Sustainable Tourism

What is Sustainable Tourism?

'Sustainable tourism’ is simply sustainable development achieved through tourism. Sustainable development is economic development that takes a long-term view. It balances the benefits of economic development against environmental and social costs. Just as sustainable development assumes continued economic growth, so sustainable tourism assumes continued tourism growth.

Sustainable tourism is not a marketing idea to attract new markets - it is a strategic term to describe a specific approach to the development of tourism. Sustainable tourism aims to take all impacts, positive and negative, into account. All tourism has the potential to be more sustainable.

As well as encouraging continued tourism growth, sustainable tourism will ensure that the two key tourism assets, our natural heritage and our communities, will survive and thrive.

Sustainable tourism has the following characteristics;

Economic prosperity

  • long term competitive and prosperous tourism businesses
  • quality employment opportunities, fair pay and conditions for all employees

Social equity and cohesion

  • tourism that improves the quality of life of local communities,
  • community involvement in tourism planning and management,
  • safe, satisfying and fulfilling visitor experiences

Environmental and cultural protection

  • reduced pollution and degradation of the global and local environment
  • tourism that maintains and strengthens biodiversity
  • tourism that maintains and enriches our unique and diverse culture

Sustainable Tourism Partnership

The establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Partnership was one of the Government’s key targets in the Tourism Framework for Change (TFFC). The group’s principal aims are to take forward the sustainable tourism-related targets and actions in the TFFC and to promote sustainable tourism.

The Sustainable Tourism Partnership includes private industry partners, the Government, and other public sector bodies such as Visit Britain , the enterprise networks, local authorities, Natural Heritage, and the national parks.

Tourism Innovation Group

The Tourism Innovation Group (TIG) is an industry led organisation which aims to stimulate tourism operators into taking action to add to the quality, scope and success of tourism businesses, improving competitiveness in tourism market. The TiG Sustainability Team looks at the promotion of sustainable tourism practices and has been active in a number of areas, in particular the launch of Climate Change.

Green Tourism Business Scheme

The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) is the UK's leading certification scheme for sustainable tourism. The organisation is led by over 1500 members across the UK.

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