Responsible Travel announces that New York State Division of Tourism ranks alongside the world’s best national tourist boards in responsible tourism league table.

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The Bigger, Greener Apple: Responsible tourism in New York State. Video demonstrates NYS’ commitment to responsible tourism driven by local experiences, communities and landscapes

New York State is a leading example of a Tourist Board using tax payer’s money to great effect and is clearly communicating its policies and action around responsible tourism

As New York State scores top marks in the first international responsible tourism league table it unveils a video that showcases the state for those seeking a slower pace and a more authentic, local-flavoured escape.

Responsible tourism is flourishing in New York State, driven by communities passionate about their heritage, landscape and wildlife. Developing these types of community-driven tourism experiences is something New York State Division of Tourism is taking seriously, recognising that in promoting tourism which supports and celebrates local people, and preserves the natural environment it is able to offer tourists a much more meaningful, memorable holiday experience.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says “From our millions of acres of protected wilderness where New Yorkers can hike or kayak, to our vast network of parklands, New York is truly unmatched when it comes to opportunities for sustainable tourism. On top of all that, these assets support eco-friendly jobs and growth in local communities, and ultimately reinforce the value of preservation.”

Following the release of the national tourist board league table, Responsible Travel was asked to assess New York State on the same basis. The result? The State’s commitment to responsible tourism has been recognised internationally against the world’s first league table of Tourist Boards where New York State scored six out of a maximum six. Graded by their commitment to responsible tourism as published on their websites, Responsible Travel’s top selling 50 destinations were assessed as to whether more should be done to ensure tax payers’ money is being used to promote local over global initiatives.

The six questions asked, relating to tourists boards’ vision, policies and activity in responsible and sustainable tourism were:

1.    Is there any mention anywhere of responsible or sustainable tourism?
2.    Does responsible or sustainable tourism feature in their vision/mission?
3.    Do they have any specific policies for responsible or sustainable tourism?
4.    Do they have evidence based reports on any achievements in responsible or sustainable tourism?
5.    Do they identify holidays on their site that have been screened or audited for responsible tourism?
6.    Do they provide any educational information or tips for tourists about responsible tourism?

Commenting on the results, Responsible Travel CEO Justin Francis said:

“New York State is a leading example of a Tourist Board using tax payer’s money to great effect and is clearly communicating its policies and action around responsible tourism. This gives local businesses a strong support network and infrastructure in which to flourish and directly benefits the community; to local enterprises, wildlife and the environment. We hope that other US Divisions of Tourism, as well as destinations worldwide, look to New York State as an example to follow.”

ENDS

Note to editors:

Interviews, photos, video: On request

Video: The Bigger, Greener Apple: Responsible tourism in New York State

National Tourist Board responsible tourism league table: National tourist boards’ commitment to responsible tourism was based on what they publish online and the only evidence is what we have found on their websites. Like normal tourists, we do not know all that tourist boards are doing to make sure that their local suppliers, employees and natural heritage benefit from their work to bring more tourists to their country; we can only go on what they publish on their websites.

About Responsible Travel:

Responsible Travel is the world’s leading market place for small and tailor-made tour operators, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.

Responsible Travel connects these operators with people looking for real & authentic holidays. Starting with just 2 tour operators in 2001 we’ve become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small & specialist tour companies in 197 countries. As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places & local people (not always positive) grows. We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people & places responsibly.    

In addition Responsible Travel:

  • campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
  • is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest travel guides
  • organises the World Responsible Tourism Awards. Now in their 12th year, the Awards celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism and are hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry. Follow Awards news and updates on Twitter: @RTAwards or #WRTA2015 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/responsibletourismawards

CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

The company is based in Brighton's North Laine district, England.

For further information, interview and comment contact
Sasha Chisholm
T: +44 (0)1273 829271
M: +44 (0)7568 107963
E: sasha@responsibletravel.com

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Sarah Bareham
@r_travel
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