Published in Seto Himal BlogWritten by:

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and is a major source of income for many countries. Being a people-oriented industry, tourism also provides many jobs which have helped revitalize local economies. Like wise process of development in other industries, tourism can also bring negative impact with several issues, such as loss of cultural heritage, social dislocation, economic dependence and ecological degradation. After knowing about the impacts of tourism has led many people to seek more responsible excursions.

All tourism activities need to be sustainable. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveler, cultural heritage and of course the environment. These days most of the travel agencies or the industries belong to tourism is accepting the model of sustainable tourism. This model in tourism industry provides equal benefit for host countries and traveler in equal ratio, if we try to understand the ecosystem of nature and the respect of the host and traveler.

Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them.

Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary, Public-Private Particpatory Approach, channeling with local and policy makers, special training and vocational courses.

Thus, sustainable tourism should:

1) Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.

2) Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to intercultural understanding and tolerance.

3) Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socioeconomic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

4) Prompting local arts, crafts & product, which can make a vast change in local lives after extra earnings.

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