From Forum for the Future:
there are plenty of ecological assessments that tell us many of the natural resources on which tourism relies are being depleted.
If you add climate change into the mix, along with the carbon-dioxide emissions and water scarcity, then you have what the Harvard Business Review has called a tourism time bomb.
The truth is, it is not possible to achieve this sort of growth and maintain the quality of the tourism product, not to mention the quality of the planet.
Sustainable development is about finding a way through these challenges. If the industry is going to move beyond the credit crunch and through this resource crunch it will need to look at how to profit by doing things differently.
This was emailed to members of Hong Kong's Coalition on Sustainable Tourism. One replied:
This article implies that all of the tourists will be all be doing what they are doing now. How sad.
None of us can simply cannot keep doing what we are doing now and expect the planet to cope. This includes tourists and non-tourists.
The concept of sustainable numbers is best answered as follows:
How many people are too many in a coral area (for example)?: ONE with a hammer. But you can put in 2000 eco-tourists in the same area with a minimal amount of (recoverable) impact if they all follow a set of rules and you design the area to handle it.
If the tourists are eco-friendly, the tourist provisions take impact into account and cope with it, then everyone on this planet can become a tourist with little or no impact.
Is that not the real issue??
to which I responded:
I agree re what tourists do at a place being important.
But also important that flying makes significant contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel depletion. So, to overcome these negatives, tourism would have to be real positive, not just neutral (say).
Sadly, though, looks like will continue to be business as usual.
Look at Hong Kong - still crap, boring tours for the most part, conning people with Aberdeen as "fishing village", Wetland Park n Ngong Ping village as ecotourism etc; CoST barely making a ha'porth of difference.
And US: only around a third of Americans actually believe global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
We have science; but also abundant, ongoing stupidity.
- and yes, gotta count myself among those w stupid behaviour I guess, for continuing to try for something better, inc greener tourism: to Beidaihe in China next month, which has proven far more receptive to nature tourism than this "World City" of ours.