IF August 2007

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IF August 2007 Powered By Docstoc
                            The Olympic Games
                            the evicted and abused

                            Tsunami victims
                            India’s landless
Summer 2007
                            the ethics of holiday homes
                                                    letters                       Please send us your feedback on the issues raised in
                                                                                  this magazine to:

                                                                                                                                                                                          ETHICAL HERO OR
                                                    Crytical Mass action against incursions into the Strandja Natural Park.                                                               ETHICAL ‘PUT OFF’?
                                                                                                                                                                                         A recent article in New Consumer named
Venelina Velichkova, BlueLink Information Network

                                                                                                                                                                                         Tricia Barnett, Director of Tourism
                                                                                                                                                                                         Concern, as one of the top 100 Ethical
                                                                                                                                                                                         Heroes supporting and highlighting the
                                                                                                                                                                                         impact Tourism Concern has.
                                                                                                                                                                                         But the explanation from New Consumer
                                                                                                                                                                                         as to why Tricia Barnett is such an ‘ethical
                                                                                                                                                                                         hero’ was far from satisfactory:
                                                                                                                                                                                         “Remember the good old days when you
                                                                                                                                                                                         could fly to Thailand, party for two weeks,
                                                                                                                                                                                         buy lots of goodies, come home without
                                                                                                                                                                                         so much as a flicker of conscience?
                                                                                                                                                                                         Nowadays we are all too aware that flying
                                                    Bulgaria – the new Spain?                                                                                                            is bad. You can blame Tourism Concern,
                                                                                                                                                                                         but Tricia Barnett – herself a great lover
                                                    Since the 1990s, tour operators and consumers                  Golden Pearl is a new luxury resort being                             of travelling – is also working to find less
                                                    have taken a keen interest in Bulgaria as their                developed at the edge of the park in                                  harmful ways of travelling.”
                                                    choice of unspoilt destinations in Western                     contravention of environmental legislation. The                       This demonstrates how the media’s
                                                    Europe has diminished.                                         construction work was challenged in court but                         focus on the impact of flying is obscuring
                                                                                                                   the High Court has recently set aside the Park’s                      Tourism Concern’s message and
                                                    However, Bulgaria’s beach resorts are already                  designation and granted permission for the                            increasing the perception that TC only
                                                    threatened by tourism development. Much of                     development to continue. Witnesses are reported                       covers climate change and environmental
                                                    the northern Black Sea Coast has already been                  to have been threatened and assaulted. There                          issues. Tourism Concern is also trying to
                                                    damaged by developers who’ve adopted a                         were protests and national demonstrations                             overcome the fact that many people
                                                    Mediterranean-style ‘slash and burn’ approach.                 following the ruling and an online petition                           don’t want to hear a negative message
                                                    Worryingly, local authorities have failed to learn             launched (                       about travelling and their holidays.
                                                    lessons from the destruction of so many Spanish                bg/ or,
                                                                                                                                                                                         It’s important that we concentrate on
                                                    and Greek coastal areas. Some commentators                     but it’s not yet clear whether anyone outside
                                                                                                                                                                                         sending positive messages about
                                                    have suggested that the real problem in the EU’s               Bulgaria is aware of this threat to Europe’s
                                                                                                                                                                                         behaviour at destinations to ensure that
                                                    newest member state is that corruption and                     heritage. Further information is available at
                                                                                                                                                                                         travellers have a good holiday, as well
                                                    short-termism are endemic with developers and        
                                                                                                                                                                                         as bringing benefits to local people and
                                                    municipal authorities simply interested in quick
                                                                                                                                                                                         minimising damage to the environment.
                                                    financial returns.                                             Can you please alert responsible travellers, the
                                                                                                                                                                                         Given the number of articles and
                                                                                                                   media and tourism industry, and help support
                                                                                                                                                                                         programmes on flying, Tourism Concern
                                                    This assessment has recently been tested by the                efforts in Bulgaria to avoid repeating mistakes
                                                                                                                                                                                         (and we members) must put its
                                                    case of Strandja Nature Park. Covering 1116 sq                 elsewhere in Europe?
                                                                                                                                                                                         perspective forcefully and clearly at
                                                    km and established in 1995, the park is the
                                                                                                                                                                                         every opportunity.
                                                    country’s largest protected area and is an                     Benjamin Carey
                                                    exceptional part of Europe’s natural heritage. The             Managing Director, Dunira Strategy                                    Margery Hancock

