Sustainable tourism is a form of tourism that takes care of the environment and surroundings. It fosters tourism such that the environment is not harmed in any way and the visit is productive and positive for the people. Industry experts analyze that the tourism industry is growing at a rate somewhere around 5 percent. In the coming years, it will turn into one of the largest industries and will have a great impact on the environment, local cultures, and local markets.
Sustainable tourism is a behavior or an attitude towards visiting any foreign place. People exhibiting this kind of behavior make sure that they do not harm the monuments they visit, or they do not litter the gardens and campgrounds they stop at. To make their visit very productive they respect and learn about new cultures in the new places while respecting their local culture.
Sustainable tourism is an approach every tourist should take while visiting places. They should feel a social and moral obligation towards the places they visit as well as towards their own land and culture.
Some measures one should take towards sustainable tourism, in order to preserve the glory of foreign places:
- Not scribbling on the walls of monuments.
- Not littering the gardens, roads, parks, restaurants etc.
- Using public transport wherever you go.
- Prefer walking to hiring taxis for covering short distances.
- Following rules and guidelines of any tourist attraction.
Some measures should take to be socially and culturally responsible:
- Respecting religions and social practices particular to a place.
- Friendly converses with the local people.
- Learning about new cultures.
Some measures local people should take to enhance their region as a tourist spot:
- Preserving their historical legacies such as monuments, temples, statues etc.
- Keeping gardens and parks clean and green.
- Being very hospitable to the foreigners.
- Providing the foreigners with hotels and restaurants of international standards.
- Conducting educational tours to help visitors learn about the places they visit.
Impacts of tourism on the ecosystem:
- Around 1 billion people travelled to foreign places in the year 2011.
- On an average, a tourist spends somewhere around 650 dollars for his tour.
- Around 8 percent, on an average, of the total GDP is generated due to the tourism business.
Qualities of a responsible tourist:
- Must not support illegal trade.
- Discourage begging. Do not throw money in the hands of begging children or others.
- Dress according to the local cultures so as to respect the sentiments of local people.
- Follow your usual code of ethics such as keeping the place clean, turning off room lights when not in use, not plucking the flowers in a park etc.
- Be friends with the local people and learn from them their qualities and good habits.
- Do not engage in human trafficking or sex trade.
- Make yourself aware of the rules and guidelines to be followed at a particular place such as ‘No photography’ or ‘take your shoes off’.
- Appreciate the local cultures and practices.