Sustainable Tourism: Myth or Reality:

In: Science

Submitted By joshmilkins
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Sustainable tourism is when tourists leave no lasting impact on the local environment, economy and society. This includes responsible tourism, which can involve respecting local culture and religion – for example dressing appropriately near and in places of worship. Sustainable tourism should also make positive contributions to the economy and sustain conservation.

Sustainable tourism has been achieved in a number of places. Santa Lucía is a community owned cloud forest reserve, located on the edge of the Andean Mountains about 80 km Norh West of Quito. The reserve protects 730 hectares of predominantly virgin cloud forest at an elevation of 1900m. The Santa Lucía ecotourism project was the community's first of many sustainable development projects established with the help of Rainforest Concern. The natural beauty and diversity of Santa Lucía's cloud forest makes ecotourism a logical choice to provide a sustainable source of income for the community. This income enables the community to continue to conserve the cloud forest under their care, while at the same time sharing its diverse treasures with others.

It is clear from these examples that sustainable tourism can exist and have a positive impact on the local area. Furthermore, there are additional benefits in that it can help make people more aware of their carbon footprint and inspire them to replicate projects back in their home country. However there are several criticisms of this type of tourism; firstly that it increases tourism to vulnerable areas, and as it requires infrastructure, it places pressure on the natural environment. In travelling to many of these destinations, which are often remote, carbon footprint is increased, although this has been mitigated at the Kasbah by using mule transport up the hills.

Tourism can also increase tension between locals and tourists and can lead to a…...

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