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Sustainable Tourism: A World leading to the road of Environment consciousness

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Overview: Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and an important source of foreign exchange and employment as well as social, economic and environmental welfare of many countries, especially developing countries. Marine or ocean tourism and coastal tourism are important parts of the economies of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Coastal Countries (LDCs) (see also the potential water economy report). as Community of Marine Action on Sustainable Water Economy).

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as: “Tourism that fully considers current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts and meets the needs of visitors, industries, the environment, and host communities.” 

Sustainable tourism considers the needs of the environment and local communities, taking into account current and future economic, social and environmental impacts. This includes protecting the natural environment and wildlife when developing and managing tourism activities, providing tourists with only authentic experiences that do not adequately misrepresent local heritage and culture, or teaching this by creating direct socio-economic benefits for Local communities through employment and employment.

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What does Sustainability mean?

Sustainability is about maintaining environmental, social and economic benefits without depleting the resources that future generations need to thrive. In the past, the ideal of sustainability tended to be business-oriented, but more modern definitions of sustainability focus on: It emphasizes finding ways to prevent the depletion of natural resources.

Different types of Sustainable Tourism

Soft Tourism

Soft tourism can promote an emphasis on local experiences, local languages ​​and more time spent in individual regions. This is in contrast to hard tourism, which involves short visits, non-cultural trips, lots of selfies and a general sense of superiority as a tourist.

Community Tourism

Community-based tourism involves tourism where local residents invite travelers to their communities. It may be an overnight stay and is often done in rural and developing countries. This type of tourism fosters communication and allows tourists to gain in-depth knowledge of local habitats, wildlife and traditional culture. On the other hand, it provides direct economic benefits to the host community. Ecuador is a world leader in social tourism, offering unique lodges such as Sunny Lodge, run by the indigenous Quichua community, offering responsible cultural experiences in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.

Eco Tourism

Ecotourism emphasizes responsible travel to natural areas with a focus on environmental protection. Sustainable tourism organizations support biodiversity conservation by responsibly managing their properties and by respecting or enhancing surrounding natural reserves (or areas of high biological value). In most cases, this appears to be financial compensation for conservation management, but it also includes ensuring that tours, attractions and infrastructure do not disrupt natural ecosystems.

Rural Tourism

Rural tourism refers to tourism that is carried out in non-urban areas such as national parks, forests, natural reserves and mountainous areas. That means everything from camping and glamping to hiking and woofing. Rural tourism is a great way to do sustainable tourism because it usually requires less use of natural resources.

How Tourism is made Sustainable?

As tourism affects and affects a wide range of activities and industries, all sectors and stakeholders – tourists, governments, host communities and tourism operators – must contribute to the success of sustainable tourism. We must cooperate.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting sustainable tourism, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the global standard for sustainable travel and tourism, are committed to making tourism sustainable. I feel the same way about it. What to do They explain that sustainable tourism maximizes environmental resources while protecting natural heritage and biodiversity, respects the social culture of local host communities, and promotes intercultural understanding. Economically, we need to ensure sustainable long-term operations that benefit all stakeholders, including sustainable employment for local residents, social services, and helping to reduce poverty.

GSTC has developed a set of standards to create a common language on sustainable travel and tourism. These criteria are used to distinguish sustainable destinations and organizations, but also help create sustainable policies for companies and government agencies. A global database consists of four pillars.

Focus on Environment

Protecting the natural environment is the foundation of sustainable tourism. CO2 emissions from tourism are expected to increase by 25% by 2030, according to data published by the World Tourism Organization. International long-haul travel was predicted to increase by 45% by 2030.1

The environmental impact of tourism goes beyond carbon emissions. Tourism with unsustainable management can create waste problems, cause land loss and soil erosion, increase the loss of natural habitats and put pressure on endangered species. Destruction of the environment on which the industry depends.

Industries and destinations seeking sustainability must do their part to conserve resources, reduce pollution, and protect biodiversity and vital ecosystems.

For this purpose, proper resource management and waste/disposal management are important. For example, in Bali, tourism consumes 65 percent of the region’s water resources, while in Zanzibar, tourists use 15 times more water per night than locals.

Another factor of sustainable tourism centered on the environment is in the form of shopping. Does your tour operator, hotel or restaurant prefer local suppliers and products? How do they manage food waste and dispose of goods? Paper instead of plastic straws You can significantly reduce your organization’s footprint by simply preparing a straw.

More and more companies are promoting carbon offsets recently. The idea behind carbon offsetting is to offset greenhouse gas emissions that are produced elsewhere. Similar to the idea that reduction or reuse should be considered before recycling, carbon offsets should not be a primary goal. A sustainable tourism industry always strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions first and offset what it cannot.

Well-managed sustainable tourism also has the power to provide alternatives to occupations and needs-based behaviors such as poaching. Often, especially in developing countries, residents resort to environmentally harmful practices due to poverty and other social problems. For example, the Periyar Tiger Reserve in India has seen a massive increase in tourism, making it more difficult to curb poaching in the area. In response, an environmental development program aimed at creating employment for the local population has turned 85 former hunters into reserve game managers. Under the supervision of reserve management staff, a group of hunters have developed a series of tourism packages and are now protecting the land rather than developing it. They found that responsible wildlife tourism businesses are more profitable than illegal businesses.

Focus on Economy

It is not difficult to make a business case for sustainable tourism, especially if one looks at the destination as a product. Think of protecting a destination, cultural monument or ecosystem as an investment. By maintaining a healthy environment and satisfied local residents, sustainable tourism maximizes the efficiency of business resources. This is especially true in places where locals are more likely to voice their concerns if they feel that industry is treating visitors better than residents.

Not only does reducing dependence on natural resources help save money in the long run, studies have shown that modern travelers are more likely to engage in eco-friendly tourism. In 2019, Booking.com found that 73% of travelers prefer an environmentally sustainable hotel over a traditional one, and 72% of travelers believe that people need to make sustainable travel choices for the sake of future generations.

Initiatives taken by different countries

A tourism industry is considered sustainable if it successfully meets the needs of travelers while providing long-term employment for local people with little impact on natural resources. By creating positive experiences for local people, travelers and the industry itself, well-managed and sustainable tourism can meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.

As people pay more attention to the sustainability and direct and indirect effects of their actions, the goals and organizations also follow this trend. For example, Tourism New Zealand’s Sustainability Pledge aims to commit all New Zealand tourism businesses to sustainability by 2025, while the island nation of Palau has required visitors to sign an environmental pledge on arrival since 2017.

Focus of India through the G20 Summit

The G20 chairmanship provides a strong platform for India to advance its agenda to develop sustainable/green tourism practices.

The G20 presidency could not have come at a better time for India, especially its tourism sector. India is witnessing a resurgence in inbound and domestic travel. With the G20, we need to meet pre-Covid-19 figures and perhaps surpass them this year to deliver a long-term agenda to promote sustainable tourism globally.

During India’s year-long chairmanship of the G20, we are hosting more than 200 meetings in more than 59 destinations. It brings together representatives of the Group of 20 of 19 countries and the European Union (EU) to discuss key issues related to the global economy, including international financial stability, the climate crisis and sustainable development. All these issues affect the tourism sector. We have identified five priority areas for tourism during the G20. Greening the tourism sector, facilitating digitization, empowering youth with skills, strengthening small tourism enterprises, small and medium enterprises and start-ups and strategic management of destinations.

Contributed Ankit Raj Sharma

Edited Imtiaz Ullah

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