Sustainable Tourism World has a specific opinion about what can be considered sustainable. Most of the time it is related with the role of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Sustainable tourism is an approach to tourism, a way to organise and design it, not a kind of tourism such as active, slow or golf tourism.
Just few examples of what STouW consider the best!
– Accommodation not new buildings but restoration of previous one, the rule less impact, better is is always working well;
– Itineraries deeply related with local culture and the economy of local population;
– Itineraries made without impact on the earth, so preferred transport would be walking or bicycles, after those public transport: trains, coaches and ferries (eco runned would be much appreciated);
– Services run by local people but with particular attention on the environmental impacts, for instance restaurants owned and managed by local community that serves local and/or organic food (not imported from other countries), second hand bookshops, recycled clothes and furniture shops.
– Volunteer program and projects related with not for profit associations, groups or organisations who are focused on a particular objective.
Sustainable tourism defined by UNWTO is described as the kind of tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.
Sustainable tourism defined by UNWTO should:
1) Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
2) Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
3) Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary.
Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices among them.
Making Tourism More Sustainable – A Guide for Policy Makers, UNEP and UNWTO, 2005, p.11-12
Are you interested to know more?
Ask #STouW by Sara Vitali about:
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#sustainabledevelopment through tourism.