The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has formed a Responsible Tourism Committee.
The committee will help develop and promote best practices in promoting responsible tourism for USTOA"s 134 active members, according to president Bob Whitley.
The committee will encourage members to engage in best practices and provide a forum for members to share experiences and develop solutions.
Other plans call for providing USTOA's membership with information about international accreditation and tourism certification programs in all parts of the world, and developing training programs to help members understand and meet the standards of responsible tourism in their day-to-day operations.
As part of its outreach efforts, the USTOA Responsible Tourism Committee will also establish guidelines or standards with countries and allied members that already have existing programs.
In addition, the committee will provide information to media, consumers, travel agents and other industry members about the standards USTOA is advocating.
The committee"s first task may be its hardest: define responsible tourism.
Report by David Wilkening
Tuesday, February 13, 2007