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The responsibility is yours: whither Orkney?


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Presentation at the Orkney Tourism Summit March 2017

Published in: Travel
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The responsibility is yours: whither Orkney?

  1. 1. The responsibility is yours: whither Orkney? Emeritus Professor Harold Goodwin WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor Director Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University & Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership 1 Orkney Tourism Spring Summit 2017
  2. 2. 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) Choice • Will Orkney be used by tourism or will it use tourism for its sustainable development? 2
  3. 3. What about putting something back? “Take only photographs, leave only footprints”
  4. 4. 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”
  5. 5. Our holidays their homes Who do you want to invite? Do you care who comes?
  6. 6. Culture & Tourism “Your everyday life is someone else’s adventure” Swedish NGO fly-posting in Ljubljana, Summer 1997
  7. 7. Why Responsible? Accountability Actions and consequences can be attributed to individuals or legal entities, who can be held accountable, and legally they are liable. Respons-ability 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
  8. 8. Why Responsibility? • 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
  9. 9. The antonym is Irresponsible Two primary meanings • Unreliable, untrustworthy, unlikely to be held to account or mentally or financially unfit to be held accountable • Lacking a sense of responsibility, akin to carefreeness the trait of being without worry or responsibility Manchester Metropolitan University. Centre for Responsible Tourism MMU 9
  10. 10. Tourism is a social construct • Tourism is what we – consumers and producers make it. • We can change it. • “every individual tourist builds up or destroys human values while travelling.” • “rebellious tourists and rebellious locals” • “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 responsibility.” 10 Jost Krippendorf
  11. 11. “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 collectively.
  12. 12. Tour Operator Inbound Operator Hotelier/ Accommodation Local/ National Government Attraction Managers National Parks/ Heritage Local Community Tourists Travellers Holidaymakers Taking and Exercising Responsibility Economic, Social & Environmental Principle of Sustainablity WTO Global Code of Ethics Taking responsibility You cannot outsource responsibility .. Whose responsibility? Everyone’s Nobody’s
  13. 13. Responsible Travel takes a variety of forms, it is characterised by travel and tourism which 1. minimises negative environmental, social and cultural impacts; 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
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. 15 What’s in • 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
  16. 16. 16 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
  17. 17. 17 Responsible Responsible tourism 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)
  18. 18. Successful tourist destinations • offer the visitor something unique • they create a sense of place, an identity which is different from their competitors…. • no two communities are ever exactly the same… Numbers => yield Seasonality & extending length of stay
  19. 19. 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 1998 • But who decides how a destination is promoted? You and your business? • You collectively, the operators, the cruise lines, Visit Scotland? 19
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  21. 21. Carrying Capacity Carrying capacity • Grazing • Transport systems • Physical • Economic • Social & Psychological • Recreational Opportunity Spectrum Limits of Acceptable Change • Define it? • Enforce it? 22 The issue is generally management. • Controlled access. • Parking. • Site management & hardening. • Revenue to management
  22. 22. 23 Ring of Brodgar & Skara Brae UNESCO
  23. 23. Overtourism 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 destination” 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 24 #overtourism 08/2012
  24. 24. ‘Overtourism’
  25. 25. Overtourism & really useful knowlege Research to make tourism better • Research Network • Engaging industry & government • WTM 2017 • Barcelona • Iceland? • Venice • Mallorca • Plymouth (Moors) • Seoul • Berlin? 27
  26. 26. 28 2009-2015 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) Cruise passengers 2011 36,000 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.
  27. 27. Whither Orkney? Can you make tourism work for Orkney? • Sustainable development is the aim • 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 stay? • Control the way Orkney is marketed & who you invite. • Aspire to a hosts & guests tourism culture • Requires co-operation and a whole community response. • Can you with Orkney Islands Council manage tourism to meet Orkney’s needs? 29 Take control – don't be victims
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