Sustainable Tourism is about a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping.
Without travel there is no tourism, so the concept of sustainable tourism is tightly linked to a concept of sustainable mobility. Two relevant considerations are tourism's reliance on fossil fuels and tourism's effect on climate change.
Tourism sector is amongst the highest income generators in the Mediterranean. Leisure related activities make tourism a leading economic sector in terms of gross value added and employment. Tourism contributes directly to regional economies with sectoral synergies and strong multiplying effects.
Despite its economic and social importance, tourism development is exerting undue pressures on the natural and built environment. These pressures may threaten the quality of life of local populations, degrade the tourism assets and, by consequence, negatively affect future tourism developments. Exploiting the full potential of tourism requires an innovative approach on a sustainable basis. Therefore, effective strategies and targeted integrated actions should be developed and implemented across the Mediterranean region.
Sustainable Tourism targets to:
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities.
Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts.
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