If you haven’t heard the word “sustainable tourism” in the last 12 months, then your brain has been on permanent sabbatical, or you’re simply a hermit living under a rock!
All pun aside, if you think you’ve formulated a decent idea on what Sustainable and Sustainability means in the realm of Tourism, but was never quite sure how to put it into action, here’s a few helpful tips from Rainforest Alliance. An organization whose mission it is to impart “green values” and educate businesses and individuals about Sustainability.
With more than 900 million people traveling each year, the tourism industry wields tremendous economic importance, especially in areas rich in biological and cultural diversity. But unless tourism is practiced responsibly and in harmony with the environment, it can lead to unchecked development, cultural exploitation, habitat destruction, waste and pollution.
The Rainforest Alliance is working to help tourism entrepreneurs conserve their environments and contribute to local livelihoods, while improving their own bottom line. We do this by:
- Training tourism businesses to adopt more sustainable practices and encourage them to pursue voluntary certification with one of the numerous existing programs.
- Providing marketing support to certified tourism businesses, and those in the process of becoming certified.
- Working with tour operators who motivate the hotels they work with to adopt sustainable practices.
- Educating travelers to seek out certified operations as a means to differentiate legitimate eco-friendly operations from those that might make misleading claims.
- Promoting sustainability certification as a strategic conservation and business development tool within the industry and to the public
- Supporting the efforts of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas and the proposed accreditation body, the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council, to help certification programs worldwide to developinternationally sound standards for certification programs
- Establishing regional networks of certification programs to share resources and information
Source: Rainforest Alliance