"Tourism in fragile contexts" - new guideline for product & communication managers published to respect human rights

Author: Roundtable for Human Rights in Tourism, Published on: 8 December 2016

Political instability, unrest or upheaval, social inequali- ties or natural disasters many factors can have an influence on tourism in the destinations. These fac- tors represent the partly fragile framework in which tourists move about a country. In post-conflict situations, tourism is often one of the first sectors to experience a new boom after 26 years of civil war in Sri Lanka, for instance, and when the dictatorship in Burma had come to an end. Tour- ism promises new investments and employment. Rapid development, however, may also lead to griev- ances or may even fuel latent conflicts. In many cases, governments promote the sector even before actually having initiated a serious process of reconciliation and comprehensive recovery. In this process, ecological and social standards are often disregarded, and the rights of local people overlooked. In fragile situations, tour operators are faced with special requirements of human rights related respon- sibility. The Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism has looked at human rights violations in the development of tourism in Sri Lanka. Our observations suggest that tourism enterprises operating without due diligence run the risk of tolerating human rights violations, or of aggravating conflicts. It is important for them to first get to know and understand the local situation...

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