Tourism can never be completely sustainable,
since, like every industry, it has impacts,
but we can work for a more responsible tourism.
When we talk about “Sustainable Tourism” we often do not realize the complexity of the concept. From the tourism sector, we use this “slogan” as a promotion tool without developing our marketing campaigns, without going any further and without really understanding the concept.
Talking about tourism is talking about transport, food, leisure, shopping, accommodation, or visiting our friends and family. Sustainable tourism means not creating any negative impact on the society, the environment and on the economics of the place we visit.
From all the tourist sectors, there is a clear consensus to develop actions that lead to sustainable tourism. Now, the debate turns into how to achieve this goal without ceasing to be competitive and not die in the attempt.
If, for tourism, it is essential to travel, we can say that sustainable tourism is directly linked to transport management. If we have this premise clear and we analyze the recent studies in sustainable tourism, we can assure that;
Nowadays, and does not seem to change, we are facing a tourism with total dependence on a fossil fuel to move the tourists. The CO2 emissions caused by tourist trips is 72% of the total. Of this figure 55% is related to journeys by plane.
Large airlines predict a 5% annual increase in passengers by 2050 and with a considerable mileage increase. Gossling, S .; Hall, M .; Peeters, P .; Scott, D. (2010) and Cohen S., Higham J.E., Peeters P., Gossling S. (2014). Why tourism mobility behaviours must change.
So how do we face this situation? Can we really think about offering sustainable tourism if we have all the agents against it?
The concept of Sustainable Tourism must be part of the development strategy of each tourist entrepreneur. Given that there are many variables that we do not control directly in order to offer truly sustainable tourism. We must take a step forward managing business responsibly. That is why we need to change the slogan of Sustainable Tourism for Responsible Tourism.
Responsible tourism is considered a behavior, a philosophy, a way of thinking. It is more than a form of tourism, as it represents a focus on participating in tourism in a global way. This philosophy is not only the responsibility of the tourist entrepreneur, no. In this new terminology there are many other agents. From the same tourist, companies, different destinations through the different administrations, we all have the task of ensuring that this premise is possible.
All these actors are responsible, in different ways, to be able to offer and enjoy responsible tourism. Only from this point of view, a better tourism can be possible.
The responsible Tourism is an aspiration that can be done in different ways in different markets and in different destinations around the world.
We need to minimize the economic, environmental and social impacts. Improve the welfare of host populations. Improve the working conditions of local people involved in the process. A better immersion of the cultural, social, environmental and economic problems of each recipient to generate respect among hosts and tourists.
Sustainable tourism is where tourists can enjoy their holidays while respecting the culture of people and respecting the environment. But to get here we will have to work from each of the different tourist agents being responsible in our day to day life.
Only being responsible will be able to be sustainable.
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