Sustainable Tourism Essay Topics

Projected growth of the tourism sector and the growing importance of this sector for many developing countries, including small island developing States, as an economic sector, which employ a significant portion of the population and which contributes greatly to the economic development at the local, national, subregional and regional levels, require focusing on the relationship between environmental conservation and tourism development. In this regard, special consideration the efforts that developing countries have made in order to develop, along with the traditional tourism, cultural tourism and ecotourism, and help the international community, including international financial institutions, has in this regard (Hirotsune, 2011).

The necessity to consider further the importance of tourism in the context of Agenda XXI century like other economic sectors, tourism consumes resources, generates wastes and creates environmental, cultural and social costs and benefits. In order to ensure sustainable patterns of consumption and production in the tourism sector, it is necessary to strengthen national capacity to develop policies in areas such as planning, in physical terms, impact assessment and implementation of economic and regulatory measures in the areas of information, education and marketing. A particular concern is the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of fragile ecosystems such as coral reefs, mountains, coastal areas and wetlands. Sustainable tourism can eventually lead to sustainable development throughout the territory, while carrying out conservation, protection of culture, social and economic development (Fennell, 2012).

Increased demand for services related to environmental cleanliness stimulated the development of different areas in tourism is reflected in the formation of ecotourism destinations. Now it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. Its annual growth rate is estimated from 10-20 to 30% (for adventure tourism, as part of which he passes on Statistics of the WTO a year, and its share of revenues from international tourism reached 10-15%. But to say exactly what is ecotourism difficult. many sources is the definition given by ecotourism Society (USA): “ecotourism – a journey in places with relatively unspoilt nature with the aim of not disturbing the integrity of ecosystems, to get an idea of the natural, cultural and ethnographic peculiarities of the territory, which creates such economic conditions, when nature conservation is profitable to the local population” (Cooper and Wanhill, 2010).

And the problem is in the definition of ecotourism worries leading experts. So in preparation for an international conference this year was invited once 10 definitions, here are some of them (Hall, 2011):

  1. Any form of tourism, which is based on natural ecological attractiveness of the country (from scuba diving in the coral reefs to travel across the savannah)
  2. Tourism, which includes education and information on environmental protection, all items are based on sustainable principles
  3. Travel to the unique corners of nature with the specific objectives of the study, rare plants, animals, special types of ecosystems
  4. Tourism, which may contribute to the preservation of positive synergies between tourism, biodiversity and local people, with the corresponding control.

Development and practical implementation of the policy should be implemented in cooperation with all stakeholders, especially the private sector, local and indigenous communities, should develop an action-oriented international program of work on sustainable tourism, to be carried out in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations, UNEP (Puppim de Oliveira, 2013).

By all indications tourism causes much less damage to the environment than other sectors of the economy. However, its sustainable development for the benefit of the natural and cultural environment remains a priority for industry executives (Liu, 2013).

Initial efforts to promote sustainable development should be to minimize the negative environmental impacts of tourism. This problem is particularly relevant in light of the rapid development of the industry, which is expected in the next few years, and increase its load on the environment if no action is taken. Because ultimately the industry can develop only at the condition of the sustainable use of natural resources. Therefore, in the future, transport and accommodation services, catering, waste management and other services guests need to be organized with much more cost effective and environmentally sound than in the past (Shaw and Williams, 2007).

Now the hotel is assigned a double challenge. Firstly, environmentally friendly operation makes the environment sustainable, attractive and promises unpleasant surprises to the local population. Secondly, such an operation can be of practical significance: IPDA and its partners are actively acquaint the public with the state of the environment and measures of self-regulation in the industry, as well as support the hotels and restaurants all over the world to voluntarily implement their own initiatives. As a result, worldwide director of the hotel are learning more about what can benefit from resource conservation and recycling (Neto, 2003).

Travel and tourism industry creates jobs much easier and faster than any other sector, which is crucial for developing countries with high unemployment. Rural tourism is able to breathe new life into many regions of the world where, for whatever reasons, agriculture is becoming obsolete. Ecotourism is not open to the possibility of pre-existing small village settlements in Central America, India and Africa, and the so-called cultural tourism whose goal is familiarity with household and socio-cultural characteristics of the peoples of the world, contributes to the maintenance of local crafts and crafts where not yet developed a reliable base for industrial development (Mihalic, 2000).

