How to practice the eight principles of sustainable tourism?

Considering the principles of sustainable tourism how companies and destinations should contribute with them? See it:

  1. Manage sustainable tourism effectively

Company

Make sure that sustainability is an intrinsic part of your strategy. Decisions should be based on this perspective, and the impacts from these decisions need to be addressed.

Destination

Create an organized group, committee, or board that is tasked with having the private and public sector participate in working on ideas about sustainable tourism. This group has to be suitable to the size and scale of the destination, and include defined responsibilities, oversight and implementation abilities for managing local environmental, economic, social and cultural issues.

2. Guarantee the rights of local populations

Company

The rights of the local community, especially traditional populations, need to be respected within the organization’s operations and practices

Destination

Ongoing programs need to be offered to communities involved in tourism so that they can improve their understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in this activity, along with the importance of their sustainability.

3. Conserve the natural environment and its biodiversity

Company

Set the visitor capacity and adopt activities that have a minimum environmental impact, preserving the natural areas and protecting the flora and fauna while conducting their businesses.

Destination

Make considerations for policies and programs involving the protection of Destination areas and establish relevant control and management tools that are derived from studies on any impacts involving visitor capacity and engagement in management related to the biome and biodiversity of the natural environment. Use public policies to stimulate measures for minimizing water and energy consumption, reducing solid waste generation, treating effluents and conserving the natural environment where they conduct their activities.

4. Consider the cultural heritage and local values

Company

Support and communicate initiatives on understanding, enhancing, preserving, respect for, and promotion of, local cultures.

Destination

Work on a policy and system for assessing, rehabilitating and conserving natural and cultural sites, including constructed heritage (historical and archaeological) and rural and urban visits.

5.  Stimulate the social and economic development of tourist destinations

Company

To the highest extent practicable, employ workers (employees, subcontractors or freelancers) from local or regional communities. Commit to benefiting from people and local production, encouraging quality and sustainability. Support and train people from local communities to offer their services and provide materials to the organization. Encourage the procurement of local products and encourage tourists to consume them.

Destination

Incentivize local businesses to provide employment for the local population, including vocational training opportunities, job security and fair wages for all. Lend support to small and medium-sized local businesses, help promote and develop sustainable local products and fair trade based on the culture of the region. Monitor the direct and indirect economic contribution that tourism has on the economy of the destination and report it to the population.

6. Guarantee the quality of the products, processes and attitudes

Company

Define and maintain a procedure to identify tourists’ expectations for the products and services offered and include a method for responding to complaints and suggestions received on a consistent basis.

Destination

Monitor, avert and publicly report any crime, safety and health risks. Monitor and report on visitor satisfaction and, if necessary, take steps to improve it

7. Stimulate the safety and security destinations

Company

Offer safe products and services, with a focus on managing the risks associated with activities engaged in by tourists. Establish emergency plans, whenever pertinent, in order to respond to unwanted circumstances that may affect the safety of tourists.

Destination

Recognize risks and adopt measures to maintain safe and secure environments for promoting tourism. Support and provide assistance to tourists in the event of unfortunate situations that could affect their safety.

8. Take legal compliance into consideration

Company

Comply with and respect the applicable laws related to the impacts generated by your business. Plan and implement measures to prevent any detrimental impacts on the local culture from your activities.

Destination

Consider adopting legal provisions that encourage sustainable tourism development, seeking to minimize its negative impacts and leverage the positive impacts.

 

The principles of sustainable tourism and Sustainable Development Goals – SDG’s (new version)

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Considering contribution of principles of sustainable tourism in the sustainable development is possible to connect these principles with Sustainable Development Goals – SDG’s from UN as following:

1.    Manage sustainable tourism effectively

Tourism interested parties shall set up and/or promote ethical business processes that seek to engage the corporate responsibility (social, economic and environmental) of those involved, increasing the commitment to the sustainability of destinations and businesses in the elaboration and implementation of mission, goals, strategies, plans and processes of management

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2.    Guarantee the rights of local populations

Tourism interested parties shall seek and promote mechanisms and actions of social and environmental responsibility and economic equality, including the defense of human rights, responsible use of land, resources, consumption of materials and services, maintaining or increasing the dignity of the employees and the well-being of communities involved.

Note Local population can include native population

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3.    Conserve the natural environment and its biodiversity

In all stages of implementation and operation, tourism interested parties shall adopt practices of carrying capacity and minimal impact on the natural environment, including wildlife protection, monitoring and effectively mitigating any negative impact, and thus contribute towards maintaining the natural dynamics and processes of their physical, biological and landscape aspects, taking into account the existing social and economic context. This could include measures related to climate change adaptation.

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4.    Consider the cultural heritage and local values

Tourism interested parties shall recognize and respect the historical-cultural heritage of the tourism destinations. Tourism activities shall be planned, implemented and managed in harmony with the cultural traditions and values, collaborating towards their development.

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5.   Stimulate the social and economic development of tourist destinations

Tourism interested parties shall contribute towards strengthening the local economy, raising skill-levels, increasing economic impacts, generating jobs, work and income, and fomenting the local capacity to develop tourist enterprises stimulating, at the same time, the local responsible supply chains.

