Tourism, one of the world’s largest industries, is growing steadily. Tourism does not exclusively stand for fun and leisure. It also implies meetings, conferences, business trips and events. On the one hand, tourism affects climate and environment. On the other hand, it conveys recreation, cultural impressions, social contacts and new perceptions. Hence, the big challenge is to make tourism sustainable, or at least more sustainable.
Foto: Bodensee-Vorarlberg Tourismus

The idea of sustainable tourism with the overall goals of environmental integrity, social justice and economic development includes:

  • Respect for nature and local cultures
  • Attentive use of natural resources
  • Sound working conditions
  • Hospitality
  • Supporting local economies
  • New lifestyles and behaviour
  • Best local products: food, handicraft, culture
  • Sustainable buildings and facilities
  • Intelligent mobility and modal split

The Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism defines those characteristics in slightly different words such as:

  • minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts
  • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry
  • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
  • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity
  • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • provides access for people with disabilities and is culturally sensitive
  • engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence

Many stakeholders are involved in tourism: tour operators, destination managers, hotel owners, local authorities, convention and exhibition organisers, travel agents, farmers, and of course tourists. The question is: How could they contribute to sustainable tourism although there is no blueprint for it?

Papers, Posters and Presentations to this topic

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