Sustainable tourism

Published on August 31, 2015   23 min
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ANDREA NICHOLAS: Today I'm going to talk about sustainable tourism. My name's Andrea Nicholas and I'm the Managing Director of Green Business, which is a not-for-profit company that operates a program called Green Tourism Program. The program started in 1997 and started out with my co-founder, John Proctor, and we've been operating now for nearly 20 years.
However, I just want to touch on what is sustainable tourism, so I'm going to talk to you now about what actually is sustainable tourism, what do people mean? And there's lots and lots of words that people use around the word sustainable: responsible, ethical, green, eco-tourism, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly. There's lots and lots of different words, and in fact the United Nations has a very wordy and possibly very worthy explanation as to what sustainable tourism is all about. As you can read it here, it's about the current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities. Not a very user friendly statement, I would say. And it's something that obviously it's a good basis, but actually what I want to talk to you today is actually about what we think sustainable tourism's all about and what we think businesses and the consumers think sustainable tourism is about.
So concepts about sustainability can have very wide-reaching topics, and people think about sustainability in lots of different ways. Whether they think it's all about tree hugging, it's about carbon footprints and eco-technology, whether it's about saving water, traveling softly on the planet, about wellness, wildlife, or whether it's putting yourself in a tipi and meditating, whatever it is, sustainability can mean many things to many people, and I'm going to try and just highlight to you what sustainability is, we believe, now in today's market.