What is sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism envisages the concept of keeping up with the continuity of the charm and attraction of a tourism destination causing minimum damage to the components that make up the destination. It is an observed fact that wherever the tourists move, they carry pollution and commotion having a harmful impact on the environment of the place he visits.

Mexico Protest

If the tourist is a habituated smoker, just think of the volume of burnt carbon injected into the air and if there is a big conglomeration of such irresponsible souls visiting an unspoilt locale, the damage manifests. The emphasis should be on educating the tourist making him aware of his responsibilities towards the pristine sites he visits.

The spillage of leftovers of surplus food, dining paper plates and glasses, empty bottles, plastic wrappers and other unused garbage left behind by the tourist disrupt the ecological balance as most of these are not biodegradable and hence are not recycled into the eco system. Well, may be a small portion of the waste that is the food component gets into the soil and fixes up the nitrogen cycle, but the rest of the inorganic matter is detrimental to the place it is spilled over. Just as a piece of illustration, local cattle can get choked with plastic bags left on the ground in the most irresponsible manner. It only points an accusing finger at the careless attitude of the tourist and the practice is against sustainable tourism. Holiday destinations must no doubt be enjoyed, but not at the expense of the rich ingredients that makes them so attractive.

melting glaciers

The phenomena of global warming, sudden movement of glaciers which had been static till yesterday, the collapse of the snow capped summit and the rapture of the ozone canopy overhead are ominous enough for an impending disaster! The nature lover inside the tourist is completely accountable to society for the rapid drop in the environmental bliss and tranquility. It is his duty to ensure anything he does doesn’t aggravate the already sorry state of affairs. If possible, he needs to plant ten seedlings if he has uprooted one and this is a small fraction of what sustainable tourism is all about!

The impact a tourist leaves on the cultural, economical and social profile of the destination he visits for pleasure is equally important. There exists a range of bizarre social customs, rituals, attires and festivals that may seem out of place in a modern society. If the tourist doesn’t have the eye to appreciate what seems outlandish neither does he have any right to treat what he sees around as an object of ridicule! Appreciation and constructive contribution of value to an alien culture of a tourist destination is a crucial component of sustainable tourism.

tourist at hotel reception

The flow of money from the tourist is the life line for tourism industry. The money gets recycled. It passes down from the tourist to the tourism ministry and other authorized departments to local business chains like hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and indigenous craft centers in exchange for goods and service. This stimulates the health of the service providers and helps improve the quality of service rendered.

More the volume and frequency of tourist dollars more is the all round development. There will be surge in the influx of tourists and in a nutshell the concept of ‘dollar breeding further dollar’ will be the undercurrent beneath the perception of sustainable tourism. Without instilling an element, the brilliant destination with their invaluable appeal would simply go dry.

The immaculate locales that once drew enthusiastic tourists in large numbers would just be reduced to a site devoid of charisma and their existence faded out of memory.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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