An Overview of Responsible Tourism in Southeast Asia from the Perspectives of Responsible Youth Leaders

Following the setback in the tourism industry in Southeast Asia (SEA) due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, countries are working towards minimizing the losses and damages they sustained. The concept of Responsible Tourism may offer a solution to the post-pandemic tourism industry by engaging and promoting the interests of all stakeholders, such that local communities and the natural environment are not negatively impacted by the implementation of various strategies. Using a qualitative methodology, this study identified three key priorities from engaging discussions with responsible youth leaders in SEA: 1) conserving the environment, which encompasses preserving biodiversity and reducing pollution and waste; 2) empowering women and youth; and 3) encouraging continuous education as a lifelong goal. The significance of the three priorities as solutions in the SEA context and the challenges currently faced in the region are discussed in detail.

Keywords:  responsible tourism, responsible youth leaders, Southeast Asia, priorities, local context, issues and challenges

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