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Sustainable Tourism 8

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism


Sustainable tourism is defined as the management of all natural resources so that various needs such as economic, social and beautification are met while maintaining social integrity, ecological processes, life support and biological diversity for the present generation and coming generations. Sustainable tourism as a concept explains how different authorities and governments manage their available resources in realizing various benefits such as economical and social without compromising their future use (Hall and Lew, 2000). That means these resources are used for the present and future needs. Properly managed sustainable tourism management plans provides different opportunities for the tourists to have some experience on natural areas, human communities as well as learn more on the importance of preserving the natural resources. This essay will critically discuss various concepts related to sustainable tourism which include the concept of market economics, the triple bottom line, values and ethics, impacts on mass tourism as well as the concept of the market failure incase where the sustainable tourism is depended on some natural resources (Wahab and Pigram, 1997).

Sustainable tourism and market economics

It is important to note that sustainable that sustainable tourism and market economics are two interrelated concepts whereby the behavior of each affects the other concept. This part of the essay will critically discuss both the negative and positive impacts of sustainable tourism in the market economies. This will enable us realize in a broader manner how sustainable tourism affects the market economics (Priestley & Edwards, 2003).

Positive impacts of sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism as a concept has got its share in building the market economies as well as posing various challenges to the same market. This part will discuss the various benefits that the market will realize as a result of sustainable tourism.

Revenue generation

Preservation of natural resources at different sites of the ecosystem will mean creation of tourist attraction features. More of these sites need to be maintained for present and future needs. The cost of maintaining the natural resources sometimes is too high to afford. Through sustainable tourism, tourists are expected to come in as visitors to these places (Place, 1998). This will create more opportunities for the authorities to generate more income from gate entrance fees, resource utilization fees as well as the donations to the private sector. These resources can be converted to aid in protecting and managing the market capacity for the long-term benefits. This is because in most cases the visitors are more charged than the locals and are likely to spend more. Some of the donations and concessions that are likely to be realized from the visitors include shops, food stands and boat rentals incase of marine tourism (The GreenMoney Journal, 1995).

Employment Opportunities

It is obvious that where there are visitors there must be locals who will offer services to them. Provision of services by the locals means creation of job opportunities. Sustainable tourism plays an important role in creating new jobs for the youths at the tourism sites. The jobs are meant to meet the visitors’ demands and they include the following; driving of taxis, lodge operators, tour guides as well as the concession stand owners. It is evident therefore to state that sustainable tourism is a stimulant to the tourism market through its activities which are aimed at supporting the tourism related concerns (Ziffer, 1989).

The negative impacts of sustainable tourism to the market economies

Economic Instability

If the financial resources are not well utilized by the local governments and authorities, then much of it can end up into the investors’ pockets leaving the authorities with to little revenues to support its operations. This will translate into poor market operations. The market economies will go down if the outside investors are the ones who access much of the revenues (Cater, 1995). The end result of this effect is low market conservation efforts and the long-term effect is exertion of pressure on the available resources without sustaining for long. A lot of cash in the pockets of the market investors will create opportunities for people to engage in illegal business such as drug trafficking and black market which in the long-run will kill the sustainable tourism market economies (Orams, 1996).

Excessive Development

When visitors at certain points, the chances that the market will go very fast are high and people will tend to come in order to do business. The investors will invade the market so as to offer lodge services, restaurant services and other activities in order to provide for the market needs. In some situations where the market demand is very strong, people from various parts of the country will tend to move in order to take advantage of the vibrant market full of investment opportunities. The end results in this case more pressure will be put on the basic human needs such as clean water, health care and housing. This will impact negatively on the image of the market and its sustainability will be a subject of debate (Ioannides, 2001).

