Challenges Of Sustainable Tourism And Environmental Development: Sustainable Development

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TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY The benefits and adverse impacts that are associated with tourism activities have been the focus of various studies for many years . However, the opportunity for using tourism as a development strategy that can integrate the four focal points of sustainable development (environmental sustainability, inclusive social development, inclusive economic development and peace and security) was not explored until recently. Apart from intangible and tangible heritage, the future of tourism also depends on the sustenance of biodiversity and pristine landscapes; hence, it is imperative to ensure that the degradation of the environment is avoided as much as possible when considering or utilising a destination for…show more content…
Moscardo and Murphy opined that ‘while it is important to address immediate local environmental impacts of tourism, a failure to consider the wider, cumulative, long-term and other impacts of tourism means that it may be possible to label an activity as sustainable tourism even if it fails to address the bulk of the issues identified in the wider sustainability literature’. While the immediate goal of employing sustainable tourism as a local and regional development tool is desirable, the long term objective should include the utilisation of tourism initiatives to arrive at a global developmental strategy that fosters all four core dimensions of sustainable development. ‘Sustainable tourism is particularly problematic in this regard with no consideration given to the extent to which tourism in any place or at any level effects other socio-economic development…show more content…
‘Tourism can be credited with extending environmental appreciation’ and ‘at the same time, tourism can be beneficial to the natural environment by providing a motivation for environmental conservation’. Perhaps, one of such ‘motivations’ can be seen in the efforts made by some stakeholders to understand the impact of tourism on climate change including a UNWTO commissioned study which established that tourism transport, accommodation and other activities were responsible for 5% of global anthropogenic emissions of CO2 in 2005. ‘Most CO2 emissions are associated with transport, with aviation accounting for 40% of tourism’s overall footprint, followed by cars (32%), accommodation (21%) and cruise ships 1.5%’. This type of information may influence ‘consumer awareness of the environmental impact of air travel and/or environmental change at the destination, which may affect the travel behaviour of environmentally aware tourists’ and may encourage stakeholders to switch to renewable sources of energy for tourism ventures and also promote initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. A practical example of tourism-led environmental conservation initiative is the ‘Vigan Conservation Program as a Tool for Development’ implemented by the management of the Historic Town of Vigan which initiated projects like the retrofitting
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