Join us. Responsible Travel Week, Feb 13-19 #rtweek17
Responsible Travel Week

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editing: RT Week 17, What is responsible travel?

Join us and check out our preview of Responsible Travel Week 2017!

Translating: Responsible Travel Week

French: Semaine du Voyage Responsable
German: Woche des verantwortungsvollen Reisens
Spanish: Semana de Viajes Responsables
Russian: Неделя устойчивого туризма
Swedish: Veckan om ansvarsfullt resande
Maya: Ukp'éel k'iin u kanáantik máak tu'ux ku máan [7 días de paseos cuidando el entorno]

Wiki

2018 Responsible Travel Week
2017 Responsible Travel Week
2016 Responsible Travel Week
2015 Responsible Travel Week
2014 Responsible Travel Week
2013 Responsible Travel Week
2012 Responsible Tourism Week
2011 Responsible Tourism Week
2010 Responsible Tourism Week
2009 Responsible Tourism Week

Essays

Responsible Travel
Unconference

Editing

What is responsible tourism?
Responsible Travel Photography
Definitions
Government Websites, Ecotourism and Responsible Travel
How to be a responsible traveler

Flickr

responsible travel
rt week gallery

Sponsorship Opportunities

Responsible Travel Week offers one-of-a-kind sponsorship marketing opportunities including:
  • Worldwide exposure via live international hangouts and tweetchats
  • Variety of sponsorship packages tailored to your needs
  • Partnership with the world's oldest ecotourism/responsible travel website
  • Access to policy-makers, locals and passionate travelers
  • Responsible travel is not universally defined and perceptions change country to country. The week-long dialogue is one of the few chances to discuss the nuances
  • Logos and mention in kudos on the official Slideshare presentation

Reasons why we host Responsible Travel Week (and other online conferences)

It creates a global forum for colleagues and old friends.
It creates opportunity to meet new people.
It allows us to test out the social web.
It encourages us to create impromptu local events.
It helps us prepare for the year ahead.
It helps us reflect on the past year.
It cultivates partnerships.
It models the behaviors we wish to see in others -- openness, inclusion, collaboration.
It permits us to discuss some provocative ideas.
It promotes Ron's paid speaking gigs and workshops.

Provocative Ideas

Conservation and tourism should adopt the principles of Open Access, Open Journalism and Open Education Resources.
Conferences and trade shows should have free wi-fi and livestreaming.
Awareness of the big ideas inherent in responsible travel works best if we encourage people to create and register local events.

Essay

Responsible Travel Week is our annual online unconference focusing on responsible travel. We launched RT Week in 2009 when the Responsible Tourism Conference in Belize was postponed due to the outbreak of H1N1. Since then we've moved the dates to coincide with Valentine's Day, prompting the tagline 'Fall in love with responsible travel.'

We call Responsible Travel Week a 'tentpole' event as it helps define Planeta.com, bring in new visitors and set the agenda for the coming year. Our website was launched as a gopher in 1994. When commercial websites were available, Planeta.com was set up in 1995. It took just five years to set up our first online e-conference in 2000 when we hosted online conferences focusing on ecotourism in the Americas.

A crazy idea in 2009, could we hold an online conversation across multiple platforms? Could we use a 'hashtag' to aggregate information? This terminology - liking, favoring, sharing, tweeting, retweeting, all wonky indeed - has entered the mainstream and tourism pros are learning that it's not sufficient to have a single website or to work in isolated silo.

The truth is that online conferencing is make-or-break depending on the participation of friends, colleagues and complete strangers around the world. The plethora of social web channels (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube) brings responsible travel to a wider audience, but it can also be intimidating.

Speaking as someone who has spent 20 years working with tourism practitioners and government officials, this is nothing new. Digital illiteracy is widespread all the way from mom and pop enterprises to the academic programs, NGO offices and government institutions. Thus one of the goals of Responsible Travel Week is to introduce not only 'responsible travel' but the application of these social web channels. It's hard to write about what will take place in the future, but we expect to be surprised by original YouTube videos, Slideshare presentations, Flickr albums, Google+ accounts that show responsible travel in action.

I believe we need as many opportunities as possible for networking and sharing stories -- successes and failures. I've rarely attended official tourism conferences that included the viewpoints and active participation of locals and regular travelers. Thus, the official events are usually insider-only, closed door endeavors that cannot galvanize the interest needed to put 'responsible travel' on the lips of locals and visitors. I've only been to a few trade shows that made the most of their host city. I'd love to see more events in the natural world be more welcoming to locals. They're the best ambassadors any place can have.

Certainly many of these goals are aspirational. We need better travel for a better world. We need better conferences and events. Personally, I have physical conference fatigue. I'm tired of attending events in which speakers read at one another. 2017 is the year for hybrid events in which locals have access and remote participation is encouraged. Please no more conducting events behind closed doors and then complaining there's no public support.

I like the fact that we hold Responsible Travel Week early in the year because the event is an excellent jumpstart to the year. One thing I've noticed with mom and pop tourism pros I work with is that they tend not to prioritize communication. They're busy with tours or book keeping or the daily grind. By holding Responsible Travel Week early in the year, they get a wake-up call that their work has value but they're going to get work if they get their message across different platforms.

