Responsibletravel.com targeted by ‘hackers’

Responsibletravel.com will not remove content it claims was left on its website by hackers over the Easter weekend.


Communications manager Claire Southern said although neither the members’ information or customer database were compromised, the hackers sabotaged the “much visited and replicated” Tips for Responsible Travel page by posting additional information.


Three separate posts have been interspersed on the page urging readers to “Plug into Palin and Parry. Bruce and Michael might be old hands at the travel game but they started out, like the rest of us, as wide-eyed newbies”; “Resist the temptation to default to the ‘uniform’ of zip-off trousers, technical fleece and high-wicking top”; and “Think James Bond and not Prisoner Cell Block H. OK, so the hotel can be relaxing but aren’t you getting bored?”


Each of the posts then contains further information expanding on the three suggestions.


Southern admitted it was peculiar that the hacker was not malicious and had instead backed the site’s messages with his posts, prompting claims that the posts were a marketing stunt.


She added: “We’ve been totally successful and captured the audience for talking about the big technical issues around responsible tourism, from our carbon reduction ideas to our opinions on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.


“But we feel we might have got to the point where we’re preaching to the converted, and we need to capture the imaginations of the rest of the public, largely confused and overwhelmed post-Copenhagen, and mired in confusion about climate change.


“These are people who want to get the most out of their holidays, but are tired of the weightiness and worthiness they perceive come with responsible travel.


“We know that responsible travel is not only a better way to travel but a more enjoyable way – for you and your destination. We’ve allowed the ‘hacked’ points to stay up because they are fun, provocative and liberating.


“We want to get back to that original rebellious idea, a way for us to talk about responsible tourism in a different light, a way to unite and excite people about what’s fun about responsible tourism, to get people asking questions about what they want from their holiday; igniting that curiosity.”

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