is widely considered to be the fastest growing segment of the world’s largest
industry. Often times, sustainable travel is thought to simply mean
limiting the negative environmental impacts of travel. However, the
definition is much more encompassing.
Tourism in basic terms is tourism that does not deplete economic,
social/cultural and environmental resources. The ultimate goals of sustainable
tourism are to provide a high-quality experience for the visitors, strengthen
the host cultures and communities, and to develop tourism-related livelihoods
while preserving the surrounding environment.
There are three
main pillars of sustainable tourism which include economical, social/cultural,
and environmental. Sustainable tourism should not impact the environment,
or even better it should directly contribute to environmental conservation.
Secondly, sustainable tourism is concerned about socio-cultural aspects.
Tourism shouldn’t negatively impact the destination’s cultural society and
should actively contribute to cultural preservation. Thirdly, ecotourism
focuses on economic sustainability. The impact of tourism operations in
the host country’s communities should be a positive economic impact.
tourism business creates employment for the local people and benefits the local
industries and businesses that supply the tourism industry. Thought should be
given as to how tourism can benefit local communities in ways which reduce the
economic leakage in destinations. Economic leakage occurs when the money
earned through tourism does not remain within the host country. For every
dollar that a tourist spends, not much of that dollar actually remains in the
destination. For example, in Fiji economic leakage has been reported as high as
65%, meaning for every dollar spent in that country 35% of that is all that
shift in the travel industry has been a return to travel agents. Recently,
travelers frustrated with online bookings have been returning to travel
agents. A study conducted by Forrester Research, a market research
company, found that in the first 3 months of 2010, 28% of leisure travelers in
the U.S. who had book their trips online said they were interested in going to
a good traditional travel agent, while in 2008 that number was 23%.
also reports that that number of leisure travelers who enjoyed using the
internet to book their vacations dropped to 46% in 2009, from 53% in
2007. Travelers are increasingly finding that online booking options are
unable to meet their more complicated travel needs, such as a desire for
sustainable tours and lodges. Travel agents help clients avoid the
frustrating complications that can be associated with travel and take action if
something goes wrong.
the eco travel industry continues to grow and travelers look for more unique
trips such as swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands and interacting
with local indigenous tribes in the Amazon, travel agencies will continue to
courtesy of Ali Dempsey of Global Basecamps.