The concepts you need to know

The concepts you need to know

Ecotourism, fair trade in tourism, green volunteering… A whole series of concepts related to responsible tourism have emerged in recent years. Here is a list of definitions of the different concepts you need to know for an alternative travel experience.

Responsible TourismResponsible or sustainable tourism is the application of the principles of sustainable development to tourism. In other words, it means reconciling economic development with a social and environmentally friendly approach. According to the World Tourism Organization Charter, responsible tourism should be “ecologically bearable in the long term, economically viable, and ethically and socially equitable for local populations”.

It concerns all areas (urban, rural, coastal, mountain) and all actors: transport, accommodation, activity providers, etc. Responsible tourism is everyone’s business.

Ecotourism Ecotourism is a responsible form of travel in natural areas, which contributes to environmental protection and the wellbeing of the local population. It is aimed at a client base of small groups and organised on a small scale. It differs from nature tourism in its commitment to the environment and local development.

Fair Trade in Tourism Fair trade in tourism is a concept that takes into account the relationship between North and South, with the aim of fair wages and a financial contribution to development projects. Fair trade in tourism groups together forms of “alternative” tourism that place human beings and encounters at their centre, and are part of a regional development process.The involvement of local populations in the different stages of the tourism process, respect for people, cultures and nature, and a more equitable distribution of the income generated are the founding principles of this kind of tourism.

Social Tourism Social tourism aims to promote access to tourism for all, particularly the most underprivileged in society. In France, three major organisations work towards achieving this goal: the UNAT, ANCV and BITS.

Green VolunteeringThis kind of tourism refers to volunteer programmes aimed at providing support to environmental protection and conservation projects in the field, supervised by scientists. A number of French organisations offer green volunteering opportunities: Planète UrgenceA Pas de Loup