This article will provide a brief overview about the historic background, importance, concepts, principles plus general debates about sustainable travel and leisure.
Sustainable tourism is one of the pre-requisites of achieving sustainable development. the concept of travel and leisure with sustainability and development will get its historical inclusion from bulk tourism that got flourished within 1960s due to advent of jet airplane and the passions for tourism got tremendous following and it also reached Third World countries (Dann, 2002). It was furthermore argued that this boost pushed businesses like World Bank and UN to examine the cost benefit analysis of tourism and it was acknowledged that will potential costs of tourism is much lower than financial benefits in shape of balance pf payment surpluses, facilities development, and employment and forex gains. So that gave rise towards the concept of sustainable tourism as one of the source of bringing sustainable development. According to the Tour’s Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), it is claimed that Tourism could be the world’s largest industry where within 2000, 698 million people travelled internationally which 7. 3 % more than 1999.
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Similarly the financial worth of international tourism had been US$477. 9 billion in 2000 (Papers4you. com, 2006).
In terms of 1 concrete definition, literature suggests that it is not fixed and is ever evolving. However Coccossis (1996) asserts that lasting tourism can be taken in four different interpretations that include” economic durability of tourism”, the “ecologically eco friendly tourism”, ” sustainable tourism development” with both focus of environment and also long term feasibility of the industry and lastly “tourism as a part of a strategy for eco friendly development”.
As mentioned above, sustainable travel and leisure should be taken in consideration to environmental and resources effects. It was argued that Mediterranean tourism is the major source of economic gain for the cause however short term growth was ignored with long term adverse effect and deterioration of their ecosystem and sources (Farsari, 2000)
Effects of ignorant tourism on its sustainability include: ‘over consumption of natural resources, environmental degradation, exploitation of cultures and labour, displacement of people from their land, lack of consultation with local communities, poorly thought out tourism planning and higher foreign exchange leakage which reduces local economic benefits’ in long run (World’s Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002),
Where such effects are there in order to pose a threat on sustainable tourism there are guiding principles that can lead to ensure sustainability (Papers4you. com, 2006). Those principles include sustainable use of resources, waste and over-consumption reduction, diversity maintenance, tourism-planning integration, local economy support as well as local community involvement, consultation, training, research and responsible marketing (Farsari, 2000)
Therefore the discussion suggest that tourism industry has potential to be a prerequisite for sustainable development, however it is imperative to realize that focus on mass tourism just can pose danger to environment therefore in order to ensure sustainability in travel and leisure, guiding principles should be followed
Coccossis, H. (1996) ‘Tourism plus Sustainability: Perspectives and Implications’ within Priestley, G. et al. (eds), Sustainable Tourism? European Experiences, Oughout. K.: Cab International
Dann, G, M, S, (2002), “Tourism & Development”, in Desai V and Potter, R. (eds) (2002), The particular Companion to Development Studies, London: Arnold,
Farsari, Y, (2000), ‘Sustainable Tourism Indicators for Mediterranean Set up Destinations’, Heraklion: IACM & FORTH
Papers For You (2006) “C/T/32. Eco friendly travel & tourism”, Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprttrav4.htm [22/06/2006]