Tourism is sustainable when it can last in an area for a long time without damaging it. Sustainable is synonymous with “eco-friendly.”
When we talk about sustainability, we have to consider three “pillars”: environmental, economic, and socio-cultural. Tourism has to be sustainable in all three areas.
The environment is really important for tourism. The natural environment and the built environment must be preserved for an area to be sustainable. Environmental sustainability means preserve an area for future generations.
When tourists start visiting an area, there are some social and cultural impacts on the host community. Local people may see increase in congestion and overcrowding in towns and cities, maybe an increase in crime, the introduction of new languages and values, and even an influx of migrant workers. Socio-cultural sustainability means minimizing these negative impacts and focusing on more positive ones, like promoting cultural exchange and preserving local traditions.
Economic sustainability means keeping the money local. A hotel or company owned and operated by a foreigner doesn’t contribute much to the local economy.
“Unsustainable” tourism might be okay from the point of view of the tourist, but it’s improbable to help or gain support from the host community: at the end of the day, everyone involved should be benefiting from it in one way or another.
Despite the slow but constant increase in the number of enterprises claiming to be responsible or green, the current system of mass international tourism is totally unsustainable.
Mass Tourism vs Developing Countries
In the top 20 favourite long-range tourist destinations there are 14 which are in developing countries but their infrastructures are generally more breakable than the others destinations already developed.
Some problems can arise when travellers keep their normal habits in places that simply can’t accommodate them.
The quantity of water that one tourist in one day uses is the same of the quantity of water that a villager use in a period of 100 days.
In the end this excessive use of water will be weighing on poor regions, which leave locals fighting to find clean water just for their vital needs.
onsequently locals lose their unique cultural identities.
Then the mass can influence the degradation or maybe even the destruction of famous sites or fragile ecosystems.
In addition, one of the main contributors are greenhouse gasses (5% for tourism industry) which cause the change of the climate.
-RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL REPORT.COM
Have a look at these cases of touristic “unsustainability”
The Situation Of Coastal Areas
The coastal areas are inclusive areas between the sea and the land, with a great variety of animals and plants among the most fragile of the planet. At the same time, coasts are consequently damaged by the fast urbanization. More than half of today’s world population live in coastal areas and this number is increasing. In addition to it coastal areas are those which are most visited by tourists and in many coastal areas tourism presents the most important economic activity.
How Does Tourism Damage Coastal Environment?
Massive influxes of tourists, often to a small area, have a huge impact. They add to the pollution, waste, and water needs of the local population, putting local infrastructure and habitats under enormous pressure. A development that has turned out to be a severe problem for many coastal areas in the last decade is the increase in cruise ship tourism.
HYSTORICAL PLACES BEING DESTROYED BY TOURISTS
Unfortunately tourism can also become a bad thing when tourists aren’t respectful to places they visit. In fact, several historical places have been ruined by tourists.
Here’s a top 10 from the less to the most destroyed.
Tourists are lucky to have full access to some of the oldest sites in the world and not only, it preserves important pieces of our essential identity, that’s why should we care!