                                                     Front cover pictures, clockwise: Thousands of sponsored walks and charity events take place every year to raise money for charities all over the world. However, many put little
                                                     back into the communities they pass through whilst completing the challenges. Charity Challenge expeditions unusually donate to local community projects. (photo: Charity
                                                     Challenge); A factory site that has been closed down and demolished for the Olympic Games due to take place in 2012. The Olympics can mean evictions for local people. Find
                                                     out more on page 6. (photo: Nigel Fairburn); Help raise funds for Tourism Concern by going on a Charity Challenge trip. Choose from many different places and themed trips such
                                                     as a Community Challenge to Sri Lanka. Go to page 11 for details. (photo: Charity Challenge); A tourist between boats donated as tsunami aid in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.
                                                     Despite millions being given in aid, the victims of the tsunami are still losing their land and livelihoods to tourism. Find out how on page 4. (photo: Kabani)
brings campaign actions on behalf of others, but we are also
asking you to take urgent action to save Tourism Concern itself!
Our members will have recently received a letter from Tricia Barnett,                           4
director of Tourism Concern, explaining the desperate financial situation we
are in and calling for all members to help. We are extending this call to our
supporters and friends and family in this In Focus. We’ve included some
ways of raising these much needed funds on page 11. And it couldn’t be
easier. These include signing up to a Charity Challenge, one where the host
community and Tourism Concern benefits whilst you have the experience of
a lifetime. There are lots of other ways to help: sponsored runs, organising                                        8
events or donating money from an existing event happening soon. If you
would like to talk about how you might help or how we might support you
with your fundraising, contact: or speak to
Tricia or Gillian on 020 7133 3330.
We’ve included a further update on the tsunami victims in India on pages 4
and 5. The strategic evictions of coastal communities affected by the
tsunami across South East Asia is an issue we have been tirelessly
campaigning on since 2004. We have further crucial work planned
specifically with the tsunami landless in India in 2008. Sumesh
Mangalessery from Kabani, our partner organisation in India, brings you an
update of how, as predicted by Tourism Concern back in 2005, tourism is
taking over the coast of Southern India and the lands of the fishermen and
other coastal peoples.

We introduce you to a new campaign about the global impact of the Olympics.
From physical abuse in Beijing to evictions in London, the organisers of the
Olympic Games are going against their founding principles of peace, solidarity
and respect. We want you to join us in demanding that the organisers take
notice of the people who are suffering because of the Games and urgently find    4    lead campaign
ways to stick to their own principles. Find out how on page 6.                        The Tsunami of Tourism

Without Tourism Concern, the communities and peoples exploited by                6    focus on…
tourism in this edition of In Focus and all our campaigns wouldn’t have a             Olympics – development or
voice. Please, please do find ways to support Tourism Concern and the vital           devastation; & teaching or
work that we do with these communities and others all over the world.                 campaigning

Best wishes,                                                                     8    local voices
Kelly Haynes                                                                          Flights from poverty
                                                                                 10   travel dilemmas
                                                                                      The ethics of holiday homes
Tourism In Focus                             Tourism Concern staff
Editor: Kelly Haynes                         Director: Tricia Barnett
Managing editor: Tricia Barnett              Finance: Alan Nguyen                11   supporters’ area
Sub-editors: Ann Noon, Paul Smith            Information: Siobhan Adeusi
Design: Andrew Carton-Kelly                  Projects: Guyonne James
                                                                                      book review
Print management: Lithosphere                Fundraiser: Gillian Cooper

