Sustainable tourism refers to responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. It’s rapidly growing in popularity among travelers around the globe, particularly younger travelers, with more than one billion international tourists now fitting the definition.
In addition to its popularity among travelers, there are several global impacts of sustainable tourism on the economy, environment, and culture of destinations across the world; however, these global impacts are often overlooked in favor of focusing only on positive impacts specific to individual destinations. Here are six reasons why sustainable tourism has significant global impacts that every traveler should consider.
Impacts of Sustainable Tourism on Destination Attractiveness
The travel industry is a 7 trillion-dollar global enterprise that employs 230 million people. Sustainable tourism is an effort to protect this industry and to make it more sustainable for future generations. Sustainable tourism encompasses many different aspects, but at its heart is protecting natural resources, preserving cultural heritage, and raising awareness about social issues.
Successful sustainable tourist destinations have worked hard to balance the needs of visitors with those of locals to maintain their attraction as a destination while minimizing their environmental impact. While the definition of sustainable tourism varies by location and the specific area, there are three common global impacts: improved livelihoods; reduced poverty; and a strengthened ecosystem.
Impacts of Sustainable Tourism on Industry Profitability
The presence of tourists can bring an influx of revenue to a country. In Africa, for example, many countries benefit from international tourism. According to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), these countries include Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda.
These African countries have been able to improve their economies through growth in hospitality and restaurant businesses that cater to travelers. However, there is a balance that must be maintained between the positive global impacts of tourism and local livelihoods. Due to increased pressure on natural resources, conflict over territory, or cultural issues, local people can suffer as outsiders encroach on their lives.
Impacts of Sustainable Tourism on Jobs
One global impact of sustainable tourism is on jobs. Not only can tourism help create new jobs, but it can also result in residents taking higher-paying jobs that they otherwise might not have had access to. For example, in rural Costa Rica’s rainforest region, many Amerindian communities that lacked services turned to ecotourism as a way for their village economies to grow, boosting not only job opportunities for locals but fostering cultural pride as well.
As travelers flock to destinations like this one and invest money into the communities’ ongoing sustainability, tourists themselves often end up reaping global impacts such as learning about diverse cultures and even achieving personal goals by meeting others from around the world.
Impacts of Sustainable Tourism on Expenditure
Sustainable tourism is a form of tourism that focuses on environmental and social responsibility. Globally, the number one impact on tourism expenditure is whether or not people feel safe when traveling. The global impacts of sustainable tourism vary from country to country, but there are many countries where it has been shown to have a positive impact.
For example, in many cultures, giving back to local communities is considered an important part of a vacation experience – and this can also create jobs for locals. Another example of global impacts on sustainable tourism is how different the experience can be for a visitor with physical limitations, compared to those without any. For instance, tourists who use wheelchairs may need ramped entrances or other special access points to enter destinations.
Maintaining cultural identity while still incorporating new ideas is another global impact of sustainable tourism that varies by culture.
Impact on Community Wellbeing
The Global Impact on Community Well-being is the evaluation and measurement of how communities are impacted by tourist activities. Communities that have a large influx of tourists may see an increase in poverty, unemployment, and other factors that negatively affect their livelihoods. Tourism can also lead to increased crime rates or higher costs for goods and services.
On the other hand, tourism can bring economic opportunities, new infrastructure projects, improved healthcare coverage, or better access to education. There are both benefits and drawbacks to consider when examining the global impacts of sustainable tourism. More research needs to be done before making conclusions about the global impacts of sustainable tourism.
Setting the Scene for Sustainable Tourism Development
Sustainable tourism can bring about significant global impacts, including reducing poverty and extreme poverty, creating jobs for residents, boosting global economic growth, and promoting sustainability. However, if not executed properly it can also lead to unsustainable practices such as overcrowding in popular destinations, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.
Sustainable tourism depends on the four pillars of sustainability: environment, society, economy, and culture. If we implement these principles at all levels of development, then this practice has a positive global impact on social and economic development.
While there are many benefits to sustainable tourism, it is difficult to assess the global impact. This is because sustainable tourism is an ever-changing and relatively new industry. We can only rely on what we know about our community and how it has been affected by this type of tourism.
From my personal experience, I have seen nothing but positive results from hosting people from all over the world. In addition, businesses in the area (such as local restaurants) benefit from the increased foot traffic that comes with a large number of tourists. On the other hand, some communities may not be as welcoming to travelers as others and that would affect their global impact. Without being able to measure these outcomes, it is hard to say what the global impact looks like.
Sustainable tourism helps to reduce poverty and provide economic growth in developing countries. It also reduces environmental degradation by reducing pressure on natural resources. Sustainable travel can also promote cultural understanding and peace. People must become aware of the global impacts of their actions, especially as it relates to travel. For global impacts to be reduced, there needs to be a shift towards sustainable practices within our daily lives. Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels or recycling waste instead of burying it will all have global impacts. Another way to help with sustainability is through having an attitude of gratitude; this means acknowledging what we have and not taking things for granted.