Tourism has a lot of negative effects on the environment that can gradually destroy the environment on which it depends. Transportation to and from the tourist destination has by far the greatest impact. Adding to that is the fact that tourists are not as environmentally conscious on holiday as they are at home. Possibly because they feel less obligated since it’s not their own community or because the destination doesn’t have an eco-friendly infrastructure. Even those with positive eco habits, when exposed to greater challenges and difficulties while traveling, can become irresponsible.
On a national level, sustainable tourism is often seen as an obstacle to profits in the short term. It requires a lot of investment and is a long term commitment. As a result, governments and the tourist industry are hesitant to take on sustainable tourism models. Overall, there’s little motivation for individuals, businesses, and government to mutually coexist in this space. Considering the negative effect it has on the environment, and the educational opportunity responsible traveling provides, it should be a high priority industry.
Some questions we would be looking to answer in this forum:
- What’s responsible tourism in a Chinese context?
- Are there cultural barriers or challenges that contradict responsible travel behaviors?
- What’s the relationship between Ecotourism and responsible tourism?
- What actions can individuals take to contribute to the responsible tourism?
Jiliang Chen, Coordinator of the Greenovation Hub
Background:.Jiliang is working as a researcher on climate change and ocean conservation policies in Greenovation Hub(GHUB), a Chinese environmental NGO. He has been working on the international processes on environmental protection under the Antarctic Treaty System for years. He visited Antarctica in 2010 with Robert Swan and his 2041 initiative. During the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Beijing this May, GHUB and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) jointly supported a tour operators’ collective initiative for responsible tourism in the Polar Regions.
Topic: Responsible Polar Tourism
Huan Ni (Helen), Founding Director of the Green Light-Year
Background: Ms. Ni has the master degree in Development studies at the University of Cambridge, also is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as China expert committee. She has 17 years of experience in developing and managing international projects with multi-national corporations and international organizations. She is the current expert reviewer for low carbon community project at the National Development and Reform Commission Shanghai; Helen has proven expertise to manage and deliver thematic projects on sustainable development, energy efficiency investment and financing, Green finance policy research and practice, ecosystem management and evaluation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), green financing in China, environmental protection and climate change. To actively promote the green lifestyle and sustainable consumption she founded a native environmental NGO called Green Light-Year in Minhang District, Shanghai.
Topic: From Community "Low Carbon Tour" to broader Responsible Tourism
Feihu Feng, Founder of the Yea Way Nature
Background: In 2012, he worked full-time on environmental protection projects, in order to carry out and support environmental protection projects and commercial operation plans, he proposed "Yunqi Plan". He likes nature and loves to explore, he is devoted to the protection of wildlife, he has been involved in environmental science, research activities and organizations in several times, also he launched the urban nature education project with numbers of organizations.
Topic: How do parents accompany their children’s growth in nature
Lingyin Fan(Lynn), Master of Ecological Economics at the University of Edinburgh
Background: Lynn is a panda lover and a fitness fanatic. She has been taking care of panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Afterwards, she went to the UK to study and participated in Ecological environment investigation projects in Highland, South Africa, etc. After Lynn came back to China in environmental protection industry, she has been engaged on The Nations sustainable low-carbon transport research project. Currently, Lynn put his focus on green building consulting. Lynn wishes environmental protection, healthy living environment and lifestyle will become the new trend!
Topic: How to increase local incoming by traveling & while raising environmental protection funds, people enjoy beautiful environment.