Oliver Goldsmith, a renowned Irish poet once wrote, “Life is a journey that must be travelled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations”. From this, one can infer that even in the 18th century, people had a high propensity to travel. Tourism nowadays is the biggest industry in the world i.e. ‘tourism arrivals are surpassing 800million people per annum’, providing thousands of jobs and increasing living standards. However, there are many external negative costs that are commonly associated with tourism. Litter, congestion, pollution and many other aspects of tourism amalgamate to degrade the surrounding environments. This has made it necessary to find sustainable alternatives.
The United Nation’s environmental program believes that long-term sustainability with regard to tourism development is dependant upon striking a suitable balance of three key principles; environmental, economic and socio-cultural. In essence, the needs of visitors and residents must be met through worthwhile experiences, that provide economic benefits, yet appreciate and enhance the area’s social and cultural nature that make them attractive to tourists. Yet at times this notion is often seen as controversial. Altering your attraction may deter visitors but may be essential to maintaining ones attraction long-term. In order to determine whether sustainable tourism is a feasible task or just an impossible ambition, one should explore case studies that have demonstrated factors for and against.
Since tourism is rising and has been for the past 60 years, governments have made it a priority to protect the indigenous cultures and biologically diverse habitats that make them unique and thereby appealing. This is highlighted by Mowforth & Munt who believe that for sustainable tourism to be achieved, “there is a need to politicize the tourism industry in order to promote its movement towards sustainability and away from its tendency... [continues]
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