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What Is Sustainable Tourism?

With mass tourism practices in place and the fact that these huge numbers make everyday life harder for permanent residents, the words "sustainable" and "tourism" do not go hand-in-hand at all.

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What Is Sustainable Tourism?

  1. 1. W H A T I S S U S T A I N A B L E T O U R I S M ? M I C H A E L R A L B Y
  2. 2. W I T H T R A V E L I N G A S P O P U L A R A P A S T T I M E A S E V E R , parts of the world that were previously unreachable or difficult to get to are becoming flooded with tourists. It’s creating a whole new industry for countries that may previously not have had as many visitors. By providing a livelihood for so many people, in theory, sustainable tourism would just be redundant as a definition. But, with mass tourism practices in place and the fact that these huge numbers make everyday life harder for permanent residents, they do not go hand-in-hand at all.
  3. 3. M A N Y P L A C E S that experience mass tourism simply aren’t built to sustain so many people at one time, and when tourists don’t respect the culture and land they’re visiting, that pushes the concept of sustainable tourism even further away.
  4. 4. So, what is sustainable tourism, and how do we participate?
  5. 5. S U S T A I N A B L E T O U R I S M is simply the idea of “traveling and exploring a destination while respecting its culture, environment, and people,” according to Visit.org. The focus is on experiencing local traditions, properly utilizing natural resources, and acting as a polite guest to the residents who live there. It’s not a difficult concept, but when mass tourism brings in tourists by the boatload who have little respect for the local culture and are instead too enamored in getting the best Instagram shot, it can be tricky to uphold. It might surprise you to know, as well, that most of the money that comes from mass tourism doesn’t go to the towns you visit, but with the company you booked the vacation.
  6. 6. S U S T A I N A B L E T O U R I S M beneficial to the communities we visit by providing them with another source of income, and beneficial to the tourists themselves as they get to experience a different culture. People who studied abroad often come back saying that they have such a new perspective on their life at home, and that’s exactly what travel is supposed to do. The reason their trip was so successful in changing their mindset and teaching them new things, though, is because they traveled in a way that sustains the place they visited. I S W H A T T R A V E L W A S I N T E N D E D T O B E :
  7. 7. A L T H O U G H , I N P A R T , the home governments of foreign countries will need to work to put in laws that protect their homelands, as tourists, we can play our part in traveling responsibly. It’s a little like shopping local at home, just in a different place. Opt out of the all-inclusive resort that doesn’t pay its employees fairly and go for the local bed and breakfast instead. Skip the chains and find out where the locals eat. Support local artists rather than purchasing the same tourist-y gimmicks you find everywhere.
  8. 8. T R A V E L I N G S U S T A I N A B L Y will provide a richer experience for you, and keep your destination safe for the next explorers who come after.
  9. 9. T H A N K Y O U F O R V I E W I N G ! M I C H A E L R A L B Y . C O M

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