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As destinations around the world complain about the negative effects of overtourism as well as the industry’s contribution to climate change and global heating, increasingly the question is being asked whether the nature of tourism needs to change. At the forefront of this is sustainable tourism.
The World Tourism Organisation, now the UNWTO, provided a sustainable tourism definition that stated that it needs the participation of all stakeholders, and is a continuous process that needs a constant monitoring of impact, including corrective measures where applicable.
It should also involve tourist satisfaction and increased awareness of related issues. In many respects Costa Rica has been at the vanguard of the movement. Allied to ecotourism this has been central to the country’s tourism drive. Tourism in Cosa Rica has thrived due to its preservation of the environment and sustainable management of tourism. Other sustainable intiatives include campaings to stop the use of single use plastics.
The term has come in for some criticism as being a bit confusing, but fundamentally in essence the effect of the tourism initiative should benefit the local community as well as future generations, as should all sustainability initiatives. Other similar terms include responsible travel, community-based tourism and regenerative tourism.
You can follow our #SustainableSunday series for more about keeping your travel sustainable. You can also read more about Travel Begins at 40’s stance in our view of Travel and Tourism: a Clean and Green Future.
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