ISSUE: As more regions and countries develop their tourism industry, it produces significant impacts on natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution and social systems. The need for sustainable/responsible planning and management is imperative for the industry to survive as a whole. FACTS: TOURISM IMPACTS: •880 million people travelled internationally in 2010 and this is expected to reach 1. billion by 2010 •The average international tourist receipt is over US$700 per person •Travel and tourism represents approximately 10% of total global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (if it include tourism related business (eg catering, cleaning) •The global travel and tourism industry creates 10% of world employment (direct & indirect) •At least 25 million people spread over 52 countries are displaced by violence, persecution and/or disasters – tourism receipts in every country are affected by this.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS: •The average Canadian household used 326 liters of water per day…. a village of 700 in a developing country uses an average of 500 litres of water per month AND a luxury hotel room guest uses 1800 litres of water per person per night… •The average person in the UK uses approximately 150 litres of water per day – 3 times that of a local village in Asia •A species of animal or plant life disappears at a rate of one every three minutes •70% of marine mammals are threatened The Western world (with 17% of the worlds’ population) currently consumes 52% of total global energy. •1 acre of trees absorbes 2. 6tonnes of CO2 per year •58% of the worlds coral reefs are at risk •Seawater is expected to rise 70 cm in the next 10 years •By 2050 climate change could have directly led to the extinction of 30% of species, the death of 90% of coral reefs and the loss of half the Amazon rainforest. •Since 1970 a third of the natural world has been destroyed by human activity •Half the world’s population lives in urban areas and this figure is expected to increase.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, 76% of the population live in urban areas •By 2036, there will be 1200 million cars on earth – double the amount today •A European uses 14x more energy than someone living in India •For every 1 degree rise in temperature above 34 degrees Celsius, yields of rice, maize and wheat in tropical areas could drop by 10% •Although 70% of the earth’s surface is water, only 3% is potable Sources: FOC, 2002, WTO, 2000 & 2002, UNWTO, 2011, www. risingtide. co. uk, 2004, UN, 2003, Gov’t of Canada, 2005, Tourism Concern, 2011, Science Msusuem, 2006) SOLUTION:
Sustainable tourism is about re-focusing and adapting. A balance must be found between limits and usage so that continuous changing, monitoring and planning ensure that tourism can be managed. This requires thinking long-term (10, 20+ years) and realising that change is often cumulative, gradual and irreversible. Economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development must include the interests of all stakeholders including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industry and government. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Address environmental and social concerns through policies, practices and initiatives with others. •Are you traveling? Use these guidelines for being a responsible traveler? •Are you traveling? Use these guidelines for being a carbon conscious traveler? •Are you a business or organization? Use these questions to guide you. •Have us help you with policy development, environmental management, business planning and marketing efforts. •Read more or contact us directly. Click here for definitions and information about sustainable tourism.
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