    The Tsunami of Tourism:
    disaster in India                   The tsunami in December 2004 triggered many conflicts and contradictions regarding the
    Floods across the UK have
                                        use of resources and setting of priorities in coastal areas. Due to the rapid development of
    brought home how                    tourism, communities’ interests have been dramatically sidelined in the reconstruction and
    damaging the seas and               rehabilitation process causing major clashes.
                                        The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department strategy for 2005-06 showed the government’s
    rivers can be. South East
                                        intention to bring private investment and facilities such as amusement parks to the coastal
    Asia is still feeling the effects   area. International agencies like the Asian Development Bank and World Bank and industry
                                        bodies like the Confederation of Indian Industry are backing tourism as an alternative
    from the tsunami and, with
                                        livelihood option for coastal communities. This remains the same in 2007. New national
    tourism identified as the new       policies still do not acknowledge the necessity of protecting traditional and customary rights
                                        of fishing communities. Fishermen argue that the government is undermining the existing
    money-making industry and
                                        Coastal Regulation Zone notification which indicates that all reconstruction should take
    the subsequent coastal              place more than 200 metres from the sea. They suspect the land within the 200-metre zone
                                        is being kept for big hotels and private investors.
    evictions, it’s meant that
                                        In areas such as the East Coast Road from Chennai to Mahabalipuram, land value has shot
    many are unable to fully            up and many hotels and amusement parks have been established on both sides of the
    recover. In 2005 Tourism            highway within the Coastal Regulation Zone. The government seems to be strategically
                                        preventing fishing families from rebuilding their homes, citing potential future natural
    Concern produced a report           disasters and safety. But at the same time it’s encouraging the opening of new and rebuilt
    highlighting the plight of the      beachfront hotels and tourist facilities. The people of Srinivasapuram, a village near the
                                        luxury Marina Beach in Chennai where the tsunami claimed the highest number of victims,
    tsunami victims. Have our           are facing displacement due to the Coastal Regulation Zone. After the tsunami, they
    fearful predictions now             received an eviction order despite a stay from Madras High Court against any such move.
                                        The still-traumatised residents were encouraged to leave the coastline for “safer” places with
    become the nightmare                the promise that they will be given new homes. The government collected signatures to
    reality? We bring you an            prove that fishermen and other communities were willing to shift. District Collectors were
                                        then asked to compulsorily evict residents.
    update from India where the
                                        The villagers allege that 50 metres from Srinivasapuram village, a luxury hotel is being
    tsunami took 15,000 lives           built. If the Coastal Regulation Zone is not applicable to this hotel, one wonders why
    and made 500,000                    those with traditional rights to the land and who depend on the coast for their livelihoods
                                        are being evicted.
                                        It appears that in the name of the tsunami and human tragedy, tourism is being pushed
                                        through with little dialogue and debate. After the tragedy of the tsunami, coastal
    Sumesh Mangalassery                 communities were definitely not prepared to face a man-made disaster like mass tourism!
    reports…                            Sumesh Mangalassery is a tourism researcher and an active member of Kabani, an initiative working
                                        towards a sustainable tourism model: email or visit

4   tourism in focus Summer 2007
                                                                                                                                                            LEAD CAMPAIGN

                                                                                                                                                  “Hotels and resorts seem to
                                                                                                                                                  have no restriction to rebuild
                                                                                                                                                  their structures and tourist
                                                                                                                                                  facilities even in the
                                                                                                                                                  suggested buffer zone where
                                                                                                                                                  building is illegal. In tourist
                                                                                                                                                  places like Kovalam near
                                                                                                                                                  Chennai, the Government is
                                                                                                                                                  not allowing people to
                                                                                                                                                  reconstruct their houses on
                                                                                                                                                  the coast where land is
                                                                                                                                                  available. We suspect this
                                                                                                                                                  land is being kept for big
                                                                                                                                                  hotels and private investors”.
                                                                                                                                                  M.A.Sekhar of Tamil Nadu
                                                                                                                                                  Coastal Panchayat Resource
                                                                                                                                                  centre, Mahabalipuram.

         The coast in south India is becoming a no-go zone for local communities. They are being evicted from their homes and lands and           Peter Das, President of Tamil
         also from their beaches which are privatised for the tourists. This has disastrous results for the fisher peoples and others who
         depend on the coast, destroying their livelihoods.                                                                                       Nadu Fish Workers Union
                                                                                                                                                  (Tamil Nadu Matsya Thozhilali
         What local communities have to say…                                                                                                      Sangam), highlights the plight
                                                                                                                                                  of the people who need to be
           Along the coast of Alappuzha District, Kerala, real estate brokers and big resort owners are                                           by the sea for their
           persuading fishermen communities to sell their land. They are offering prices that seem high to the                                    livelihoods.
           communities and many fishermen jump at the opportunity to sell their land. Fisherpeople are unaware                                    “Fisherfolk depend on the sea
           of the real value of the land because of tourism. The real estate brokers are using fears of another                                   and its resources, they cannot
           tsunami as a strategy and are trying to convince the communities of the benefits of selling their land.                                go far away from the coast.
           Jayce Das, a fisherman from Mararikulam Alappuzha, who sold his land said that real estate brokers                                     On the one hand it’s right to
           had approached him several times to convince him of the economic advantage of selling. He eventually                                   displace them 200m from the
                                                                                                                                                  sea if looking at their safety.
           sold his land and house for £7,035 (RS 5.8 lakhs).
                                                                                                                                                  On the other the government
           Only after did he realise that the interior land 2-3 km away from the coast where he was planning to                                   is paving the way for the
           move to and build a house had become just as expensive. He bought a plot inland at a cost of £6,065                                    tourism industry on the
           but he still has to buy the materials and build his house which will cost more than he received from                                   coast”.
           selling his coastal home. He realises now that he was conned and that his original homeland on the
           coast was worth much more than he was paid.


