Wild Asia’s

Responsible Tourism Awards Checklist for Tour Operators 2011/2012
What is Responsible Tourism?
Responsible Tourism (RT) means that tourism operations are managed in such a way that they conserve natural habitats and wildlife, and benefit the local communities by providing a sustainable livelihood for years to come. It is about businesses taking a lead to make sustainable destinations a reality. Responsible Tourism operators are committed to the principles of sustainable tourism. These principles focus on good economic, social and environmental practices such as the supply chain, staff welfare and the disposal of waste. A Responsible Tourism business focuses on maximising their guests’ holiday experience while minimising the impact this has on the area, thus preserving tourism destinations.

What is the Wild Asia RT Checklist?
The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism (RT) Checklist has been developed to help tourism industry owners and managers to review their operations against the principles of sustainable tourism. We have decided to adopt United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, which provides a holistic framework for responsible tourism (see http://www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org/). The checklist is also a tool you can use to help you communicate to travellers your efforts towards the principles of responsible tourism and demonstrate how you are making a difference. The checklist is there to show what could be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved. This role is fulfilled by performance indicators, associated training materials, and tools for implementation, all of which can be tailored to your business by our responsible tourism advising and consulting team. Please contact us at rt@wildasia.org for a complete RT review of your business

What is the Wild Asia RT Award?
Wild Asia's Responsible Tourism Awards is an event that recognises and rewards businesses in Asia that have embraced the ideals of Responsible tourism, and are making a real difference. Established in 2006, the awards are the first of their kind in Asia highlighting excellence in responsible tourism. Now in its sixth year, the awards have become a showcase for sustainable tourism, and are inspiring change and innovation from within the travel industry. This year the RT Awards will continue but with a break in tradition! We will disperse checklists this year however, submission will be in 2012. We are going to focus more on operators’ improvements in RT as one of the key criteria for awards. Look for the new table at the end of the checklist to properly monitor your continual improvement!

Who is eligible?
Any accommodation operator or tour operator who implements responsible tourism practices into their business may fill out the checklist and compete for the Awards. Please note, those operators who have won the award in the past 2 years, or any participant who is currently contracting Wild Asia for advisory services will not be eligible for this year’s award.


Entry Form
Name of Tour Operator: Tour Product selected: Short description of tour product: Managed/owned by: Since year:

»Number of tours available: »Average tour rate: »Total of guests
(USD) (2011)

Accommodation type used for selected tour : Chain Hotel/ Resort Community based Independent Hotel/ Resort Other Lodge Family Home-stay

In what type of environment are you running the selected tour?
Beach Mountain Forest Rainforest River City Other Wetland National Park World Heritage Area Indigenous Community

Information about compiler:
Date assessment completed: Name of compiler: Position of compiler: Contact Email: Company website: Telephone: Company Address:

**Please note, tour operators will be assessed on one tour package or product only. If chosen as a finalist, the Wild Asia RT team will visit the main offices and the particular tour selected.


Best Practices of Responsible Tourism Checklist
Ranking Criteria 1 = weak (systems in place but not yet implemented) 2 = fair (beginning to consistently implement) 3 = good (implemented successfully) 4 = excellent (successfully implemented and continually improved)

Please read through the criteria and check one of the ranking boxes accordingly. A 1.

Part A: Sustainable Management
Your company has implemented a long-term sustainability management plan and a responsible tourism policy that considers environmental, socio-cultural, quality, health, and safety issues throughout the process of developing a holiday package. Assess how well the policy has been implemented. Your company is in compliance with all relevant international or local legislation and regulations (including, among others, health, safety, labour, and environmental aspects). 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4



All personnel receive periodic training regarding their role in the management of environmental, socio-cultural, health, and safety practices.


Customer satisfaction is measured and corrective action taken where appropriate.


Promotional materials are accurate and complete and do not promise more than can be delivered by the business.


The design and construction of buildings and infrastructure involved in the tour destinations or packages respect the natural and cultural surroundings and incorporate principles of sustainable construction: Information about and interpretation of the natural surroundings, local culture, and cultural heritage is provided to customers, as well as explaining appropriate behaviour while visiting natural areas, living cultures, and cultural heritage sites.



B 1.

Part B: Commitment to local employment and worker’s welfare
Your company actively supports initiatives for social and infrastructure community development including, education, health, and sanitation. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4


Local residents are employed, including in management positions. Training is offered as necessary. Please indicate the percentage of employed staff from the local area (within 50kms):



Local and fair-trade services and goods are purchased by the company, where available.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4


When visiting indigenous and local communities, your company promotes local community based small entrepreneurs that develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history and culture (including food and drink, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products etc). Your company has implemented a policy against exploitation, particularly of children and adolescents, including sexual exploitation.



