Responsible Tourism: Evaluating Your Commitment

A principle component of being a responsible tourism operator is setting benchmarks and monitoring progress. Self-evaluation will help you to assess your efforts in managing the impacts of your operation.


Record the following measures you have taken to implement responsible tourism practices, using statistics wherever possible.

Economic Impact

  • What are you doing to recruit, employ and train local and previously disadvantaged people?
  • What are you doing to purchase services and products locally?
  • What economic benefits do neighbouring communities gain from your business?
  • What is the ownership and management structure of your enterprise?
  • How are you encouraging guests to spend money in the local economy?

Social Impact

  • How are you encouraging your customers to interact with local people and learn about local culture and traditions?
  • How are you raising local awareness about tourism and increasing local residents’ access to your tourism product?
  • What efforts have you made to improve education, health and infrastructure for local residents?
  • What systems have you put in place to promote equality in the workplace, in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and disability?
  • How do you encourage your guests and staff to interact respectfully with local residents?

Environmental Impact

  • What are you doing to improve the conservation of wildlife, habitats and natural areas?
  • How do you dispose of different types of waste and reduce the amount of waste generated by your business?
  • What are you doing to conserve energy?
  • What are you doing to reduce the amount of water consumed by your business?
  • What have you done to reduce the impacts of products and packaging on the environment?

This is one of a series of short blogs on Responsible Tourism that deal with everything from ‘Evaluating your commitment’ to ‘Motivating Guests to be Responsible’ and from ‘Economic responsibility’ to ‘Environmental responsibility’. Come back soon!

With acknowledgement to South Africa’s 2002 Responsible Tourism Manual and Responsible Tourism Handbook.


  1. This is a very educative piece of writing. I find your posts valuable and showing the way for most of us operating in the tourism sector.Keep up the good work.
    Greetings from lushoto, tanzania-east africa

    JT almasi
    River Springs Connexions Co,

  2. It’s great to see this kind of informative and useful article. Our focus is more narrow, and looks at the impact of animal tourism – anyone (tourists, tour operators) can take a look at our website for information on any country in the world and its specific animal tourism issues. We’d welcome comments/insights from your tour operators as they will often be the experts on the ground.

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