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What is sustainable tourism?

What is sustainable tourism? This is a move in the tourism industry that is aimed at avoiding excessive or no damage at all to the environment (Jesel 1999). It also means that there should be no damage to the economy nor the locations’ cultures of where it is intended to take place. Tourism has previously been seen as a menace to the various local communities in the world. It has therefore hit the international bodies and organisations that deal with tourism that they should come up with measures and ways of making tourism be accepted by the local people and not just view it as an avenue for income.

Tourism has to be sustainable in order for both the tourists and the local inhabitants to benefit mutually. The environment is a major aspect in the tourism industry and therefore cannot be ignored any means (Jesel 1999). This paper shall address the fact that tourism in most countries and locations has not been sustainable despite various measures having been put in place. The community should be involved either directly or indirectly in order to achieve the intended aims of sustainable tourism. Efforts that have been put in place to address Sustainable Tourism.

There have been efforts to address the problems facing sustainable tourism and also the way forward towards achieving the intended aims. This has been catalysed by the concern of various bodies in the world. Conferences and meetings have been attended and are still scheduled for attending. In 2004, there was a meeting in Segonia(Spain) where various issues were articulated and remedies were proposed. This also took place in Bologna(Italy) in the year 2006. Such meetings have been viewed as being so helpful to both the community and the entire tourism sector.

This year, 2008, there will be such a meeting in Malta (Moire 1999). Such efforts show that there is actually something wrong in the way tourism is impacting either positively or negatively to the local communities in the various tourism destinations. The theme for the 2008 sustainable tourism is to come up with new ways and modalities on how to achieve the set aims and objectives. It is suggested that such measures will include the incorporation of the community at large in managing and planning of the tourism sector.

This will therefore lead to proper decision making as they affect mostly the local community and not the tourists (Moire 1999). The meeting and/or the conference will also look at the ways of enhancing sustainability in both the sociological, economical and environmental spheres. Among these, mechanisms and ways of enforcing proper governance in order to support the existence of sustainable tourism shall also be discussed in the forum. Such efforts are among the many that are being put in place so as to try and address the issues ones and for all.

Attempts to foster Sustainable Tourism and the problems involved. Several attempts have been explored with the aim of fostering sustainable tourism but they have been countered by various problems. The locals should actually be involved in the planning and managing of the tourism industry as a way of achieving sustainable development in the tourism sector. There are many reasons that have thwarted the attempts. Such reasons include: Lack of corporation between the tourists and the local communities where tourism is destined. Many tourists view the locals as people who do not deserve what they are demanding for.

This has led to a negative attitude among the local community towards the foreigners in the name of tourists (Moire 1999). There is also the problem of selfishness. Most of the visitors are viewed as being self centered and that they only care about what will directly benefit them. Such type of attitude cannot lead to the success of sustainable tourism as both involved parties act parallel to each other with no synchronisation at all. The tourists do not care about what will happen to the environment when they leave for their countries.

There is also the problem of lack of proper mechanisms in place about who does what and under what circumstances. Tourists are left to do whatever they feel is right without real concern about the effect to the local community. Such mechanisms could include policies which say that the tourists should give help in other social happenings and projects in the communities (Moire 1999). These could include contributing towards the digging of boreholes, educating those children that are not well off and also facilitating other social amenities in the community.

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