In the past two decades in developing countries, this sector has grown much faster than in developed, partly due to an increase in disposable income and the fact that travel has become much cheaper and easier. Today, developing countries are more than 45% of all tourists, receiving more than 35% of global revenues from tourism. The trend of growth of inter-regional travel has also contributed to the development of the tourism sector in many developing countries. While Europe and North America remain important traditional areas, the share of emerging markets has increased significantly – from 30% in 1980 to 47% in 2012. As emerging markets are becoming increasingly attractive tourism destinations in comparison with more developed countries, their market share will grow further (France, 2013).

Tourism is different from other industries, it is – a very complex sector. There is a huge variety of tourist programs: from a few days at the usual place of rest for the average citizen to the luxurious holiday for wealthy people, from simple excursions for travelers with low budget to travel by chartered yacht with a crew for the upper segments of the market (Swarbooke, 2000).

Characteristically, the income from tourism is not always given to those who bear the costs. Major corporations are investing in the construction of new facilities in developing countries, taking advantage of cheap labor, they get big profits, and the well-being of the local population hardly increases. Tourists often violate a steady flow of people’s lives and their social structure, and local governments are forced to spend more on construction and operation of facilities such as water treatment plants and roads needed to serve a large number of guests (Middleton and Hawkins, 2008).

No wonder that at these rates, the impact of tourism on the environment, which previously was underestimated, now becomes the object of more attention. Potential vectors such effects are numerous and varied, but primarily they relate to the consumption of natural resources, environmental pollution and land development. It should be noted that in order to service the tourist infrastructure requires huge amount of resources as compared to conventional territories, and it gives a lot of waste.

Tourism is the largest industry, is located in a complex interaction with the environment. No sector of the global economy does not depend so much on the purity of the water, beaches, air, and in general from the ideal state of nature, as an industry holiday.

Thus, tourism can develop only if the rational use of natural resources. Environmental protection and nature conservation – natural allies of the tourism industry. Agree with this as the leading environmentalists and tourism business leaders. They believe that tourism will use its growing potential for the protection of nature and the environment on a global level. Today the task of further development of tourism is formed as to minimize its negative impact on the environment around (Ko, 2005).

In addition, the process of creating a tourism product can participate a variety of sectors. For his promotion to the market is necessary to build and operate hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities on the basis of feedback, as well as develop basic infrastructure services, such as energy, telecommunications and environmental, as well as agriculture, manufacturing and other supporting industries. The tourism sector can have a wide range of direct links with industry, offering services consumed by tourists. We are talking about financial services, telecommunications, retail, recreational, cultural, personal and official services, protection and health care. In addition, countries that want to strengthen the tourism sector should develop and airport infrastructure, good roads Railways, ports, banks and medical facilities, which is necessary to provide quality services and create competitive tourist destinations (Frechtling and Horvath, 2009).

Many developing countries consider tourism an important engine of economic progress and poverty reduction. At the same time it is clear that the relationship between tourism and economic growth and poverty reduction is not automatic. Much of this depends on whether tourism helps to create new jobs, whether it generates communication, particularly in agriculture and services sectors, and whether it stimulates the development of basic infrastructure through the construction of roads, ports and airports, as well as the development of financial services that benefit the economy as a whole (Dimoska, 2008). It depends also on whether the tourism develops in line with the national strategy, encompassing political, regulatory and institutional framework and providing sufficient incentives for the expansion of supply capacity in national markets (Dwyer, Forsyth and Spurr, 2004). No less important is the extent to which national strategy hinders the outflow of capital from the national economy, is a chronic problem for many developing countries, and to minimize the damage that tourism causes environmental and cultural heritage. Although the role of tourism in the structuring of economic progress and sustainable development is not a new topic on the international agenda, the question of how to make tourism more sustainable and put it at the service of sustainable development in developing countries, has not lost its relevance and urgency.


