Good Tourism Sustainability Essay Example
During last several decades, tourism sustainability has been actively discussed by the researchers, governments and business people working in this industry around the world. The discussion regarding this phenomenon has become extremely important now, as the impact of mass tourism upon the popular places for visiting is increasing every year. The aspect that is suffering most of all is, of course, the environment; many species of flora and fauna are reducing in quantity or even disappearing, the atmosphere and water reservoirs are getting polluted.
Sustainable tourism is the way of visiting a destination as a tourist making a positive influence on the economy, society and environment. Tourism may consist of transportation to the destination, inland transportation within the place of destination, accommodations, recreation, entertainment, shopping and nourishment. Tourism can be related to leisure travel, business trips and visiting friends and relatives. Nowadays it is much discussed that the tourism must be sustainable; however, there is still no answer to the question, how to realize this idea.
Forecasts of the scientists say that international tourism growth will be continuing, the extent of it depends on the certain place. As tourism is one of the fastest growing and largest industries, its continuous increase presents a significant threat to remaining of indigenous cultures and many biologically diverse habitats, which are widely used for tourism advertising. The tourists and authorities, who are the supporters of sustainable tourism, are attentive to these possible dangers and try to preserve tourist places, and to protect tourism in general.
There are many ways in which sustainable tourists can decrease harmful impact of the tourism, such as:
learning politics, culture and economy of the places of destination;
respecting and anticipating the local cultures, assumptions and expectations;
helping to keep the local cultures by contributing to businesses that are working to conserve traditional values and cultural heritage;
assisting to local economies by means of buying local products;
preserving resources by participating in the businesses that are environmentally friendly, and by avoiding using of non-renewable resources.
Community-based organizations (CBOs and NGOs), local communities, tourists, and industry associations are working for the responsible tourism goals’ achievement.
The development of the term ‘sustainable tourism’. According to the authors of What is Sustainable Tourism? (2011), by the end of 19th century, nature trips were low developed and not very popular. Travelers, who shared information about their discoveries and experiences (for example, Aristotle and Herodotus in ancient Greece and others later) and also explorers of the Enlightenment Age (for example, James Cook, Georg Forster and Alexander von Humboldt), were the exception.
Until the 1950s, world journeys were possible only for reach people. It was not until the mass communication and transport technological development began that more people started to travel. Until the 1960s, tourism was criticized greatly, mostly due to the increasing mass tourism and ecological and social impacts of it.
As a result of seeking alternatives, the ‘soft tourism’ appeared in German-speaking societies in 1980s. Soft tourism meant the intent of undoing or reducing bad consequences of the development of tourism by implementation of restrictions within regional policies and broad planning and elimination of its impacts in the future. During 1980s and 90s, the term of ‘soft tourism’ was broadly substituted by ‘sustainable tourism’. The ‘ecotourism’ first appeared as a term in 1965, when issues of ecology were first introduced in tourism. It means a form of tourism when people are visiting protected areas.
The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development presented the concept of sustainable tourism in the Brundtland report (1987), where the ‘sustainable development’ was defined in the following way: "sustainable tourism development is the one that meets the present necessities and do not compromise the possibility of future generations to meet their own necessities” (What is Sustainable Tourism?, 2011).
Sustainable tourism quickly became important in research and academia, and in the practice of tourism industry. According to the other researcher Dumbraveanu (2004), sustainable tourism is the totally different concept compared to the mass tourism and means the alternative, modern (post-mass) tourism activity. That means that sustainable tourism is basically the mass tourism opposite (Dumbraveanu, 2004).
The impact of tourism. The impacts of tourism are often divided into environmental, economic, cultural and social: “a sustainable approach to tourism includes the integration of environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects” (Baros and D´avid, 2007).
According to Molstad et al. (1999), possible positive impacts of tourism can be the following: creating community pride, improving the identity sense of a region or community, enhancing international and intercultural communication, supporting maintenance or revival of local crafts, increasing support for local groups and protecting their culture, extending horizons of community, financing destination places’ management and preservation, improving external and local support and appreciation for traditional culture.
Possible negative influences of tourism may be the following: cheapening and commodification of local traditions and culture, loss and alienation of the local cultural identity, dislodging of local residents, division of people who do and do not receive a positive impact from tourism, damage to facilities and attractions, and reducing the historical accuracy and authenticity in interpretation (Molstad et al., 1999).
The social responsibility of tourism can be realized through bringing the researchers’ point of view to people, as people is the main factor that may change anything in this goal: “sustainable tourism development is primarily about society’s transforming” (Aall, 2014).
The economic aspect of tourism primarily means helping local people to develop their small businesses with the minimum negative influence upon the environment. While ecotourism and other forms of sustainable tourism can create considerable socio-economic benefits to the places of destination, their goal is not always the alleviation of poverty. A pro-poor tourism (PPT) definition is different from ecotourism and sustainable tourism in that its main goal is to provide net benefits to the poor local citizens.
According to Neto (2003), there are some reasons why the development of tourism can be effective in poverty decreasing activity. First of all, tourism provides a large quantity of employment possibilities for unskilled workers, migrants from rural districts and women with low income. Also, there are linkages with the informal sector that can create many positive effects to poorer people. And last, tourism tries to be based upon the natural capital preservation, such as local flora, fauna and scenery (cultural heritage), that are sometimes assets, which poor locals have, even if they do not possess any financial resources (Neto, 2003).
