Ironicallly, this year has been declared world eco tourism year by the World Tourism Organisation and British tour operators are going to great lengths to develop “responsible tourism.” Green measures being taken by the British travel industry further mocks the Balearic tourist tax as clear evidence that few people object to paying a surcharge, as perhaps it could have been called, for the benefit of the environment. The problem the global tourist industry has with the Balearics, is the way the tax has been designed and that only a third of tourists will pay it. Responsible tourism quite simply means making sure that tourism organisations look after destinations, so that their attractions and resources whether natural or cultural are not spoiled either for local people or for future visitors, just what the Balearic government wants. So, instead of antagonising British tour operators, perhaps the local authorities would be better off trying to co-operate with them.
Responsible tourism: Ensuring tourism cares for the environment.
Providing opportunities for local people to earn income e.g. from direct employment; by providing supplies to hotels; or by offering excursions.
Providing customers with appropriate information about the culture and environment of the destination to help them get more from their holiday.
Britain's tour operators, in particular the independent ones, have practised responsible tourism for many years. Their tour programmes are designed to work closely with the people and the environment of the destination as an integral part of the holiday experience. They include using hotels that pursue good environmental practices such as conserving water and minimising waste; locally-owned hotels and transport companies that provide employment and income for the local population; hiring local guides; providing customers with key information e.g. tips on dress codes, how to say a few words in the local language and important customs of the destination.


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