“Development is sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations”
World Commission on Environment and Development – 1988
Sustainability and Tourism: the next challenge
If we were to what sustainability means in just a few words, we would say that it is future-looking development that is capable of promoting shared social responsibility.
In business, sustainability means doing business without negatively impacting the environment, the community, or society as a whole, addressing the positive effect the business has on the environment and on society.
When it comes to tourism, sustainability means meeting the needs of tourists and of the host country, by providing increasing opportunities for the future.
All resources should be managed – economically and socially to ensure that cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biodiversity, and – most importantly – the life systems in the community are maintained.
Sustainable tourism is different from other tourism segments.
It is built around authenticity, a sense of continuity between the past, present, and future.
It reflects community values, by conserving and enhancing the feeling of belonging.
It is a richer and more rewarding tourism experience for the visitor because it adds value to the existing attributes of an area.
It respects and conserves the resources upon which it is based, encouraging community development that is in harmony with its environment.
When we talk about sustainable tourism, we must – of course – talk about nature and eco-tourism, as well.
These tourism sectors go hand-in-hand.
Sharing meaningful values and principles in their approach, such as their focus on giving visitors the chance to have first-hand experiences in nature and gain a greater understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the momentum.
Our challenge is to encourage the development and management of sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean, which will provide benefits to both the visitors and host communities while protecting and enhancing natural and cultural features.