Sustainable TourismWhat is sustainable tourism it and how to practice it
Every day we are hearing more about sustainable tourism and how it is achieved, but the reality is that it is still an unknown topic for many travelers. That is why it is important to learn about it and its benefits.
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¿What is sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism is primarily a movement that aims to meet the needs of tourism activity through principles of sustainability, to avoid negative impacts on the environment, the ecosystem, society, and local culture. It also contributes to the sector with new incomes and jobs for the host population.
Impact of the Tourism Industry
The tourism sector is one of the world’s leading industries. It is a key area for the planet’s socio-economic and environmental development.
The problem is that day by day it grows faster and in an uncontrolled way, generating mass movements of travelers and, an increase in their expectations of what a tourist experience must offer. This causes the tourism activity to not have any type of control or good management, and obtain, on most occasions, a negative impact at an economic, environmental, and socio-cultural level. Some examples are:
- Increased pollution.
- Damage of monuments, structures, and environment.
- Unbalanced ecosystem
- Transformation of local customs to meet the needs of tourist
- Overexploitation of natural resources.
- Unstable employment for residents (seasonality).
That is why it is important to keep in mind that our activity can have a negative impact on the destination, even if we are not aware 🥺.
Sustainable tourism is born as an alternative
Sustainable tourism is born thanks to the fact that we can see the negative effects that overcrowded, unstructured and poorly managed tourism can have on the economy, the environment, and socio-cultural aspects.
Among other reasons are:
- Increased concern for environmental issues worldwide.
- To increased demand from visitors for sustainable products and services, forcing companies to comply with certain standards.
- Increased pressure from environmental groups on public opinion related to tourism activities and the environment.
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¿How can we make tourism sustainable?
There is no specific or mandatory model that we must follow when considering sustainability in tourism, nor should we stop enjoying tourism. But whether we are travelers seeking to discover new places and different cultures, or a company or organization wanting to attract as many visitors as possible, we must do so responsibly, logically and, above all, consciously.
To do this, we simply need to follow several basic sustainability principles and recommendations:
🌱 Environmental principles
- Appropriate use of natural resources, to facilitate their regeneration or reuse.
- Protection and respect for the different ecosystems.
- Recycling and non-pollution.
- Respect all socio-cultural guidelines created to protect ecosystems and the environment.
- Reversing, as far as possible, environmental deterioration.
🎭 Socio–cultural principles
- Respect for socio-cultural diversity and local customs.
- Good interrelation between different cultures.
- Racial, ethnic and religious equality.
- Economic and gender equality.
- Give importance to people’s quality of life; employment, health, education, etc.
💰 Economic principles
- Ensure appropriate and responsible business practices.
- Establish new models of sustainable tourism development in each area.
- Demand higher quality standards for products and services in relation to sustainability, which generates greater competitiveness and involvement among bidders.
- Choose destinations that value the responsibility of tourists, hosts and public institutions that favor the development of sustainable tourism models.
If we keep these basic principles and tips in mind, we know that we will be contributing with our grain of sand to the world, assuring the creation of a different tourism activity in a conscious, educational, and environmentally friendly way, as well as helping in the sustainable development of the place we choose to visit 👌.
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