Responsible Tourism is tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’.
“Responsible Tourism is tourism which:
• minimises (same as minimizes (the only accepted spelling in North America)) 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 embracing diversity
• 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
• is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence
• is integrate in the local ecosystem"
Responsible tourism is fast becoming a global trend. Operators, destinations and industry organisations in South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States, the Gambia, India, Sri Lanka, are already practicing Responsible Tourism, and this list is growing. Recognising the global significance of Responsible Tourism World Travel Market, one of the world’s largest travel exhibitions, has created World Responsible Tourism Day, to be celebrated annually during November. World Responsible Tourism Day is endorsed by the World Tourism Organisation and World Travel and Tourism Council.
Things that Responsible Tourism is not 
- Responsible Tourism is not another form of ‘niche tourism’ – Responsible Tourism is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism – for the environment, local people and local economies.
- Responsible Tourism does not only take place in protected natural environments – Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving metropolis, a desert, rural village, sub-tropical island, medieval town – can be a Responsible Tourism operation.
How Responsible Tourism differs from Sustainable Tourism 
Responsible tourism and sustainable tourism have an identical goal, that of sustainable development. The pillars of responsible tourism are therefore the same as those of sustainable tourism – environmental integrity, social justice and maximising local economic benefit. The major difference between the two is that, in responsible tourism, individuals, organisations and businesses are asked to take responsibility for their actions and the impacts of their actions. This shift in emphasis has taken place because not much progress has been made on realising sustainable tourism since the Earth Summit in Rio. This is partly because everyone has been expecting others to behave in a sustainable way. The emphasis on responsibility in responsible tourism means that everyone involved in tourism – government, product owners and operators, transport operators, community services, NGO’s and CBO’s, tourists, local communities, industry associations – are responsible for achieving the goals of responsible tourism.GITPAC International is the first implementing agency of Responsible Tourism in four destination in kerala for Department of Tourism Government of Kerala.
The forces that are driving the growth in Responsible Tourism 
Other than the fact that Responsible Tourism is the right thing to do, the following reasons should motivate tourism destinations businesses to adopt responsible tourism practices.
Planet Panic 
Globally, concerns about global warming, destruction of the environment, erosion of cultures and lifestyles, and millions of people still living in poverty, are increasing. The number of initiatives aimed at saving some part of the environment, or improving the living conditions for the world’s vulnerable people, increases by the day. This heightened awareness of the earth’s crisis is spilling over into the way people behave in their homes, how they spend their money and the way businesses are run. Driven by changing personal ethics, individuals contribute financially or otherwise to environmental and humanitarian initiatives. They are also changing their buying patterns. There is a major upswing in responsible or ethical consumerism in the UK and in other major European markets. In the UK, the market share for ethical products grew by 22% between 1999 and 2004.
Customers increasingly demand it 
Increasing numbers of consumers are looking at the reputation and responsibility of the companies they buy from; they want to have “guilt free” holidays. This affects their direct purchases from companies in tourism destinations and it influences the choices of source market companies too. UK and other European and Australian companies and increasingly American companies are asking about the responsibility of their suppliers and introducing check lists which rate the sustainability of their practices.
Responsible tourism makes business sense 
A significant, and growing, number of tourists are looking for a better experience, a better quality product. They are looking for experiences which enable them to get closer to the “real” living culture of countries and to experience our diverse natural and cultural heritage. This is a global trend in the established markets as consumer expectations of their holidays change, people are taking more, shorter trips, and they expect to get more from them. In commercial market research UK holidaymakers were asked whether or not they would be more likely to book a holiday with a company if they had a written code to guarantee good working conditions, protect the environment and support charities in the tourist destination. In 1999 45% said yes, when the question was asked again in 2001 52% said yes.
It is a market trend that any tourism business cannot ignore. Responsible Tourism makes business sense because a growing proportion of consumers are looking for a better product. This trend implies that tourism businesses that practice Responsible Tourism will have a powerful competitive advantage over other tourism products.
Objectives of tourism development
Tourism Development – Can be defined as the process of providing facilities and services for visitors to a destination in order to gain economic and other benefits
The economic objectives of tourism development include:
Employment creation Increasing foreign currency earnings Tourist contributions to the multiplier effect - the additional revenue created in an area as a result of tourism expenditure.
Direct employment – occurs in hotels, airports, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, and tourist offices.
Indirect employment - occurs in industries that serve the travel and tourism industry.
Environmental education - this is usually through visitor centres. this information helps the tourist understand the reasons for conservation and encourages them to respect the environment. Conservation Environments improvements Preservation of wildlife habitats Regeneration - is used to preserve heritage sites
Promoting cultural understanding Enhancing the image of an area Creating a national identity
- "2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations".
- Jackfox. "What is the difference between minimize and minimise?". Wiki Answers. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Ethical Consumer Report 2007".
- "Responsible Tourism and the Market".