The government of Australia would like to protect the travelers for rogue tour operators. They would like to weed them in order to build the confidence in the destination among international tourists. They would like to set up a national accreditation system to set standards and boost the 35 billion pound tourism industry. The main thing is to improve the experience of the foreign visitors. According to Chris Brown, chief executive of Tourism and Transport Forum Australia: “overseas travelers must know that what they pay for is what they are getting to get.”

Original article by Rupert Murray. Source: Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland; 1/25/2008 Issue 2801, p6-6 (can be found through

Essay by Stephan Horn
Master in Tourism Destination Management student 2008/2009

Five years ago, after I finished High School, I took my backpack and flew to Cairns, Queensland. After visiting old neighbours, I started ‘hiking’ around and started off in Alice Springs. So there you are in the middle of that big island (Australia) and looking for a hostel (hotels are too expensive!). Luckily I found one quite quickly. Not the best one in town, but reasonable priced and nice staff. By the way, you have to take in mind that my English was that of a 5 year old native English boy. Anyway, I wanted to visit Ayers Rock and asked how I could arrange that. No problem, the people in the hostel said. Of course not I was bringing money! They offered me 4 different tours and I had to choose. Four leaflets with great pictures, nice text and great ‘feedback’ from previous travellers. I chose one and the next morning I departed. At the end I had a great time and still in contact with people I met on that trip.

You are reading my experience and want to know my point is. Understandable. I want to make clear that I was only referring to a stupid small leaflet, which says noting about the quality of neither the trip nor what I was getting. My point here, is it really necessary to have an accreditation system and especially for this type of tours or tour operators in general? Should the tourist be protected for rogue tour operators? Aren’t we responsible for ourselves? Don’t we have to be careful with everything we buy? I don’t know whether I have to agree or disagree.

My opinion is that it is part of the game. If you go to the market to buy bananas, do you know what kind of quality you are buying? It is on one hand quite naïve to just look to a leaflet without doing any research. But it is exciting and it is part of exploring and sees where it ends. Sure, from the perspective of the government I can completely understand that they want to protect the tourist from overseas and leave a good image of the country. I think that most of the tourist above 30 years old book an organised tour by their operator in their home country and probably will have good experience with that tour operator. And isn’t it the responsibility of the country overseas? To protect their travellers when they book a trip at a tour operator. But for backpackers and small scale tourism is it a little bit overreacting when you want to do accreditation for every single tour operator. There are so many and practically offering all the same tours.