Cooper, C. and Wanhill, S. (2010). Tourism Development Environmental and Community issues. London. UK. Wiley Publishing.
Dimoska, Tatjana (2008). Sustainable Tourism Development As a Tool For Eliminating Poverty. Facta Universitatis, Series: Economics and Organization, Vol. 5, No 2, pp. 173 – 178.
Dwyer, L., Forsyth, P., Spurr, R., (2004). Evaluating tourism’s economic effects: new and old approaches. Tourism Management, 25, 307-317.
Fennell, David A. (2012).Ecotourism. Routledge.
Frechtling, D.C., Horvath, E. (2009). Estimating the Multiplier Effects of Tourism Expenditures on a local Economy through a Regional Input-Output Model. Journal of Travel Research, 37, 324-332.
Hall, C. Michael (2011). Trends in ocean and coastal tourism: the end of the last frontier?, Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 44, nos. 9-10, pp. 601-18.
Hirotsune, Kimura (2011). Tourism, Sustainable Tourism And Ecotourism In Developing Countries. Paper for ANDA International Conference in Nagoya, March 5-7
Neto, Frederico (2003). A New Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development: Moving Beyond Environmental Protection. DESA Discussion Paper No. 29
Muhanna, Emaad (2006). Sustainable Tourism Development and Environmental Management for Developing Countries. Problems and Perspectives in Management, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp. 14-30.
Shaw, G. and Williams, M. (2007). Critical issues in Tourism. Oxford. UK. Blackwell Publisher.
France, L. (ed.) (2013). Sustainable tourism. London, Earthscan publications Ltd.
Ko, T.G. (2005). Development of a tourism sustainability assessment procedure: a conceptual approach. Tourism Management, 26 (3), 431-445.
Liu, Z.H. (2013). Sustainable Tourism Development: A Critique. Journal of sustainable tourism, 11 (6), 459-475.
Middleton, V.T.C. and Hawkins, R. (2008). Sustainable Tourism, A Marketing Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Mihalic, T. (2000). Environmental Management of a Tourism destination. A factor of tourism competitiveness. Tourism Management, 21, 65-78.
Puppim de Oliveira, J.A. (2013).Governmental responses to tourism development: three Brazilian case studies. Tourism Management, 24, 97-110.
Swarbooke, J. (2000): Sustainable tourism management, Scheffield Hallan University, UK.

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However, the benefits accrued from the industry are often off-set by the negative impact it causes on the natural environment and the threats it poses to the bio-diversity. Hence incorporating sustainable measures and policies within this industry is highly crucial for the sustaining and developing of this industry. In order to establish this fact, this paper discusses the various definitions and key concepts of sustainable tourism; the impact of mass tourism; the values and ethics involved; and market failure. The paper concludes with the proposition that the various benefits of tourism can be successfully enjoyed if proper measures are implemented at the local, regional and national levels to ensure effective management of all tourism related activities. Definitions: The term sustainable tourism covers a broad area such as eco-tourism, green travel, culturally responsible tourism, environmentally friendly tourism etc and the likes. However, the basic / fundamental pillars of sustainable tourism entails the effective management of all key local resources in a manner which ensures that the social, economic, cultural as well aesthetic fabric of the tourist destination are maintained and their cultural integrity is upheld. Furthermore, it also entails the preservation of the bio-diversity of the areas in and around the tourist site, as well as their support systems. There are various definitions of the term 'sustainable tourism' although none of them claim to be comprehensive in nature. Some of them are listed below: According to WTO (1996): "Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of the present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing the opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled, while maintaining cultural integrity essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems” According to Swarbrooke (1999): Sustainable tourism means "tourism which is economically viable but does not destroy the resources on which the future of tourism will depend, notably the physical environment and the social fabric of the host community" (Pp.13). However, according to a definition provided by a report funded by the European Union the term Sustainable tourism was referred to as: "tourism which develops as quickly as possible, taking account of current accommodation capacity, the local population and the environment .. The development of tourism and new investment in the tourism sector should not detract from tourism itself …. New tourism facilities should be integrated with the environment". (Swarbrooke, 1999, Pp.13) According to Butler (1993): "Tourism which is in a form which can maintain its viability in an area for an infinite period of time" (Pp. 29) According to Eber (1992): "if tourism is to be truly beneficial to all concerned . . . and sustainable in the long-term, it must be ensured that resources are not over-consumed, that natural and human environments are protected, that tourism is integrated with other activities, that it provides real benefits to the local communities . . . ...Show more

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