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6.    Guarantee the quality of the products, processes and attitudes

Tourism interested parties shall provide reliable information, promote tourism destinations awareness, evaluate tourist satisfaction and encourage the implementation of recognized service standards related, but not limited to sustainability, quality, accessibility and food safety.

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7.    Stimulate the safety and security destinations

Tourism interested parties should contribute to enhance destinations safety and security, increasing levels of safety and security and comfort of local population and tourists.

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8.    Take legal compliance into consideration

Tourism interested parties shall identify and be aware of applicable legal requirements.

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According UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDG’s for tourism [source: http://tourism4sdgs.org] could be understand as following:

SDG 1 – NO POVERTY

As one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world, tourism is well-positioned to foster economic growth and development at all levels and provide income through job creation.

Sustainable tourism development, and its impact at community level, can be linked with national poverty reduction goals, those related to promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses, and empowering less favored groups, particularly youth and women.

SDG 2 – ZERO HUNGER

Tourism can spur sustainable agriculture by promoting the production and supplies to hotels, and sales of local products to tourists. Agro-tourism can generate additional income while enhancing the value of the tourism experience.

SDG 3 – GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Tax income generated from tourism can be reinvested in health care and services, improving maternal health, reduce child mortality and preventing diseases. Visitors fees collected in protected areas can as well contribute to health services.

SDG 4 – QUALITY EDUCATION

Tourism has the potential to promote inclusiveness. A skilful workforce is crucial for tourism to prosper. The tourism sector provides opportunities for direct and indirect jobs for youth, women, and those with special needs, who should benefit through educational means.

SDG 5 – GENDER EQUALITY

Tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income-generation from MMEs in tourism and hospitality related enterprises. Tourism can be a tool for women to become fully engaged and lead in every aspect of society.

SDG 6 – CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

Tourism investment requirement for providing utilities can play a critical role in achieving water access and security, as well as hygiene and sanitation for all. The efficient use of water in tourism, pollution control and technology efficiency can be key to safeguarding our most precious resource.

SDG 7 – AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

As a sector, which is energy intensive, tourism can accelerate the shift towards increased renewable energy shares in the global energy mix. By promoting investments in clean energy sources, tourism can help to reduce green house gases, mitigate climate change and contribute to access of energy for all.

SDG 8 – DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

Tourism, as services trade, is one of the top four export earners globally, currently providing one in ten jobs worldwide. Decent work opportunities in tourism, particularly for youth and women, and policies that favour better diversification through tourism value chains can enhance tourism positive socio-economic impacts.

SDG 9 – INDUSTRY INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Tourism development relies on good public and private infrastructure. The sector can influence public policy for infrastructure upgrade and retrofit, making them more sustainable, innovative and resource-efficient and moving towards low carbon growth, thus attracting tourists and other sources of foreign investment.

SDG 10 – REDUCED INEQUALITIES

Tourism can be a powerful tool for reducing inequalities if it engages local populations and all key stakeholders in its development. Tourism can contribute to urban renewal and rural development by giving people the opportunity to prosper in their place of origin.

Tourism serves as an effective mean for economic integration and diversification.

SDG 11 – SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

Tourism can advance urban infrastructure and accessibility, promote regeneration and preserve cultural and natural heritage, assets on which tourism depends.

Investment in green infrastructure (more efficient transport, reduced air pollution) should result in smarter and greener cities for, not only residents but also tourists.

SDG 12 – RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

The tourism sector needs to adopt sustainable consumption and production (SCP) modes, accelerating the shift towards sustainability. Tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for tourism including for energy, water, waste, biodiversity and job creation will result in enhanced economic, social and environmental outcomes.

SDG 13 – CLIMATE ACTION

Tourism contributes to and is affected by climate change. Tourism stakeholders should play a leading role in the global response to climate change. By reducing its carbon footprint, in the transport and accommodation sector, tourism can benefit from low carbon growth and help tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

SDG 14 – LIFE BELOW WATER

Coastal and maritime tourism rely on healthy marine ecosystems. Tourism development must be a part of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile marine ecosystems and serve as a vehicle to promote a blue economy, contributing to the sustainable use of marine resources.

SDG 15 – LIFE ON LAND

Rich biodiversity and natural heritage are often the main reasons why tourists visit a destination. Tourism can play a major role if sustainably managed in fragile zones, not only in conserving and preserving biodiversity, but also in generating revenue as an alternative livelihood to local communities.

SDG 16 – PEACE JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

As tourism revolves around billions of encounters between people of diverse cultural backgrounds, the sector can foster multicultural and inter-faith tolerance and understanding, laying the foundation for more peaceful societies. Tourism, which benefits and engages local communities, can also consolidate peace in post-conflict societies.

SDG 17 – PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

Due to its cross-sectoral nature, tourism has the ability to strengthen private/public partnerships and engage multiple stakeholders – international, national, regional and local – to work together to achieve the SDGs and other common goals. Public policy and innovative financing are at the core for achieving the 2030 Agenda.