    The Olympics – development or devastation?

                                                                                                                                                                      Nigel Fairburn
    BEING CHOSEN AS AN OLYMPIC HOST NATION              Between 2006 and 2008, an average of
    is considered a great privilege, increasing         60,000 homes are expected to be
    country and city revenue as a tourist               demolished, not including the migrant
    destination to be visited by millions. In reality   community who have no rights and aren’t
    the devastating impacts of the Olympics range       eligible for compensation or re-housing in
    from forced evictions and displacements to the      the event of their homes being pulled down.
    targeting of the homeless and discrimination
    against minorities in order to make way for         The number of people facing the threat of
    stadiums, new hotels and car parks.                 displacement for the London Olympics in
                                                        2012 is small compared to Beijing. However,
    The Olympic legacy is said to promote               the threat is real and on our doorsteps. The
    peace, solidarity and respect for the universal     construction of Olympic facilities will affect
    fundamental principles of human rights. But         approximately one thousand people, including
    taking into account global research findings,       the residents of East London university               The view for local residents of the barbed wire fence
    the Olympics are in danger of breaching             campus and Gypsies and Travellers from Clays          around the Olympic site in Chapman Rd, East
    their own principles and Tourism Concern is         Lane in Newham and Waterden Crescent in               London. The sign warns of asbestos removal which
                                                                                                              is also a concern for local residents.
    urging the International Olympics                   Hackney. Each of the residents relocated from
    Committee to take urgent action.                    the Clay’s Lane Housing Cooperative will              Concern demands that the Olympic Games
                                                        receive just £8500 as compensation and                Committee takes into consideration the
    In a report by COHRE (Centre of Housing             relocation expenses while the 35 Gypsy and            hundreds of thousands of people feeling the
    Rights and Evictions), human rights                 Traveller families affected will receive a similar    effects of the Olympic Games and to ensure
    violations were noted in every past host city       amount as a ‘disturbance fee.’                        that the main benefactors are not just the
    including Beijing. China, which is holding                                                                wealthy. We need you to do the same.
    the games in 2008, claims that it will bring        It’s planned that after the Games, 9100 new                                          Junie Wadhawan
    prestige, improve national morale and               housing units will be constructed on former
    political structures as well as boost the           Olympic sites. During the bidding process,             Take Action Now
    economy. But who’s paying the price?                50% of the total Olympic village housing was           Please write to President Rogge of the
    Statements by the Chinese government and            planned as affordable for key workers and              International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging
    estimates documented in the field by                those in acute need. These targets are not             him to include a non-negotiable, binding
    COHRE show that 1.25 million people have            being met with now only just over 25%                  criterion that candidate cities commit to hosting
    already been displaced as a result of Olympic-      ending up reserved for social housing.                 the Olympic Games without causing adverse
    related urban development and will total a                                                                 housing impacts for vulnerable groups in both
    staggering 1.5 million people by the time the       Those at odds with the London Olympics feel            the short and long term. Please also ask the
    games are underway.                                 that the masses of visitors arriving will disrupt
                                                                                                               IOC to take into consideration the human rights
                                                        and put pressure on resources for those living
                                                                                                               record of the country before they grant a city
    Large-scale forced evictions have taken place       here. No London 2012, an opposing group,
                                                                                                               the right to hold the Games. Go to Tourism
    and there are claims that housing rights            feels that the Games are a waste of money,
    defenders have been intimidated, harassed           will cause the loss of free sports facilities, push    Concern’s website
    and even suffered physical abuse. The               up rents, and lead to environmental damage             for a sample letter and for more information on
    evicted do not always receive the                   from increased air traffic.                            the evictions.
    compensation agreed upon and, in the cases                                                                 Address: Mr Jacques Rogge, President,
    of those who refuse to leave their present          As research shows, the negative impact of the
                                                                                                               International Olympic Committee, Chateau de
    accommodation, have had their utilities cut         Olympic Games will be felt most by
                                                                                                               Vidy, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
    off and been subjected to physical threats.         marginalised and low income groups. Tourism

6   tourism in focus Summer 2007
                                                                                                                                   why we campaign

                                                                                                                                   Tourism Concern fights exploitation. This is
Teacher or campaigner – where                                                                                                      because we recognise that our holidays are other
                                                                                                                                   people’s homes. Our holidays should be as good

would you draw the line?                                                                                                           for the people in the destinations we are visiting
                                                                                                                                   as they are for ourselves.

