Can tourism make a positive contribution in sustainable development? The answer is yes! You will be surprised to know that besides creating revenue and jobs, the tourism sector can also contribute in improving eco-friendliness. The UN World Tourism Organization recently launched a campaign in the wake of promoting this sector for achieving sustainable development. According to experts, this industry can play a major role in dealing with pressing issues like global recession and climate change. However, it does not get the deserved attention when these subjects are discussed globally.
We all know that uncontrolled rise in tourism can have detrimental effects on the local cultures as well as on the environment. But if managed properly, it can help any developed or emerging economy attain socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development. As compared to other industries, the effect of tourism on the environment and natural resources is less. It plays an important role in encouraging commitment of consumers towards the principals of environmental sustainability through various distribution channels.
There has been an overwhelming response on sustainable tourism from corporate all around the globe. An effective environmental program has been developed by the largest Canadian hotel conglomerate, Canada Pacific Hotels to redesign the purchase policies for reducing water wastage. They have also launched a recycling program for decreasing the waste being sent for landfill by 50%. The Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka has received the “Green Globe” aware thrice for its commitment towards the ‘go green’ cause. Various inter-regional initiatives have also been taken to use tourism for sustainable development. The key to success lies in encouraging more participation from industrial organizations and trade association.