What we can’t ignore in tourism development

6th May 2015

From Eco-Business (28/4/15): "UN World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai, in this Pacific Asia Travel Association interview, says sustainability is now the biggest challenge facing the global tourism sector.

"Tourism continues to grow exponentially — an average of 5 per cent a year since 2010 — and by 2030, we expect international tourists to reach 1.8 billion. We simply cannot ignore these facts and let the sector grow unmanaged, or we risk damaging the environment and cultural heritage, depleting natural resources and disrupting the social values of the host communities that tourism impacts. What many don’t realize is that sustainability is also a great opportunity for economic development and green growth. Sustainable tourism development is as much about protecting the environment and societies as it is about creating wealth in destinations through lucrative and long-lasting tourism enterprises. ...

"I would say my concern about the rapid growth of tourism in Asia and the Pacific, while most welcome, is ensuring what I would term as 'fair tourism'. Tourism development should be grounded in responsibility and sustainability so that host communities are engaged and therefore able to receive the many benefits of tourism. Considering that many of the developing countries in Asia are the ones experiencing rapid tourism growth, it is fundamental to integrate local communities into the tourism value chain as a means to create jobs as well as foster opportunities for small and medium enterprises in related sectors such as agriculture and the creative industries. In addition, tourism income can be redirected to initiatives that safeguard precious cultural and natural resources and thus ensure its long-term operations for the benefit of local populations. ...

"The tourism sector is unique in that it has the capability of fostering development, economic growth, job creation, and international peace and understanding – something that we need in these times."

Read the full article: http://www.eco-business.com/news/what-we-cant-ignore-in-tourism-developm...

 

Going Solar supports the Uniting Journeys' program. See the short video: An introduction to Uniting Journeys https://vimeo.com/122605312 where Jim Wakeland explains the origins of Uniting Journeys, its purpose and relationship to responsibile travel.