TOURISM CONCERN HAS ALWAYS HAD TEACHERS AND                                                                                        We frequently get harassed by locals without

                                                                                                              Alison Stancliffe
academics among its members. Not                                                                                                   realising that it’s often because they’re not getting
surprisingly, since they’re the people whose job                                                                                   any real benefits from our holidays. On the
it is to think about and help others understand                                                                                    contrary, those living in popular tourist destinations
the issues surrounding tourism. Many join                                                                                          often suffer when precious resources, such as
Tourism Concern to keep up to date with                                                                                            water, are diverted from agriculture into hotel
problems faced by communities around the                                                                                           swimming pools. People even get thrown out of
world and initiatives set up to encourage                                                                                          their homes for new developments.
responsible tourism. But others become                                                                                             Tourism generates huge wealth and can be a
members out of a desire to inspire those they                                                                                      force for good for millions living at destinations,
teach, aiming to provoke and challenge young                                                                                       but they receive little, with most of our money
people to take a stand and make a difference in                                                                                    never reaching them.
this industry of dreams.
                                                                                                                                   Please join us to fight exploitation.
There’s certainly a hunger for current
information about the impact of tourism. There’s                                                                                   Your actions make changes happen!
also a demand for material that will give young      Teachers have many different standpoints on how and
                                                     whether to bring campaigning issues and how to use
people a chance to discuss issues from               Tourism Concern resources in the classroom. We want to
different points of view. Over the years Tourism     hear from you now on on how you do this and what else
                                                     you might need to make this easier.
Concern has been a source of information for                                                                                      Take Action Now
teachers and students. But should the person          arranged for two trainee teachers to develop                                   Those of you reading In Focus may be aware of
introducing the ideas let their own opinions          suitable teaching materials for the 14-19 Leisure                           the issues TC covers and use it in your lessons but
intrude? How far can you go before teaching           and Tourism curriculum. They spent two weeks                                how do we get information out to those teachers who
becomes campaigning?                                  making TC materials more ‘user friendly’ to                                 aren’t? Send your suggestions on the best way to get
                                                      teachers within a mainstream school                                         teachers involved to:
Tourism Concern wants teachers to join us in the      environment. This will provide a new teaching                                  Trial our new teaching pack and get it at a
fight against exploitation in tourism by spreading    pack which will work for different levels of                                discount. To be put on the mailing list for full details,
the word to students and parents alike. Is that       learning, at schools and colleges.                                          email:
realistic? We would welcome your views on this.
                                                                                                                                      If you’ve used examples of your own to get young
Contact us at:        Shirley Eber, a lecturer, says: “I see the role of                          people talking and thinking, send them to us and tell
                                                      teachers and academics as leaving their                                     us what you did. Your contribution could go towards
Teachers and action                                   campaigning hats aside and getting students to                              another much needed teaching resource. Email:
There are many examples of how teachers have          THINK about issues – tourism or other. I don’t                    
used our campaigns within their own work.             attempt to hide my own views and stance, and                                    Running events that highlight Tourism Concern’s
Deborah Pownall, a member from Liverpool John         I’m sure students know these well. But it’s by                              campaigns to students and parents can be really
Moores University, believes that “by developing       inspiring and challenging them that allows                                  effective as both a learning and campaigning tool.
functional teaching materials, the issues raised      students to make up their own minds. That said,                             We can help you organise an event based on
by Tourism Concern can easily be used within          I always point to TC as a source of information,                            successful events held by members. Contact:
the curriculum, bringing their up-to-date             and they know it’s a campaigning organisation –                    or phone 020 7133 3330.
campaigning into the classroom”. She recently         the rest is up to them!”


    poverty                           500 Maasai women at a rally locally known as a ‘harambee’ to raise awareness and funds for Maasai girls’ education. But this was
                                      more than just fund-raising. Women are challenging their society and men to let their daughters and wives get an education.

    North South Travel is an          Communities benefiting from land rights and tourism, Tanzania
                                      Ololosokwan village is a strong example how communities can generate income from community based
    extraordinary travel agency.      tourism by strengthening a village’s capacity to use political and communal processes to reclaim land.
    It invests its profits into       North South Travel has supported the Community Resource Trust (CRT) in Tanzania through UK-
                                      based African Initiatives.
    grassroots development            Ololosokwan Village, sandwiched between the Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania and the
    projects all around the           Kenyan border has a population of about 4000 primarily Maasai pastoralists who share this ecosystem
                                      with a diverse wildlife population. Disagreements over community land rights primarily around wildlife,
    world. For the past 18            conservation and tourism have persisted over the last 50 years. In 2006 the Ololosokwan community,
                                      with the support of CRT, resisted the illegal expansion of Serengeti National Park by a further 200 sq
    years this dynamic trust          kms. Pasture land used for grazing and water were given to outside “investors” by the Government.
    has worked to ensure that         As a result of community mobilisation and strengthening the Village Council, tourism companies are
    every flight is a fight against   required to agree contracts with the Village. These contracts determine the rent and fees but also the
                                      numbers of tourists and areas where they can access to balance livestock, wildlife and tourism needs
    poverty. It’s clear from the      (80% of land is now set aside for livestock).