The triple bottom line

In sustainable tourism, ‘triple bottom line’ concept refers to the integration of the three important factors which include social, economical and cultural as a way embracing quality in the tourism sector. Management of these three factors is a way of appreciating and improving the quality of sustainable development (Mihalic, 1996). In sustainable tourism it is important to note that these factors are applied collectively for the purpose of ensuring that everything is done well by doing well. This is meant to protect the natural resources which are social, economical and cultural. This is so important because sustainable tourism is depended on. Any business that is run on this concept is able to enhance conservation and preservation of natural resources while bringing appreciation to cultural values as well as bringing benefits to the communities through revenue (Turner & Pearce, 2001).

Sustainable tourism, values and ethics

Sustainable development helps the society to grow in different aspects from social, economical and cultural. This part of the essay will critically discuss the concept of values and ethics in relation to sustainable development. In terms of ethics, sustainable development is likely to create a situation whereby regular visitors to a given area of visit have a lot do with influencing the lifestyles of the locals (Jafari & Wall, 2004). The new behaviors brought in by the foreigners tend to be learned by the locals. This in the long-run will eliminate the indigenous lifestyles that form part of the attraction for the visitors. If not well managed, this element can impact negatively on the sustainability of tourism. The society likes and dislikes are always influenced by the visitors. Some of the values that are likely to be affected may include the eating habits, dressing styles and other elements of life such as use of drugs and alcohol abuse. The community image has a lot to do in ensuring that tourism is sustainable or not. Tourists may also unwarily offend cultural standards; for example through an improper way of dressing or by taking photographs of people or traditional sites (Harris and Leiper, 1995).

Sustainable tourism and mass tourism

Mass tourism as a concept explains how the community accepts and commits itself to the various principles of tourism sustainability by use of the protected area’s employees. The protected area administration under this concept does act diligently in managing the tourism related impacts (Williams, 1992). Mass tourism means that the community fully accepts to involve all the community members, the tourism department representatives and other key stakeholders in designing a plan of action used in implementing various sustainable tourism activities. This is done by working closely together in making decisions that are related to tourism and public utilization on the protected area. Under mass tourism, the administration functions need to be reformed in order to ensure that the relationship between the public and the administration is developed by taking into consideration all aspects of the preserved area management and not just tourism (Azkarate, 1995).

Sustainable tourism and the market failure

Market failure and sustainable tourism are two related concepts. Market failure explains a situation whereby tourism sustainability is depended on some natural resources. The availability of these resources means that the market is dong well because there is something to depend on. However, if the market does not have these important resources then it means that the market has too little to depend on and is meant to fail once the resources are exhausted (Hill, 1998).

Works cited

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Cater, E. (1995). «Environmental contradictions in sustainable tourism.» Geographical Journal 161(1): 21-28.

Hall, C. M., and Lew, A. A., (2000). Sustainable tourism: a geographical perspective. Harlow, Essex, England: Longman.

Harris, R., and Leiper, N., (1995). Sustainable Tourism: An Australian Perspective. Newton, U.S.A: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Hill, C., (1998). Eco-Source: Information and Services Regarding Ecotourism and Sustainable Development . Retrieved 30 May2011,

Ioannides, D., (2001). Mediterranean islands and sustainable tourism development: practices, management and policies. New York: Continuum.

Jafari, J., & Wall, G., (2004). ‘Sustainable tourism’. Annals of Tourism Research, 21(3): 667- 669.

Mihalic, T., (1996). Sustainable Tourism in Islands and Small States: Issues and Policies. New York, U.S.A: Pinter, (pp. 197-205).

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The GreenMoney Journal. (1995). “Ecotravel: The Adventurous Journey Towards Sustainability, Retrieved 30 May2011,

Turner, R. K., & Pearce, D., (2001). Mediterranean islands and sustainable tourism development: practices, management and policies. Continuum, New York.

Wahab, S. and Pigram, J.J., (1997). Tourism Development and Growth: The Challenges of Sustainability. London, England.

Williams, P. W., (2002). Tourism and the environment: No place to hide. World Leisure and Recreation. London, England.

Ziffer, K. A., (2009). Ecotourism: The Uneasy Alliance. Conservation International: Ernst & Young.