Sustainable Tourism

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The current obsession with climate change is not conductive to make tourism in developing countries more sustainable

The current obsession with climate change is not conductive to make tourism in developing countries more sustainable


The world is now in a stage of transition, triggered by environmental crises and vulnerabilities where maintaining sustainability in all development initiatives is crucial, not only for scientist and decision makers, but for long term survival of the earth system. Despite the pressures of climate change, developing and emerging economies are mostly concentrated on economic development, although strong debates, international pressure and country-based sustainability campaigns are influencing policy makers to rethink development initiatives within the framework of the economy. Instead of more opportunities bringing crises, opportunities built on sustainability principles can create a better platform of problem solving initiatives in business enterprises, production and consumption. Once the climatic conditions change and turn out to be less predictable, it affects the demand for tourism and the tourist prefer other places. Tourism as a geographical phenomenon is changeable and versatile (Archer et al., 2005, pp. 100).


Tourism Industry

At one time, tourism was seen as a clean industry, causing few environmental impacts. Although it is the world's largest industry by employment and is acknowledged to produce significant environmental impacts, tourism is not as detrimental to the environment as other large industries such as mining and manufacturing. It was not until the late 1960s that the impacts of tourism on the environment began to be recognized. By 1970, the first studies of the environmental impacts of tourism were made. Today, it is widely acknowledged that tourism produces environmental impacts across time and scale. As such, tourism's impacts are difficult to categorize, quantify, measure, and differentiate from those of other activities or natural processes. Tourism's environmental impacts are also often cumulative, coming from many small sources rather than a few large ones. These impacts can be manifest in the form of solid and liquid wastes; air, visual, and noise pollution; congestion; crowding; soil erosion; and deforestation. The intensity, location, and diffusion of these impacts change over time because of factors such as economics, technology, and social and political changes, making assessment difficult and continuous monitoring important to maintain environmental integrity. Tourism also leads to further development of destinations due to land development or through infrastructure improvements such as road repair, increased water supply, and increased capacity to handle waste, attracting other economic activities that might otherwise not have come to the destination. Tourism's environmental impacts also originate in various economic sectors and in activities such as hiking, which are not recorded by the economy. Certain tourist activities are also activities of the destination population (entertainment, shopping), and impacts in a tourism-related sector can cause impacts in other unrelated sectors. All these factors make the determination of exact environmental impacts of tourism, difficult. In addition, the type and intensity of impacts depend on the development, the characteristics of tourists, and the characteristics of the destination (Blanco et al., 2009, ...
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