    following stories from            In 1999 contracts signed increased the Village income to $57,000 per year – representing 90% of its
                                      income. This income has been spent on a range of social services including a unique community health
    Tanzania how important            insurance scheme, a vehicle, dispensary, secondary school and university tuition fees. Community
                                      attitudes towards wildlife have changed as they see how tourism wildlife can contribute to the local
    such contributions to             economy and social services and four village game scouts have been employed.
    change can be. The
                                      Pastoralist Women Claim their Rights to Education
    development agency                500 Maasai have gathered together, some from 30km away or more for their ‘harambee’ – a
    African Initiatives has           community mobilisation to raise awareness and funds for girls’ education – organised by the Pastoral
                                      Women’s Council (PWC), the only women’s led pastoralist organisation in Tanzania supported by
    received support from             North South Travel through African Initiatives. Most give money, though some have brought
                                      chickens or goats and more than 9m Shillings (just under £5,000) is raised.
    North South Travel to help
                                      This is what Lilian Nandoiye Mburiito, one of the girls who has benefited from the girls’ education
    progress this work.               programme, had to say: “My father’s family were complaining about a girl going to school because it
                                      is a wastage of cattle. She will not help the fathers, they complained, and the girls will not come back
                                      to be given a husband. This is a great fear for them.”
    Rough Guide author and            PWC offered to pay Lilian’s school fees. “When I came back home for my holidays my friends asked
                                      me a lot of questions about school. When will you get married? Why don’t you drop out? This
    travel writer Richard Trillo      question annoyed me because they didn’t understand the importance of education. They told me that
                                      ‘you’re going to forget Maasai culture and tradition and lose important things for your life.’ I also
    explains…                         know my culture and tradition like any Maasai lady who didn’t go to school.
                                      “Individual empowerment will come through education. This education is beneficial to my family,

8   tourism in focus Summer 2007
local voices

                                                                                                                            Village role play and
                                                                                                                            discussion in Tanzania
                                                                                                                            on the rights of women
                                                                                                                            to have access to land
                                                                                                                            and livestock.

                                                                                                                            Photos: Mike Sansom,
                                                                                                                            African Initiatives

my community, my nation        North South Travel makes your choice of holiday count
and myself by applying         One way to salve our consciences when we fly is to          this very nice position of being able to almost make a
my knowledge and skills.       offset our carbon footprint: it’s better than doing         virtue out of flying by passing on all our net profits to
I’m self-confident and self-   nothing. But an alternative is to book with a travel        small grassroots development organisations that don’t
controlled. I’m advising       agency that commits its profits to development              have big fundraising capabilities.”
my young sister and other
                               projects. North South Travel is a small agency set up in
girls that we need to
                               the 1980s to generate funds for development projects,       The choice of suitable recipients is made at twice-
struggle and face all
problems so as to meet the     mostly in Africa. The office, in an old watermill in        yearly trustee meetings. Usually projects get to hear
goal. We have to teach the     Chelmsford, handles more than 3000 bookings a year          about North South through other initiatives or
mothers. We are equal to       to destinations from Warsaw to Ouagadougou. Brenda          travellers and get in touch asking for a grant. North
men and we need to be          Skinner, reservations manager and sales director,           South is looking for good, budgeted proposals that
treated equally.               explains: “We have customers from across the                will make a clear difference on the ground and for
“In Maasai, women are          spectrum. The voluntary and academic sectors have           work that is ongoing with a UK link to ensure
seen as children and called    always been important to us, but word of mouth              transparency and feedback. The kind of work
this. We cannot participate    brings us lots of independent travellers too. People like   undertaken varies. Ideally North South projects relate
in decision-making. This       to have someone to talk to – they like the personal         directly or indirectly to tourism, or to mitigating its
oppresses us and makes us      touch. And our prices are extremely competitive.”           impact. Recent examples include the Joliba Trust in
feel inferior. This is                                                                     Mali, providing micro-credit to farmers in the Dogon
traditional and cultural. I    All profits from ticket sales are held by the NST           country; the Omari Project in Kenya, working with
have to show men I am          Development Trust, a charity dealing with North             heroin addicts in the tourist resort of Malindi; and
strong and can do things       South Travel’s grants to development organisations.         Afrikids in Ghana, combating child poverty and
on my own. We need
                               The chair of the trustees is Nigel Watt, former             trafficking in Accra.
rights over property – then
                               director of the Africa Centre in London. Like his
we will be able to
participate. Maasai women      fellow trustees and co-directors of North South Travel,                      North South Travel: tel: 01245 608291,
will be confident. I wish      his time and services are given voluntarily. “I think                       
that. I hope.”                 what North South does is probably unique. We’re in              African Initiatives:

