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What is sustainable tourism and why is it important?

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Tourism is a big part of our global culture, allowing us to explore different parts of the world, meet people from different walks of life and experience new traditions and activities. Because it brings many benefits to both travellers and communities, it can generally be viewed as a force for good. Over the years, we have become increasingly aware of the threat of climate change and our role in its escalation. Across industries, our global community is thinking about how we can reduce our impact on Earth. A 2018 study published by Nature Climate Change found that tourism accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is a very high percentage when we consider all possible sources of emissions.

What is the definition of sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism can be defined as a type of tourism that has more benefits than negative impacts, particularly in relation to the environment, economy, and communities. Truly sustainable and responsible tourism should make destinations more friendly for people to live in and visit. The main tasks of sustainable tourism include the protection of the environment, natural resources, and wildlife. Providing socio-economic benefits to communities living in tourist destinations. Preserve the cultural heritage of
and create authentic tourist experiences. Bring tourists and local communities together for mutual benefit. Create inclusive and accessible tourism opportunities. 

Ecotourism vs. Sustainable Tourism 

You may have heard that the terms ecotourism and sustainable tourism are used interchangeably. Although both are important, there is a slight difference between their meaning. While sustainable tourism is about creating travel opportunities with minimal impact and positive benefits for destinations and their communities, ecotourism focuses more on educating tourists about nature and the environment, and travelers participating in cultural and conservation activities. Although ecotourism should always be sustainable, not all examples of sustainable tourism are ecotourism.For example, you can take a train to stay in a sustainable energy hostel. While this is a sustainable option, you’re not necessarily learning about nature and your local environment in an educational sense. 

Tourism Industry Facts
Before we delve into the impact of the tourism industry, let’s examine some current facts and figures to get a better idea of ​​where things are today. On its website, Sustaining Tourism states that international tourist arrivals have increased from 25 million in 1950 to 1.32 billion in 2017.They also state that travel and tourism accounted for 10% of total GDP in 2016, with average international tourist income exceeding US$700 per person. So, it is clear that
tourism is making a huge economic impact on communities and the industry continues to grow at an amazing rate. For an in-depth and detailed look at today’s tourism industry, our Impact of Tourism course at Coventry University will cover all the topics we are discussing today and more.

Ecotourism vs sustainable tourism

 While sustainable tourism is set growing tour possibilities with minimum effect and wonderful advantages for locations and their groups, ecotourism is extra centered on teaching travellers approximately nature and the environment, and visitors taking element in conservation and cultural activities. While ecotourism needs to constantly be sustainable, now no longer all examples of sustainable tourism are ecotourism. For instance, you may take a educate to live in a sustainably powered lodge. While that is a sustainable option, you’re now no longer always gaining knowledge of approximately nature and your nearby environment in an academic feel. 

The Sustainable Tourism Goals 

 In 2005, the World Tourism Organization and the United Nations Environment Program proposed twelve main Sustainable Tourism Goals. Quality of employment: Increasing the number of local jobs created in the tourism industry and ensuring that  working conditions and wages are fair, safe and offered to workers without discrimination. Local Control: Empower local communities to play a role in planning and decision-making about tourism in their neighbourhoods. Cultural Wealth: Respect the cultural heritage, traditions, authenticity, and uniqueness of the host communities. Physical Integrity: Maintain all landscapes, whether urban or rural, and ensure they are not  physically or visually damaged by tourism.

What are some examples of sustainable tourism? 

There are many different examples of sustainable tourism, but the most important thing  to do before planning a sustainable trip is to make sure you’ve done your research. While one aspect of a trip may seem enduring, it’s worth considering the entire vacation before making any plans. An example of sustainable tourism is to use the train instead of traveling by plane. It is a very good option, especially now with all the incidents and problems that have happened in airports.

Carolina São Marcos
STORYTELLME Junior Technician


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