Defining responsible travel as that which 'creates better places to live and better places to visit' then it's easy to see a win-win scenario for locals and visitors. Think of this as a continuum that starts with dissatisfaction of 'business as usual' - the tourism that irresponsibly exploits locals, visitors or the earth - and proposes healthy alternatives. What's not to love?

Testimonials

Many thanks for the kind testimonials for Responsible Travel Week!

Anna Pollock: Ron is one of the most consistently generous promoters of responsible travel whose Planeta Wiki is an invaluable and comprehensive source of information. The organisation of Responsible Travel Week, which brings together experts and students of responsible travel from all over the world, makes an enormous contribution to the adoption of sustainable practices and helping spread new ideas, techniques and skills. Ron is first and foremost an enabler and facilitator as opposed to an empire builder and if he didn't exist we'd have to invent him!

Andy Drumm: Ron's tireless work to promote sustainability in tourism has been very effective in promoting and facilitating the engagement of local practitioners to enrich a global dialogue. Responsible Tourism Week goes from strength to strength as a forum that successfully builds and links between the diverse institutions and individuals building sustainability in the tourism industry.

Joshua Berman: Ron Mader is breaking new ground with his Responsible Travel Week. He is professional, forward-thinking, and the perfect global spokesperson for responsible tourism across the world.

Anders Kärrstedt: Ron's hands on work with Responsible tourism is impressive. Planeta.com, Wikiplaces and organizing several unconferences on the subject has helped many to get an insight what responsible tourism really is about in practice. Small practical tips help to collaborate with other companies, friendly invitations to participate in different events and a lot of attention is how Ron has helped us.

Valere Tjolle: Without doubt Ron is the most determined, passionate, inspirational and well-connected person in the sustainable tourism world.

Marcus Bauer: For the last five years I had the privilege of working with Ron to fuel the global movement for local travel and responsible tourism. The Responsible Tourism Week, anually organized by Ron, is a highlight in the calendar for everyone interested in learning, sharing and networking about responsible travel. Ron is not only a constant advocate for the use of social media in and for tourism, he is also a literate and instructive facilitator of virtual conferences and for online collaboration. What I particularly like about Ron is that he does not restrict his engagement to internet-lobbying. He walks out and hands-on involves local people by introducing them to the power of social media tools thus giving them an important voice to claim their stake in tourism development.

Sallie Grayson: Ron's advocacy and support for "local" and "responsible" travel is tireless - I would highly recommend that small organisation particularly - find the tiny fee that planeta requests for SEO support - it is well worthwhile. if you cant find that then still join in the RT WEEK - you will gain a lot.

Carlos Topete: Ron has organized and lead the Responsible Travel Weeks for many years now. With the creation of the Responsible Travel Week Ron has encourage responsible travelers from around the world to discover local experiences and crafts by involving local businesses as venues for events such as Cheese Night and Chocolate Night.

Annelies Hamerlinck: Ron is one of the most inspiring and visionary man I have come to meet so far. He has so much knowledge about Ecotourism and is very willing to share it with the world, and he always willing to keep learning about new media. He is definitely an inspiration for me to run my business in the most eco-friendly way possible. I had read and studied about Ron when I wrote my thesis about Ecotourism a long time ago at University in Belgium, I feel very blessed I have come to know him more and that now he is a part of my life and professional network.

Richard Mahler: I can think of no one more capable, qualified, or creative to organize Responsible Travel Week than Ron. He will do an exceptional job, above and beyond the call of duty.

Greg Hubbs: I have worked with Ron Mader on numerous occasions as both a colleague and student in his tireless creative quest to use social media tools in order to further the important dialog regarding responsible travel, which is a concept we have long advocated at Transitions Abroad and about which he has written and contributed so very much for many years in his association with my late father, myself, and so many other leaders in the travel field. Ron has conducted social web workshops with us at Transitions Abroad, which is way to not only teach and collaborate with us using all the relevant new media tools which develop ceaselessly, but to draw us further into participation in his own ambitious vision.

The workshops conducted with us are merely a drop in the bucket compared to how he synthesizes the use of social medial for the yearly Responsible Travel week, an online conference using all possible media, in which we have been pleased to participate and hope to be even more active in the future. Responsible Travel week focuses on best practices in travel and tourism around the world and is based upon sophisticated discussions of both the "golden rule" of travel advocated by my late father and Ron's platinum rule of travel which center on developing and enhancing the relationships of travelers visiting countries or regions and host communities.

Ron Mader has developed an extensive and growing Wiki in which to store references to the concepts discussed (and often invented) in the many online and in-person conferences he conceives, all of which are designed to take discussion of key issues in responsible travel and ecotourism to a new level, and ultimately strive to make the world a better place for both locals and visitors at home and abroad by furthering communication and promoting positive action.

Ron Mader works on a plethora of projects in the actual and virtual world, but we believe that Responsible Travel week is destined to become the largest online forum for discussion of its kind, which is a supreme testament to a talented and tireless leader in a field which transcends any fad by dealing with the core issues we must face up to as empathetic tourists and hosts.

Aivar Ruukel: I have been following Ron online since early 90-ties, when he started Planeta.com first and one of the best sources on Ecotourism inspiration and information. Once I have had pleasure to meet Ron, when he gave a keynote on European ecotourism conference in 2010. It was the highlight of the event. We do collaborate online every week, and I am always learning from him, every now and then!"


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