Sustainable tourism, one that establishes a suitable balance between the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, plays an important role in conserving biodiversity. It attempts to minimize its impact on the environment and local culture so that it will be available for future generations, while contributing to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems.
By doing so, sustainable tourism maximizes the positive contribution of tourism to biodiversity conservation and thus to poverty reduction and the achievement of common goals towards sustainable development.
Sustainable tourism provides crucial economic incentives for habitat protection. Revenues from visitor spending are often channelled back into nature conservation or capacity building programmes for local communities to manage protected areas.
Furthermore, tourism can be a key vehicle in raising awareness and fostering positive behaviour change for biodiversity conservation among the millions of people travelling the globe every year.
Source: World Tourism Organization
Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.The positive of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies; and tourists themselves.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation defines sustainable tourism as tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Rather than being a type of product, it is an ethos that underpins all tourism activities. As such, it is integral to all aspects of tourism development and management rather than being an add-on component. The objective of sustainable tourism is to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development while reducing or mitigating any undesirable impacts on the natural, historic, cultural or social environment. This is achieved by balancing the needs of tourists with those of the destination.
Sustainable Tourism refers to a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place.
Sustainable tourism: Tourism that is economically, socioculturally and environmentally sustainable. With sustainable tourism, sociocultural and environmental impacts are neither permanent nor irreversible.
- John Beech and Simon Chadwick
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