The idea of sustainable tourism became the focal point of the public as the number of tourists has increased in recent years. It is expected to reach 1.2 billion tourists by 2030. Tourism, as other industries, has its impact on the world economy as well as the environment. It is challenging to stay on top of all of the recycling programs every government has come up with.
What Does it Mean?
Sustainable tourism means that the visitor will only impact the environment in a positive way. Not using too much water or heat, AC or similar pleasures of the modern living. The visitor will not pollute any rivers or throw trash around the place that they are visiting. They will walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving or taking a bus.
There is a quote that says “Although not everything depends on tourism, tourism depends on almost everything.” This can be used to pass on the message that tourism shouldn’t be there to destroy the environment. It should be something the whole world is looking after and going towards to in a good way. Even though in some parts of the world the global warming is not considered to be real, other parts of the world suffer from its consequences. Tourism can help spread the word about this and help more people “touch” those problems and feel them on their own skin. Seeing something in the media is one thing, but being there in the same place and seeing the problem would improve the visitor’s desire to take action. This is what happened to Bill Gates who was a CEO of Microsoft Corporation. He and his wife were visiting a foreign country and they were shocked by the problems they faced. They saw people not acquiring even the most basic life needs such as medicine and clean water. This inspired them to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who are helping reduce many problems and cure many diseases in the poor countries.
Tourism has come a long way. People have traveled for pleasure since prehistoric times. After all, curiosity is what dragged humans out of Africa. Soon, we will enjoy the space tourism. This goes to say that sustainable tourism must continue to thrive and help the information about different parts of the world reach more people. With great growth (of tourism) comes great responsibility.
There are more challenges that are coming in the near future. By 2050 no less than 30% of species could be extinct. The huge forest of Amazon could be 50% gone with no chance of recovering. The biggest loss in this whole story is that the species which are going to die out could potentially hold cures for future diseases as life would naturally evolve. With all this said, it is very important, now more than ever, to pay attention to sustainable tourism and make sure it becomes a standard respected by everyone; this planet is all we have and we should treat it better.