Responsible tourism supports cultural and environmental protection, equitable benefit sharing and the alleviation of poverty.
Specifically, responsible tourism:
- Minimizes negative economic, environmental and social impacts
- Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry
- Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
- Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s biodiversity
- Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
- Provides access for physically challenged people; and
- Is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
As defined by the Cape Town Declaration (2002) developed in a participative way by the International Center for Responsible Tourism