Sustainable tourism is not only an instrument of social and environmental management; it is also an important driver in increasing the attractiveness of a destination and the income of tourism-related individual businesses.
The influence of mass tourism upon the environment is enormously large. According to Saarinen (2006), at various destinations, the increase and influences of the tourism are problematic for the nature and environment and the future of the industry. The bed influence became clearly evident in the mass tourist places (for example, Mediterranean coast). In the 1980s, these facts seemed threatening for the image and viability of the industry (Saarinen, 2006).
A relation exists between commercial and environmental sustainability in reducing the consumption of energy, decreasing the quantity of waste and protecting water may increase profits and save money. Slight changes, for example, using high-efficiency light globes may cause a substantial cost decrease (ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE TOURISM STRATEGIC PLAN, 2009).
The tourism industry “spends more than $7.5 billion for energy annually. The energy use decrease by 10% would result in around $750 million of savings annually” (The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics, 2014).
Many countries that are popular tourist destinations bring the process of sustainability achievement to the governmental level. For instance, the Sustainable Tourism Initiative of Cyprus (CSTI) was created in 2006 in order to implement the sustainable approach to the industry of tourism in Cyprus CSTI and contribute to the sustainable tourism industry development through education of the tourism industry and public in the following topics: the environment conservation; preservation, protection and careful use of natural resources; the reduction of the carbon footprint influence caused by all the activities in connection with tourism; life conditions improvement in economically and socially disadvantage communities; the development of sustainable tourism that means economic growth achieving and regeneration” (Csti-cyprus.org, 2014).
As we can see from the various researches, the development of sustainable tourism is extremely important for the world’s future, even though many scientists consider it to be impossible. On my opinion, all the parties involved in the tourism activity should always take efforts to reduce the negative and increase the positive impact upon the places of destination. Even if the perfect result will not be achieved, such efforts will be very helpful to realize this idea to the largest possible extent.
Local authorities can also help to reduce harmful effects of tourism by means of establishing of restrictions and limitations, fines, providing security, arranging restoration of the damaged items, delivering information on sustainable tourism through mass media, educational institutions and seminars for the tourist industry staff.
In case people do their best to protect the environment and contribute to the development of local businesses at destinations, the achievement of tourism sustainability will become more realistic, and, hopefully, young generations will once achieve the goal that seems to be impossible now.
Aall, C. (2014). Sustainable Tourism in Practice: Promoting or Perverting the Quest for a Sustainable Development?. Sustainability, 6, p.2573.
Baros, Z. and D´avid, L. (2007). ENVIRONMENTALISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF TOURISM. Munich Personal RePEc Archive, [online] p.151. Available at: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6373/1/VOLUME_2_No2_art09.pdf [Accessed 1 Jan. 2015].
Csti-cyprus.org, (2014). The Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI). [online] Available at: http://csti-cyprus.org/ [Accessed 31 Dec. 2014].
Dorin-Paul, B. (2013). SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND ITS FORMS – A THEORETICAL APPROACH. University of Oradea, [online] 1, p.766. Available at: http://anale.steconomiceuoradea.ro/volume/2013/n1/080.pdf [Accessed 1 Jan. 2015].
DUMBRĂVEANU, D. (2004). PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PLANNING. Strategia de ecoturism a Romaniei: cadru theoretic de dezvoltare, [online] p.78. Available at: http://humangeographies.org.ro/articles/11/8DUMBRAVEANU.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].
ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE TOURISM STRATEGIC PLAN. (2009). Tourism Victoria, [online] p.8. Available at: http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/images/stories/Documents/StrategiesandPlans/Environmentally_Sustainable_Tourism_Plan.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].
Gronau, W. and Kaufmann, R. (2008). Tourism as a Stimulus for Sustainable Development in Rural Areas: A Cypriot Perspective. Munich Personal RePEc Archive, [online] pp.85-86. Available at: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25307/1/VOLUME_4_No1_art05.pdf [Accessed 1 Jan. 2015].
Molstad, A., Lindberg, K., Hawkins, D. and Jamieson, W. (1999). Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage. A Review of Development Assistance and Its Potential to Promote Sustainability. NWHO, [online] p.7. Available at: http://www.nwhf.no/files/file/culture_fulltext.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].
Neto, F. (2003). A New Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development: Moving Beyond Environmental Protection. United Nations. Economic & Social Affairs, [online] 29, pp.8-9. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/esa03dp29.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].
Saarinen, J. (2006). TRADITIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY IN TOURISM STUDIES. Annals of Tourism Research, [online] 33(4), p.1123. Available at: http://doclinks2012residentialschool.myevent.com/clients/3/31/314effb673ed43804a4bfe2fd166864f/File/ATR1250.pdf [Accessed 1 Jan. 2015].
The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics. (2014). Center for Responsible Travel, [online] p.4. Available at: http://www.responsibletravel.org/news/Fact_sheets/Crest_RTI_TrendStats_print_1_4%20(3).pdf [Accessed 31 Dec. 2014].
What is Sustainable Tourism?. (2011). Naturefriends International, [online] pp.2-4. Available at: http://www.nfi.at/dmdocuments/NachhaltigerTourismus_EN.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].
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