Responsible tour operators are changing the way we travel to what extent can this be proved

With the growing importance of the lifestyle market, tourism and travel create the desired lifestyle and personal enhancement rather than many other lifestyle products. Consequently, destination marketing organizations would have to reinvent themselves to create holiday experiences in relation to the changing requirements of customers. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which responsible tour operators are changing the way we travel. The Background to Tourists’ Orientation For Responsible Tourism Nearly twenty-five years ago, Krippendorf (1987) argued for responsible tourism, using the theory of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. He predicted that there would be an increase in emancipated tourists, who once their needs for physical sustenance through sleeping, eating and drinking were fulfilled in a recreational manner, they would seek emotional recreation by undertaking activities and experiences not available to them in everyday life. Consequently, tourists would seek experiences of social contact with other people and self realization through creative activities, knowledge and exploration (Krippendorf 1999: 74). … This trend is based on the larger shift in consumer preferences towards the purchase of green products which do not adversely affect the environment in their production processes, and ethically traded products based on fair trade practices and corporate social responsibility. Recent survey evidence (King 2002) confirms changes in consumer attitudes in the context of wider market trends towards more ethical consumerism in the United Kingdom. Campaigns undertaken by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Tearfund helped to increase the orientation towards responsible and ethical tourism as a market segment. Responsible Tourism Responsible tourism involves a proactive approach by tourism industry partners to developing, marketing and managing the tourism industry in a responsible manner so as to create a competitive advantage (Pennington-Gray, Reisinger, Kim et al 2005: 266). Responsible tourism is a management strategy that includes planning, management, product development and marketing to bring about positive economic, social, cultural, and environmental effects. This type of tourism promotes responsibility to the environment through sustainable measures, as well as involving local communities in the tourism industry. Additionally, responsible tourism is focused on the safety and security of a visitor. Government agencies, employees of the tourism industry and those outside the industry, as well as members of the local communities together hold the responsibility. Besides environmental sustainability and the safety and security of visitors, other aspects include culturally responsible tourism which contributes to mutual understanding and respect