is
not a bad conscience
that we need to make
progress but positive
experience, not the
feeling of compulsion
but that of
“Sustainable and Responsible”
• Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism
are not the same thing
• Responsible Tourism is about taking
responsibility for achieving sustainable
development through tourism.
• It is about what you do – individually and
Tour Operator Inbound Operator Hotelier/
Taking and Exercising Responsibility
Economic, Social & Environmental
Principle of Sustainablity
WTO Global Code of Ethics
You cannot outsource responsibility ..
Whose responsibility? Everyone’s
Responsible Travel takes a variety of forms, it is
characterised by travel and tourism which
1. minimises negative environmental, social and
2. generates greater economic benefits for local
people and enhances the wellbeing of host
communities, by improving working conditions
and access to the industry;
3. involves local people in decisions that affect their
lives and life chances.
Cape Town Declaration 2002
Better places for people to live in,
better places for people to visit
4. makes positive contributions to the conservation of
natural and cultural heritage and to the maintenance
of the world’s diversity;
5. provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists
through more meaningful connections with local
people, and a greater understanding of local cultural
and environmental issues;
6. provides access for people with disabilities and socially
disadvantaged people; and
7. is culturally sensitive and engenders respect between
tourists and hosts.
• EFM is becoming more important than VFM
• Experience for money vs. value for money
• We are seeing experience inflation
• Brits once thought Florida was a big adventure
• Now they want to visit Orangutans in Borneo or dive the Barrier reef
A better way to travel
Fairtrade Tea tastes the same
as ordinary tea
Responsible tourism provides more
authentic experiences that meet the
trends for more real and experiential travel
Both offer a more responsible alternative, but
only responsible tourism has product advantages
More authentic experiences
that create better places
to live in and to visit
Tourism is a cultural process.
Memories of a place are jointly produced by the tourists, the locals and the place –
the physical space and the human activity that takes place there.
“the destination of the tourist and the inhabited landscape of local culture are …
inseparable” Ringer (1998)
Successful tourist destinations
• offer the visitor something
• they create a sense of place, an
identity which is different from
• no two communities are ever
exactly the same…
Numbers => yield
Seasonality & extending length of stay
Who owns Orkney?
• “destinations are ….social and cultural
constructions whose meanings and values are
negotiated and redefined by diverse people, and
mediated by factors often related only
tangentially to a particular tourist setting.” Squire
• But who decides how a destination is promoted?
You and your business?
• You collectively, the operators, the cruise lines,
A tentative definition: “when tourism in a
destination has caused changes which are
unaccepted to the hosts and when guests & hosts
begin to challenge the authenticity of the
Colloquial – “got over it”. When a community, city
or country has got over tourism, no longer
welcomes it uncritically, and there is increasing
generalised antipathy/ resignation
Overtourism & really useful knowlege
Research to make tourism better
• Research Network
• Engaging industry &
• WTM 2017
• Plymouth (Moors)
Visitor numbers increased 33%
Economic impact increased 42.5%
Increase in visitor numbers driven
by day visitors – 2009 to 2012/13
real terms decrease in total visitor
spend (REC, June 2016)
2016 95,750 2.6 times increase
Projected to be 125,900 arrivals in
2017 3.5 times increase
2017 141 boats 2018 109+++
Who benefits from cruise pax?
Cruise boats visit honey pots – who
manages where, when and how
they go to them?
Cruise is not a separate industry.
Can you make tourism work for Orkney?
• Sustainable development is
• Comparative advantage +
quality services + sustainability
= competitive advantage
• Manage the honeypot sites
and spread tourism & the
benefits of tourism.
• Which kinds of tourists do you
want to host?
• Extending the season by one
or two months.
• Use interpretation to spread,
manage, and extend visitor
• Control the way Orkney is
marketed & who you invite.
• Aspire to a hosts & guests
• Requires co-operation and a
whole community response.
• Can you with Orkney Islands
Council manage tourism to
meet Orkney’s needs?
Take control – don't be victims