World travel and sustainability make good eco-friendly partnerships
The World Loves to Travel
It’s seems like more and more of us are moving around the globe, since travel and tourism are one of the world largest industries. It generates about 10% of total world GDP (gross domestic product) and employs over 10% of the global workforce, and it’s on the verge of tremendous growth. In 2004, there were 760 million international tourism arrivals – an increase of 10% over 2003 and the World Tourism Organization expects to reach one billion tourists in 2012. WorldTourismorganization
Here’s a view of air travel over the globe in one 24-hour period.
All this travel requires sustainability
If we accept the fact that travel and tourism is essential and inescapable, and sometimes destructive, then we start to determine how to take advantage of the benefits of pursuing sustainability.
National and international organizations are on the forefront in developing sustainability standards, guidelines and, criteria for travel destinations.
GlobalSusainableToruismCouncil (GSTC) is one of these international bodies that works to increase knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices by promoting the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and building demand for sustainable travel.
Goal for Sustainability:
Great strides for sustainability guidelines happened when GSTC completed a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability tourism with their Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Destination Criteria for sustainable tourism. GSTC’s four main goals for the Destination Criteria are:
1. Demonstrate sustainable destination management
2. Maximize social and economic benefits for the host community and minimize negative impacts
3. Maximize benefits to communities, visitors, and cultural heritage and minimize impacts
4. Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts.
Results for GSTC’s Destination Criteria:
Destinations around the globe are adopting GSTC’s Destination Criteria. Here’s just a sample of the earlier adopters to for new Criteria:
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Botswana Okavango Delta Ramsar Site
Jackson Hole, Grand Teton & Yellowstone
The more we travel and see the wonders of our great planet earth, the more we should be inspired to be good stewards of its bounty to preserve it for others to enjoy now and for future generations.
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