The Retour Foundation

The Retour Foundation (in Dutch: 'stichting Retour") was founded in 1986 to promote responsible tourism: tourism that is in line with the idea of sustainable development, safeguarding the preservation of ecological, social and economic resources needed by future generations.

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The idea of responsible tourism over the years has been addressed under many headings, e.g. alternative tourism, ethical tourism, acceptable tourism, community based tourism, eco-tourism, pro-poor tourism and/or sustainable tourism. Although semantics can be important, they should not lead attention away from a consistent vision of what responsible tourism is about. For the Retour Foundation this is tourism that contributes to sustainable development with special attention for the empowerment of local communities in tourism destinations. We like to speak of responsible tourism because we think that in its core, it is about people taking responsibility for their role in sustainable tourism.

The tourism sector covers a wide range of interests. The Retour foundation focusses on and supports those stakeholders that are core to sustainable development: local communities, small scale enterprises and youth. We believe that the most efficient way to realize sustainable tourism is through the private sector: by assisting small scale enterprises in their responsible tourism performance and corporates in taking their corporate social responsibility. As a bottom line all stakeholders should take their responsibility for safeguarding Human Rights in tourism, with a focus on the Rights of Children. Starting from this bottom line, responsible tourism should contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and specifically to the sustainable development of local communities. One of the key elements in establishing responsible tourism is the development of sustainable touristic products and services.