Photo by JK on Unsplash
Photo on Destination Kerala

Harold Goodwin

Professor Emeritus

Manchester Metropolitan University


Professor Emeritus


Manchester Metropolitan University


United Kingdom






What makes Harold Goodwin a Global Shaker?

Currently Professor Emeritus of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, Harold Goodwin is a legend in the world of sustainable travel.

His work in the 1990s focused on tourism and conservation, particularly in and around national parks. He directed a major study for the Department for International Development in the UK on Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology 1994-97, looking at parks in India, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. He then did consultancy work on tourism development in and around national parks and heritage trails in Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria.


Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park Slovenia Soca River Pictures


In 1998, Goodwin wrote what he says is the first paper on Tourism and Poverty Elimination for DFID, which led to work on the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership and training and poverty reduction work. In The Gambia, he led a market access project for informal sector craft workers, guides, fruit sellers and juice pressers which significantly increased their incomes.

He co-founded Responsible Tourism with Justin Francis in 2002, after Francis was an M.A student on his course at Greenwich University. That same year he became co-chair of the International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destination, arguably defining Responsible Tourism by drafting the Cape Town Declaration.

“I’m often asked what the simplest way of understanding what responsible tourism is,” he said in a video from this year. “And I think the simplest way is to say it’s about making better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit.

“Sustainable tourism has been around for a long time and has achieved very little. In most places around the world, the words are just used and they’re meaningless. I’ve heard many businessmen talk about something being sustainable, and mean little more than that they hope they would still be in business next year. We have to mean more than that if we’re going to make a difference to our planet.”


Cape Town

Clifton, Cape Town. Photo on Wikipedia


“So sustainable tourism is a vague aspiration. Responsible tourism is something quite different: it’s about the positive actions that we take to make tourism better.”

Goodwin is also the chair of judges for the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards, Chair of Travel philanthropy, and Chair of the Advisory Council of Village Ways (see Manisha Pande profile).

As an academic, he was Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University 2007 – 2013, and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University from 2013 until his retirement in 2016. He’s now Emeritus Professor at Manchester Met.

He’s also a partner in Taste Faversham and a Director of the Faversham Food Festival.

“One of the really big challenges is to get people to understand the relationship between now, the long day, and tomorrow, and that we need to start to act now to change the way tourism works,” he said in his inaugural lecture at Manchester Metropolitan University, on Taking Responsibility for Tourism.

Tags: Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel, tourism, UK

Last updated: September 26, 2020