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Government should be tougher on responsible tourism, new study concludes

07 June 2013

Chris Theobald

Findings unveiled at international symposium

A large number of popular holiday resorts claim to practice responsible tourism, but can tourists really be confident this is really the case? New research from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) suggests that while many holiday destinations boast of their responsible tourism credentials, it is very difficult to assess whether those claims are robust.

Produced by the University of Central Lancashire (Cyprus) in conjunction with the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) the research was presented at an international symposium hosted recently by UCLan at its Westlakes Campus in West Cumbria with a parallel event being held at UCLan’s Cyprus Campus at Pyla.

Run by the Samuel Lindow Foundation and UCLan in collaboration with The Tourism Society and the North West (of England) Coastal Forum, Living on the Edge: Coastal Tourism and Sustainable Consumption was a two-day conference to mark UN World Environment Day.

“It is of key importance that we share good practice and ideas from across the world and build a network of contacts for future research.”

Spanning international resort tourism on Cyprus and the visitor economy of West Cumbria, and with a special focus on sustainable consumption, the symposium promoted a powerful exchange of perspectives on the environment and coastal tourism - one of the fastest growing areas in the world's largest industry.

Dr Rick Wylie, Academic Director, UCLan Westlakes Campus, said the conference acted as a melting pot of ideas with speakers and delegates participating from across the UK and abroad.

“We also wanted to promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues and it’s exciting that through the symposium West Cumbria will be a focal point of that change.”

“We had people engaging in the debate from Scotland to Cornwall and from Cyprus to South Carolina,” he said. “It is of key importance that we share good practice and ideas from across the world and build a network of contacts for future research.

“Responsible tourism practices include minimising waste, improving relations with suppliers, developing good relationships with the local community and creating employment opportunities for locals. We also wanted to promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues and it’s exciting that through the symposium West Cumbria will be a focal point of that change.”