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I would like to talk about “responsible travellers”. I contantly hear questions about responsible tourists or eco-travellers as … are there any? Who are they? What are they? and of course, how many of them?


Who are the responsible travellers?

The answer to these questions are not easy, but of course we can try to answer as best we know. First of all, Responsible Tourism is something more than a niche, it is an attitude and philosophy towards any type of travel. Having said that, we must take into account that the concept of Responsible Tourism is rather unknown to most travellers. So lets go thorugh some hints based on our experience and sources.

For all travellers, the economic and cultural dimensions are those that best describe the concept of Responsible Tourism. In this sense, are not associated with the authentic, standardized and packaged products from the major tour operators tourism. Without the certainty that tourism impacts on local development will be difficult for the tourism product to be truly responsible, or perceived as such.

But who are the travellers who have a more conscious and critical view when they go on a trip? As happens with other responsible consumer products (as in the case of organic food for example) are young highly educated professionals, adults with high purchasing power and high cultural level families as well as who care about health. However, there is not a common definition for these groups so must be targeted as different segments for communication.

From a geographical point of view, according to market studies in Europe, northern countries, Britain and German-speaking countries show more sensitive to consider social and environmental impact on their travel plans (source: Andalusia Tourist Board, 2008). In the case of Spain, these travellers are also the most demanding and inquisitive but are not driven only by a label such as “eco” or “green”.

Nordic travellers take into account the participation in local development among its priorities. German travellers associate Responsible Tourism (Nachhaltiger Tourismus) to small independent travel and destinations while British have in mind safety first. In these countries there may be around 30% of the travellers with a distinct towards Responsible Tourism.

In general terms, Responsible Tourism is associated with product with attributes such as authenticity, high quality and true local experience. However, it is still linked to concepts such as austerity, opportunism (greenwashing) and even more expensive. And a bad communication strategy may end in raising consumer guilt.

 El blog de Responsible Hotels sobre la gestión ética y responsables de establecimientos hoteleros. Nos preocupa el medio ambiente y la biodiversidad. Nos encantan los viajes, investigar sobre sostenibilidad y los fines de semana largos. Leer más de este autor

Este artículo está también disponible en: Spanish

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One Response to “Responsible travellers. Who are they? and How many?”

  1. [...] "CRITEO-300×250", 300, 250); 1 meneos ¿Existen los turistas responsables? es.blog.responsiblehotels.travel/opinion/2012/02/turistas…  por BuenViajero hace [...]

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