Your company has an equal opportunities employment policy that covers all staff levels (including women and local minorities). Rate the success of the implementation of the policy.


The international or national legal protection of employees is respected, and employees are paid a fair wage.


The activities of the company do not jeopardize the provision of basic services, such as water, energy, or sanitation, to neighbouring communities.


C 1.

Part C: Respect of local culture and values
The tour operator follows established guidelines or a code of behaviour for activities in indigenous and local communities, in order to minimize visitor impact on the community and environment. Your company ensures that historical and archaeological artefacts are not sold, traded, or displayed, except as permitted by law. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4



Your company contributes to the protection of local historical, archaeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.


Your company uses elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage in its operations, design, decoration, food, or shops; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.


D 1.

Part D: Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts
Your company is actively conserving resources, for example: purchasing environmentally friendly products, conserving water and energy within offices and promoting this practice amongst its tour destinations. 1 2 3 4



Your company is actively measuring the use of water and measuring energy consumption (with meters or fuel consumption records).

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4


The management and staff are communicating conservation practices to guests and informing guests about how they can make a difference.


Assess your company’s effectiveness at actively reducing pollution, for example: wastewater is treated effectively and reused when possible. No raw sewage (toilet waste) is released directly into the environment. These practices are promoted among tour destinations. In order to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions are measured and you reduce and offer programs to offset these emissions.



Your company favours destinations and accommodations that have an effective solid waste management plan. For example, solid waste is separated into recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Waste that is not reused or recycled is minimized and recyclable materials are maximized. Your company persuades all guests to take away any harmful or toxic waste with them in order to properly dispose of it, which then minimizes waste on the accommodation premises. For example, batteries. Your company contributes to the support of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, including supporting natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value. For example, you actively support local conservation efforts (reef conservation, wildlife rehabilitation...etc) Your staff and management educate your guests (via workshops, field studies, slideshows...etc) about the local environment and conservation issues.





Your company ensures that all transportation used for the tour package is properly maintained and high environmental standards are applied in order for optimal performance as well as safety, comfort, and minimal environmental impact. Any tours or interactions with wildlife do not produce adverse effects on the viability of populations in the wild; and any disturbance of natural ecosystems is minimized, rehabilitated, and there is a compensatory contribution to conservation management.



No captive wildlife is held, except for properly regulated activities, and living specimens of protected wildlife species are only kept by those authorized and suitably equipped to house and care for them.


Total Points Part A Total Points Part B Total Points Part C Total Points Part D TOTAL OVERALL POINTS (max 124 )


Best Practices of Responsible Tourism
Written Answer
Instructions: The answers you provide in this section are your chance to give Wild Asia more details about your RT practices. It is imperative that ALL questions be answered. There is a maximum of 300 words per question. To support your statements below, we would like to see evidence of your achievements. Please attach a copy of your CSR/sustainability or environmental policy, examples of codes of conduct (e.g. when visiting local communities or heritage sites), staff welfare policies and evidence that demonstrates that you are making a difference. You will not be assessed on English grammar, so don’t worry please. Just write what your business does best and show us how this is done.

1. How do you communicate your RT practices to your guests, so that they learn about your efforts and benefit from the experience?

2. How do you educate and inspire your tourists about RT issues, and encourage them to contribute to the local economy and local conservation efforts?

3. How does your business promote the sense of place (of the destination or country)?

4. How do you ensure that your staff understands and applies your social and environmental initiatives?

5. How have you addressed the environmental impacts of your operations within your destination/s? How do you ensure that you are making progress and the efforts will be continued?

6. How have you addressed the social impacts of your operations on local communities? How do you ensure that you are making progress and the efforts will be continued?

7. Do you work with or engage other businesses and/or government bodies to address tourism issues that impact the destination/s with which you work?

8. Tell us about any socially/ environmentally responsible businesses you support? (E.g. Fair Trade producers, organic suppliers, social enterprises etc)

9. What are your major challenges towards implementing Responsible Tourism practices?

10. What is it that you do best in terms of responsible tourism practices?


11. What improvements or achievements have you made in your responsible tourism practices in 2010 and 2011? 2010:


12. Please share with us your organization’s RT goals for 2012:

11. Wild Asia would love to see some regular monitoring information from your business. This is an example of a monitoring table below. You can use this to monitor your resource consumption. If you have the information, please try to fill in the table. 2010 Water usage (liters) Percentage of water that is reused/ recycled (%) Electricity usage (kWh) Percentage of energy generated from renewable sources (%) Total solid waste generated (kgs/tons) Percentage of waste that is recycled/ reused (%) 2011 2012

Completed forms can be emailed to RT@wildasia.org For more information on Responsible Tourism, please visit www.wildasia.org or write to us at: Wild Asia Sdn Bhd, Upper Penthouse, Wisma RKT, No 2 Jalan Raja Abdullah, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


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