The indefatigable Ranjan Solomon has announced his resignation from ECOT.
In the current issue of Tourism Scan (the newsletter of ECOT - the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism) Ranjan Solomon announces his resignation for personal and health reasons. He hopes to be involved in other ways following a time of healing and recovery.
Solomon takes the opportunity to highlight the current political instability in Thailand, where the organisation is based. "My preparations for leaving Thailand coincide with the army achieving a stranglehold over the country in the aftermath of a military coup that took place last month. The real question is about the attitude of the tourist. Do they care at all about what happens in Thailand? Did the coup which they hardly seemed to notice make any difference to their understanding of being global citizens? The relentless suppression of any political activity is worrying. The tourism movement has to encourage the tourist to become truly engaged with reality and not be in indifferent indulgence to it. The tourist simply cannot be complacent and smug and be consumed by the sole desire to enjoy their holidays with little or no care for what the people they visit aspire to."
"We need to drive home an important message here. And that is that there needs to be a meaningful correlation between self fulfilment and social responsibility. In the context of the coup in Thailand, it simply means that the tourist must be enabled to understand the social-economic-political reality of the context they are in and discern forms of solidarity they can provide to those who seek a genuinely free, participatory and just society in Thailand. This is the essence of global citizenship. It must form the essence of what responsible tourism is."