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Karel Meenderink

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Is sustainable tourism ever possible?

Is the idea that tourism could be sustainable a reality we are yet to find, or an impossible thought. Could we balance the environment, economy, and culture of tourist destinations?

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    Mar 13 2013: I believe that sustainable tourism is possible when:

    1) it incorporates decision-making by the entire community without the marginalization of certain groups for the sake of time, money and ease
    2) economic viability signifies collective pride of ownership as well as a tool for alleviating poverty
    3) local ownership and management of tourism businesses link natural resource capital with financial capital
    4) it supports the creation of a citizenship that feels rooted to the region so they proudly participate in thousands of small education, restoration, productive diversification and conservation tasks

    Is that all just pie in the sky? No, as there are successful examples of communities in Africa and South America that have done the hard work, and have realized the benefits of authentic sustainable tourism. I try and spotlight as many of these stories as possible through writing and photography.

    You can read more at http://www.greenloons.com
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    Mar 13 2013: It is an impossible thought. The first downfall is that there are a few well meaning organizations with international clout that really pushes the concept, a concept that is interpreted by different regions and culture to mean very different things, but Just a few countries in the world have drafted tourism policies that have embraced the concept of sustainable tourism.

    At this juncture of our existence the nicely formulated sustainable tourism principles and policy guidelines are idealistic. The means nor the formula does not exist to engage all governing and stakeholder organizations to fully understand and embrace the concept to the extent where economy, culture and tourist destinations can find a true balance. There will be a few examples that will come close and stand out as good examples, but how do we account for this as a percentage of all tourism.

    As you will determine by now, i do feel that the concept should not be applied to a select few niche of travel types but across the spectrum. I am not pessimistic, I do actually like the idea and embrace them, but i have long known that I am an an idealist.
  • Mar 13 2013: Of course you can Here at the International Institute for Sustainable Tourism we are dedicated to promoting the concept of sustainable tourism with the aims of
    Promoting and developing a wider knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism
    Improving and maintaining the standards of professional competence of those engaged in sustainable tourism and tourist services
    Devising and encouraging standards of knowledge and skill
    among others
    See more at http://www.iisustainabletourism.org

    Nick Booker Director
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      Mar 13 2013: Are there examples you know of where sustainable tourism has generated more harm than good?
  • Mar 13 2013: I would assume less pollution than a factory.