Philippine Women’s University
CDCEC - Tarlac
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: ITS IMPACT TO THE ECONOMY OF TARLAC CITY
Ma. Ever S. Ignacio
BS - Tourism
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
Tourism is known as one of the major contributors to the global economy delivering 10.9% of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1996 (UNWTO 2003). It offers economic benefits to industrialized and developing countries alike by satisfying society‘s curiosity of the unusual and people‘s need for leisure. It is one of the most visible global industries, physically linking opposite sides of the globe, involving all levels of society and supporting many industries. Most sources agree that tourism is the largest industry in the world and also the one that has most growth (Nordin 2003:14). As a result of rising incomes and increased leisure time the tourism industry is seeing a positive growth, with impacts on sectors indirectly linked with tourism. It was earlier argued that because of the rising significance of tourism in the world, there is potential for making tourism industry a vehicle for local, peripheral development. Given the knowledge we have regarding the economic power and influence of the tourism industry it makes sense that its presence is also felt socially and environmentally. The multitude of unsustainable activities embedded in the main characteristics of conventional mass tourism, leading to pressures at the tourism destination; suggest that, tourism, by its very nature, might be threatening its own existence. This represents a key challenge for sustainability in the industry (Budeanu 2003, Robinson 1999, Tepelus 2005). The concept of sustainability arose from the recognition that the earth’s limited resources could not indefinitely support the rapid population and industrial growth as economic development moves to reduce poverty and increase standards of living among all countries. Although it is recognized that tourism can be beneficial to the natural environment by promoting environmental conservation, tourism also has a negative impact on the environment. It is increasingly a concern of the public sector to pay more attention to the protection of the natural environment. Most tourists wish to visit areas that are attractive, functional, clean and not polluted. Tourism can provide the incentive and means to maintain and, where needed, improve the environmental quality of areas. A high level of environmental quality is also very important for the local residents to enjoy. Tourism can help make residents more aware of the quality of their environment and support its maintenance and, where necessary, improvement. Tourism and the environment are strongly linked and interdependent. If tourism continues to grow, ways must be found to improve the relationship between the two, making it more sustainable. The 1987 Brundtland Commission Report (WCED 1987) has been generally acknowledged as having introduced the concept of sustainability. It defined sustainability as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”Taking off from the basic principles of the Brundtland report, the global tourism industry has adopted the following definition of sustainable tourism development: “Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisagedas 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” (WTTC 1998).In addition, the World Travel and Tourism Council identified nine priority areas for action by national tourism organizations and industry-basedassociations or organizations. These included...
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