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Tourism Concern Launches Ethical Tour Operators Group

Tourism-guideFourteen UK tour operators have joined Tourism Concern to form a new group dedicated to addressing the critical challenges of operating responsible businesses supporting communities in tourist destinations.

The group, comprised of small and medium UK operators, was established in response to requests from businesses, some of which were already involved in Tourism Concern campaigning work. The aim of the group is to progress the agenda of socially responsible tourism by providing pointers for success.

Regular meetings will discuss ethical issues which operators face and, with Tourism Concern support, explore, and hopefully put into practice, potential solutions.

Assessing the social impact of tourism ventures, monitoring and evaluation, the Fair Trade label in tourism and global warming are all on next year agenda.

Fran Hughes from Explore Worldwide said "It a hard industry and we are struggling to balance business, ethical and environmental issues. We will be able to do that much more effectively with this framework for dialogue that Tourism Concern has created."

Current members of "ETOG" are IntoAfrica, Rainbow Tours, Baobab Travel, Adventure Alternative, Nepal Trekking. Tribes Travel, Gane and Marshall, Simply Tanzania, Explore Worldwide, Expert Africa, Cazenove+Loyd, Hands Up Holidays, Different Travel and Dragoman Overland.

Tourism Concern campaigns include their "Sun, Sand, Sea and Sweatshops" campaign exposing the appalling conditions of tourism workers around the world. Recently, Tourism Concern has renewed its call for a boycott of tourism to Burma and have engaged in a headline-hitting fight against Hilton Hotels "Greenwashing". The organisation recently published the "Ethical Travel Guide" and is behind the campaign to certify "Fair Trade Tourism". 

Valere Tjolle


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