Tourism Concern claims tourism developments often exploit tribal people, force locals from their homes and damage the environment. The campaigning charity's latest report, Putting Tourism to Rights, calls on the UK government and tourism industry to tackle poverty by protecting the rights of local people.
Tricia Barnett, Tourism Concern director, said: ‘While tourism has great potential to create wealth and improve the lives of local communities, our report shows that it is often developed at the expense of human rights. This is particularly true for people who are poor and easy to exploit, often driving them deeper into poverty.'
The report exposes violations ‘frequently perpetrated by the tourism sector' such as forced evictions to make way for developments, environmental damage and poor pay and working conditions for employees.
Tourism Concern wants the Government to tighten regulation of British businesses operating overseas.
‘Tourism consumes vast amounts of land, water and natural resources, and is a highly competitive industry,' said Barnett.
‘Powerful international operators jostle to out-grow and out-price each other, while cash-strapped governments in the developing world compete to attract their business by offering unspoilt landscapes, cheap labour and tax free investment.'
She said the tourism industry is getting a 'bit smug' and claimed there are still ‘huge gaps between policy and practice'.
Barnett discussed the issues with human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy on Radio 4's Excess Baggage on 21 November. Listen here.