Responsible Tourism encompasses three kinds of responsibilities termed ‘triple bottom line’. They are economic responsibility, social responsibility and environmental responsibility. Even though the concept of responsible tourism was in place from 1996, it was only after the Cape Town declaration of 2002 that a detailed picture of responsible tourism took shape which entails its aims and factors evolved. Responsible tourism deals with all kinds of tourism and aims to minimize negative economic, environment and social impacts. It provides more economic benefits for the local people and improves the well being of local communities. It also provides for conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and maintenance of the world’s diversity.
Responsible tourism is about making “better places for people to live and better places for people to visit”. It urges destinations and enterprises to determine their priorities keeping in mind the environmental and socio-cultural characteristics of the destination. The core values are diversity, transparency and respect.
All forms of tourism can be more responsible. Progress lies in all stakeholders taking responsibility for creating better forms of tourism. Responsible tourism upholds the diversity of cultures, habitats and species and the wealth of our cultural and natural heritage and therefore accepts that responsible tourism will be achieved in different ways in different places. One policy or set of criteria will not be applicable everywhere. Tourism can be sustainably managed only at the local level where tourists and locals interact.