                                                                  An exchange of cultures. Genevieve, the daughter of the family who manage the
     TRAVEL DILEMMAS                                              holiday home in South Africa with our son at his local school in the Outer Hebrides. We
                                                                  brought the whole family over to Scotland, their first time leaving South Africa.
                                                                                                                                    photo: Theona Morrison

                                                                  Foreign Property Ownership – The Stats
                                                                  Foreign Property Ownership is growing at a hugely accelerated rate and has doubled
                                                                  in the last five years.
                                                                       The value of foreign property ownership by British residents was estimated to be
                                                                  just above £23 billion in 2003/04, more than double the estimate for 1999/00.
                                                                      231,000 second homes are owned outside Britain and investment is the highest
                                                                  in Europe, with Spain and France being the preferred locations to buy (79% of all
                                                                  homes owned are in Europe).
                                                                     In 2003/04, rental income from investment in foreign property already totalled
                                                                  almost £190 million.
                                                                  The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Survey of English Housing (SEH), 2006

     The ethics of holiday homes
                                    Life in the Outer Hebrides is bound by a strong community identity shaped by history, the land, sea and Gaelic
     Theona Morrison is             culture. Many people need more than one job so the letting of a ‘second home’ can be seen as an asset.
     aware of the                   However, some rural communities have houses that are lived in for just a few weeks a year. This contributes
                                    almost nothing to the schools, shops, church or the hotel. In a community suffering population decline,
     detrimental impact             economic development that enables people to live here year round is imperative.
     that having a holiday          In January 2005 we visited South Africa with Traidcraft. We eventually bought a second home in Cape Town
     home can have in               with the rationale that it’s a base for our child where he has family his age and opens a window to a different
                                    life to the one he has in the UK. It was also, dare I say it, an investment. Am I now what I was so critical of in
     Scotland with, more            Scotland? An absentee landlord? I still struggle to promote renting it because when it lies empty I know it’s not
     often than not, little         beneficial for the community where it’s based.
     being invested in the          We became very close to a family who had been considerably disadvantaged by the country’s politics. We met
     local economy and              when the father was working as a relief driver on our trip bus. He had lost his job three times and withdrawn
                                    his children from school because of their financial situation. He committed to looking after our apartment and
     community. Knowing             every time we let it, he receives half the letting fee.
     this, she still decided        We were able to bring his family to the Outer Hebrides last summer, the first time they had left South Africa.
     to buy a second                Their daughter attended school with our son, an island school with 30 pupils compared to more than 900 in
                                    her primary school.
     home in South Africa.
                                    We have tried to find our own ways to make a difference and contribute.
     Theona takes us
                                    If you do decide to have a holiday home:
     through the trials and             It may be obvious but really understand the community that you will be ‘living in’. Will you just be
     tribulations of buying         slipping in and out of a community – how can you improve this?
     a holiday home and                 Employ as many local people as possible for cleaning, gardening, security and to welcome guests. They’ll
     suggests how to                keep you on the right track culturally. Pay should be fair. For a proper partnership, this could include a share of
                                    the rental revenue. Involving your contact/s with management decisions such as rental prices builds trust rather
     make it as ethical as          than being an absentee landlord giving long distance orders.
     possible…                          Leave some written information on local places of interest, traditions, local guides and services which will be
                                    useful for both your visitors and the community.

                                     If you would like more information on the villa in Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa, contact Theona
                                     Morrison, tel/fax: 01870 603180 or email:
                                     Please title the email: Constantiaberg Villas.

