5 Characteristics of Sustainable Tourism

Key Takeaways:

  • Sustainable tourism benefits local economic development by creating jobs locally and promoting entrepreneurship and community reinvestment.
  • It ensures that tourism development benefits both the community and the environment by maintaining a balance to avoid negative impacts.
  • Sustainable tourism meets both profitability and viability criteria by offering high-value services while reinvesting in the local region.

Characteristics of Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is a lucrative and growing business for many countries around the world, leading many to consider the characteristics of sustainable tourism as a means of maintaining local resources and heritage. Along with adding revenue to local economies, it contributes greatly to employment rates in areas with booming tourism industries. While tourism can add a great deal to national economies, it also has the potential to take away a number of key components of those countries. Sustainable tourism is a concept in which respect for the local resources, culture, environment and people of a locale is emphasized in a way that is also beneficial for travelers. Read on to learn what makes up sustainable tourism.

1. Benefits Local Economic Development

Tourism with a sustainable emphasis ensures there are a number of diverse opportunities for the creation of jobs locally. It also encourages local entrepreneurship and community reinvestment in order to sustain the economic momentum and maintain it within the local geographic region. Outsourcing to other parts of the world is discouraged.

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2. Ensures Tourism Development Benefits Both Community and Environment

If key players in the tourism industry of an area aren’t careful, it can be very easy to deplete that region of resources in order to meet the demand and growth of tourism. Characteristics of sustainable tourism ensure that construction, maintenance, infrastructure and the providing of services related to tourism are undertaken in ways that do not negatively affect local resources nor the community in which tourism thrives.

3. Meets Both Profitability and Viability

Characteristics of sustainable tourism must ensure that markets served emphasize can be both profitable and viable for the long-term. Seeking only to gain as much profit as possible will require the industry to move on, leaving the local economy and community in shambles. The key to maximizing both profit and long-term success lies in offering goods and services that are high in value and price, but low in volume.

4. Becomes Part of the Local Culture

One of the most important characteristics of sustainable tourism is that it does not take over the local culture and community. The tourist industry should not detract from the special feel of a place and what makes it unique. A careful balance must be maintained in this endeavor to prevent loss of the original appeal to travelers.

5. Reinvests in the Local Region

In order to maintain viability in a way that is friendly to the local community, it is absolutely essential that one of the characteristics of sustainable tourism be reinvestment in the region. Money must be put back into the local schools, natural resources and infrastructure to meet the demands tourists place on the region.

As you can see, maintaining sustainability within a country’s tourist industry covers a number of aspects. In many ways, this involves assuming the role of a teacher, re-educating people of their impact on their surroundings and the people who call it home. Great care and mindfulness must be taken in order to ensure a place doesn’t lose what made it appealing in the first place and that a community isn’t left in ruins due to the impact of serving outsiders. These five characteristics of sustainable tourism are essential to ensuring growth of a region, its industry and its people.