About the Retour Foundation

In the past 25 years we have carried out projects, supported organizations and projects in developing countries and lobbied for sustainable tourism in international fora and developed new ideas, trying to stay up front in the development of ideas leading to a more sustainable tourism. Our approach has been one of building bridges between the different stakeholders involved, but always giving voice to the interests that are the least heard at the tables where the important discussions take place. We have tried to share our work and our opinions through reports, articles and interviews.

The Retour Foundation strives at creating bridges between academic concepts, long term policy goals and work floor level implementation in an analytical and practical sense without losing perspective of priorities. We have been involved in the debate on sustainable tourism since 1986. When we started sustainable and responsible tourism were niche concepts and it was the first objective of our statutes to put it on the agenda. We chose for the concept of responsible tourism since if stakeholders do not take responsibility there is no sustainable tourism.

Besides being action oriented through projects and consultancies we also contribute to the conceptual and analytical discourse on sustainable tourism. At a number of decisive moments and events we have been involved in defining concepts and strategies, trying to create linkages between our experiences in grass roots activities, consultancies, lobbying and academic research. We contribute to developing practical tourism concepts, using state-of-the-art academic knowledge and supporting the socio-economic and cultural needs of local communities and SMEs. In this process we share the knowledge and overview of the complexity of issues in sustainable development (like e.g. CSR) that we have derived from our years of experience, working with different interests and stakeholders.

In all our activities we work from a future oriented vision, and from an outward perspective looking in, linking policy and programmatic levels to benefits for individual stakeholders, from analytical to practical and from strategy to action. Thus we have been able to deliver innovative quality solutions in the forefront of the debate of responsible tourism for more than 30 years.