10   tourism in focus Summer 2007
supporters’ area                                                                                                          book review

                                                                                                                          The Final Call:
The holiday of a lifetime

                                                                                                      Charity Challenge
                                                                                                                          In search of
and raise money for TC too!
                                                                                                                          the true cost
Running all of Tourism Concern’s campaigns uses a lot of
valuable resources. We are lucky to have a dedicated team                                                                 of our
working in the office but many of our campaigns require                                                                   holidays
significant additional funding. And we need your help!
                                                                                                                          by Leo Hickman
We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal to raise £40,000 by                                                                 Eden Project Books, in association
offering you, our adventurous supporters, the chance to join                                                              with Guardian Books, 2007
any one of over 100 overseas Charity Challenges.                                                                          386 pp, Paperback £12.99
You can hike, bike, mountain climb or horse ride and get to                                                               ISBN: 978 1 903 91999 6
experience new cultures in a responsible manner. Best of all,                                                             From the eroding Alps, via the artificial
while you’re doing so, you’ll be helping us to raise vital funds                                                          Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai to the Thai
                                                                   Raise money for Tourism Concern,                       sex trade, taking in destinations such as
to continue our pioneering work.
                                                                   help the host community and see                        Costa Rica, Kerala and Benidorm, Leo
Charity Challenge ensures that every challenge they run            some of the most breathtaking                          Hickman, an ethical journalist for the
benefits both the charity being supported, and the local           landscapes in the world!                               Guardian, takes us on his journey through
communities with whom they interact by employing local guides, as well as using locally                                   major holiday destinations. Along the way,
                                                                                                                          he highlights the devastating impact the
owned accommodation and ground services. Charity Challenge will donate approximately
                                                                                                                          tourism industry can have on the
£20,000 from their profits to local community projects related to health, education and                                   environment, local peoples and livelihoods.
sanitation.                                                                                                               This book is a plethora of damning
 Action If you’d like to try cycling through Vietnam, climbing Kilimanjaro or trekking                                    research and personal experiences. As a
                                                                                                                          member of Tourism Concern, I was
 through the jungles of Thailand, please visit and join one of
                                                                                                                          already aware of some of the exploitation
 their many challenges in aid of Tourism Concern. Email:,                                       of host communities and human rights
 tel: 020 8557 0000 and please let us know if you intend to take up the challenge!                                        abuses such as the plight of porters and
 Go to for Charity Challenge’s full                                   those evicted from their lands in the name
                                                                                                                          of tourism after the tsunami. However, this
 responsible tourism policy.
                                                                                                                          book further opened my eyes to the
                                                                                                                          magnitude of the problem and is

Member runs to support Tourism Concern                                                                                    compulsive reading for the tourism
                                                                                                                          industry, students and travellers alike.
“I always knew I wanted to run a half marathon but I wasn’t exactly                                                       Hickman manages to report the facts
keen on training for it. The race I opted for was the Reading Half                                                        (supported by testimony from local
                                                                                                                          people) without lecturing, meaning that
Marathon with ten thousand other runners. To give me the motivation, I
                                                                                                                          the book is informative yet easy to read,
decided that I would run for Tourism Concern, a charity that I knew                                                       funny but also hard-hitting.
would use the funds raised towards something tangible and make a
                                                                                                                          With tourism an ever-expanding industry,
real difference with their campaigning. This made getting out of bed on                                                   we need up to date information on the
a wet Sunday morning much easier and finishing the famously hilly race                                                    true human and environmental cost of our
far more rewarding. I managed to finish in 1800th position with a time                                                    trips. Buy this book for yourself, your
of one hour 41 minutes and raised £290 for Tourism Concern. Next year I’ll try and beat my                                friends and family now!
finishing time and position and most importantly the amount raised for TC!”          Jon Youl                                                        Siobhan Adeusi

 Action If you would like to raise funds for Tourism Concern and need advice,
    Is this the final call?
    Tourism Concern’s Annual Debate will be a                                                                                                         “A fascinating
    spellbinder. Leo Hickman, author of the                                                                                                          and harrowing
                                                                                                                                                       read. I doubt
    controversial new book, The Final Call, an                                                                                                       anyone has spelt
                                                                                                                                                     out the inherent
    investigative travelogue questioning who                                                                                                        dangers of tourism
                                                                                                                                                    so clearly before.”
    really pays for our holidays, will be debating
                                                                                                                                                      Jason Webster
    his extraordinary findings with ABTA, the
                                                                                                                                                     “Leo Hickman’s
    UK’s leading travel association.                                                                                                                 enthralling book
                                                                                                                                                    should be read by
      The debate will take place on the afternoon of                                                                                                   students and,
                Tourism Concern’s AGM                                                                                                                 most of all, by
                                                                                                                                                      every would-be
             on Saturday, 13th October at                                                                                                                 tourist.”
      London Metropolitan University, North London                                                                                                      Tahir Shash

        For more information and to book a place contact or ring 020 7133 3330

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