Sustainable tourism (or green tourism) is a type of tourism that aims to minimise tourism's negative environmental, economic, and social impacts while maximising its positive ones. It is a tourism approach that seeks to ensure that tourism activities do not harm the environment, local communities, or economies. In recent years, as the world has become more aware of the need to protect the environment and conserve natural resources, sustainable tourism has grown in importance. This paper will go over the benefits and drawbacks of sustainable tourism, as well as its environmental impact.
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Definition of Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism is defined as "tourism that fully considers its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, while addressing the needs of visitors, industry, the environment, and host communities" (UNWTO, 2017). It is a type of tourism that aims to minimise tourism's negative environmental, economic, and social impacts while maximising its positive ones. It is a tourism approach that seeks to ensure that tourism activities do not harm the environment, local communities, or economies.
This paper will go over the benefits and drawbacks of sustainable tourism, as well as its environmental impact.
Benefits of Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism benefits both the environment and local communities. It has the potential to help reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Sustainable tourism can help reduce carbon emissions from transportation by encouraging visitors to use public transportation or other low-carbon modes of transportation such as electric vehicles or bicycles. Furthermore, by promoting responsible use of water and energy resources, sustainable tourism can help preserve natural resources. Sustainable tourism can help reduce water and energy consumption by encouraging visitors to use water and energy resources responsibly. Furthermore, by promoting responsible wildlife viewing practises and protecting habitats from destruction or degradation, sustainable tourism can help conserve biodiversity.
Another advantage of sustainable tourism is that it can benefit local communities economically. Sustainable tourism can help support local businesses and create jobs in the local economy by encouraging visitors to buy locally produced goods and services. Furthermore, through taxes on tourist activities or fees for access to protected areas, sustainable tourism can help generate income for local communities. Finally, by encouraging cultural exchange between visitors and locals, sustainable tourism can have a positive social impact on local communities.
The Challenges of Sustainable Tourism
Despite its numerous benefits, there are some drawbacks to sustainable tourism. Reduced carbon footprints from transportation are one challenge. Although sustainable tourism encourages visitors to use public transportation or other low-carbon modes of transportation, such as electric vehicles or bicycles, this may be impractical in some areas due to a lack of infrastructure or other factors. Furthermore, reducing water and energy consumption can be difficult in some areas due to a lack of access to clean water or energy-efficient technologies.
Another issue related to sustainable tourism is the preservation of natural resources. Although sustainable tourism encourages visitors to use natural resources responsibly, in some areas, this may be impossible due to overuse or destruction of natural resources by tourists or locals. Furthermore, biodiversity conservation can be difficult due to a lack of awareness or understanding among tourists about responsible wildlife viewing practises or the protection of habitats from destruction or degradation.
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To summarise, sustainable tourism has numerous benefits for both the environment and local communities, including reduced carbon emissions from transportation, preservation of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity, income generation for local communities, and promotion of cultural exchange between visitors and locals. However, there are some challenges associated with sustainable tourism, such as reducing transportation carbon footprints, preserving natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and raising awareness among tourists about responsible wildlife viewing practises or protecting habitats from destruction or degradation.
UNWTO (2017). Sustainable Tourism: Definition & Principles. Retrieved from https://www2.unwto.org/sustainable-tourism/definition-principles
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