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Chapter 20

gg 294 Chapter 20 Chapter Summary.docx

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Barbara Carmichael

Chapter 20 Chapter Summary The Challenge of Sustainability  Increasing wide recognition of the negative environmental effects of tourism development and activity has led to a focus on alternative forms of tourism and improved environmental practice  Principle which underlies this focus is sustainable development translated to tourism it is known as sustainable tourism  Sustainable tourism seeks to sustain the quantity, quality and productivity of both human and natural resource systems over time while respecting and accommodating the dynamics of such systems The rise of environmental concern  Green movement is a recent invention  Human impact on the environment can be traced back to ancient civilization  Ancient Greek literature reveals the philosophy of the earth being viewed as a living goddess  Roman times written evidence exists of concerns about land degradation and soil erosion through intensive use and even the effect on human health from using lead cooking vessels  Human mastery of nature = people conquer the environment and use its resources for human progress  Anthropocentric perspective on the environment and it has dominated human thinking for present day  Notion of interrelationship of the natural world and a valuing of flora and fauna the Arcadian or ecocentric perspective  Thomas Malthus stated that human population growth was increasing at a rate which would outstrip food production Simplified illustration of environmental thinking (ecocentrism and anthropocentrism)  Ecology as an academic discipline became recognized from 1850 and gave rise to a new era in environmental thinking whicthbuilt on the foundations of the Arcadians  Early 20 century demonstrated a preponderance of groups dedicated to preserving and conserving habitats, species, built heritage and access to open areas  Environment became high, profile in a social and political sense in the 1960  The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people or maximum utility  Age of consumerism and the industrial processes that gave rise to it did not recognize any environmental responsibilities and production continued while environmental pollution began to increase  Production process requires resources and produces pollution in a number of different forms  Environmental group such as Friends of the Earth originate from this period The development of the sustainability concept  Concern focused on both environmental and societal issues  1962 united nations conference promoted the idea of a balance between social and economical development and from then on instigated several long term subgroups to examine areas of concern  Representatives from gov and non gov organizations of 119 countries met in 1972 at Stockholm in an attempt to consider environmental problems  Conclusion = development and environment could exist together in mutual benefit but no indication was given as to how it might be achieved  International union for the conservation of nature and natural resources published the world conservation strategy which promoted sustainable development in 1980  World Commission on Environment and Development was charged with exploring environmental and development philosophies and putting forward proposals for change and action  Sustainable development was defined in the document as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of those of future generation  Sustainability goes to the heart of the interconnected debated on environmental, social and economic issues; it adopts a long term perspective which is particularly suited to communities where conflicting views among stakeholders of the concept of sustainability need to be accommodated as a political process   Degrees of sustainability Defining sustainability and sustainable tourism  Widely accepted definition of sustainable development is that cited in Our Common Future  “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generation”  The meaning and application of the concept is more problematic  Sustainable development allows for economic development but within the parameters of resource conservation  Sustainability viewed from opposites: at one extreme is economic sustainability where what is being sustained is the economy at whatever cost; diametrically opposed to this is ecological sustainability where the natural environment takes priority over any economic development  Turner, Pearce and Bateman produced a spectrum of sustainable development defining positions ranging from very weak sustainability to very strong sustainability  Arne Naess pointed out the distinction between shallow ecology and deep ecology  Sustainability and sustainable tourism do not represent an absolute standard The Challenge of Sustainability in Tourism  Damaging effects of tourism led to a focus on encouraging alternative tourism  Alternative tourism raises the question alternative to what?  Sustainable tourism becomes a niche market  Niche markets with an alternative theme have emerged and terms such as ecotourism, green tourism, sustainable tourism, nature tourism, soft tourism and adventure tourism become part of international and domestic tourism markets  Pattern of product growth is contrary to the ideals of sustainable development  Diversity of tourism products and environments has increased as alternative tourism favours less exploited areas, environmentally sensitive or rural areas and culturally different regions which are prone to negative impacts if improperly managed while mass tourism destinations continue to exist within the traditional management framework  Sustainable tourism should be viewed more as an ethos than a product or niche market  Ideals of sustainability need to infiltrate the entire tourism system if environments and people are to be protected from the negative forces to change  Environmental management more practical and achievable perspective of tackling the problems from a business perspective is becoming more widespread  Large companies such as tour operators, hotel chains and airlines are starting to demonstrate an awareness of the consequences of tourism development and activity as noted in the Tour Operators initiatives  2007 Tour operators initiative produced practical guide to managing sustainability issues in the accommodation sector as well as advice on developing a sustainable supply chain  United Nations Environment Programme launched the Green passport Holidays for a living planet as a direct result of the world summit in 2002  = lip service but it is at least a step in the right direction  Impossible to imagine any kind of tourism activity being developed and then operating without in some way reducing the quantity and quality of natural resources somewhere What is sustainable tourism?  Truly environmentally aware individuals would spurn holidays altogether  If people can be persuaded to stay at home they may be encouraged to improve their own environment rather than escape from it and damage another elsewhere  Krippendorf argues for greater humanism in life of which tourism is just one small component  Humanism seeks to reverse trends of consumerism and encourage greater satisfaction in non consumptive forms of activity  People expect more and more instead of finding satisfaction in a two week full board holiday  Torquay encouraged more sophisticated traveller who wish to see more unusual environments  Home and work = more satisfying does this remove the need to escape = no  Development and operating the tourism section = sustainable tourism  Sustainable tourism = more country side where relationship between the visitor and the natural environment is more obvious  =green tourism the green emphasizing use and conservation of natural resources  UK first major event where green tourism was at the fore was the 1990 shades of green  Sponsored by the countryside commission and English tourist board to encourage good practice in rural tourism  Green tourism = walking, cycling, staying in small scale accommodation, eating local food, using public transport, observing wildlife Defining sustainable tourism  Sustainable tourism is a nebulous concept and to some extent has become moulded to fit the needs of conservationists, governments, communities and developers  Sustainability principles: apply to environment, economic, and Sociocultural aspects of tourism so that a suitable balance needs to be achieved between these interconnected elements to guarantee the long term sustainability of tourism  UN-WTO sustainability should o Make optimal use of environmental resources (while maintaining the essential ecological processes while helping to conserve the natural heritage) o Respect the Sociocultural authencity of host communities (helping to conserve the cultural heritage and traditional values as well as seeking to engender intercultural understanding and tolerance) o Ensure viable long term economic operations providing socioeconomic benefits to all stakeholders  Involvement of all stakeholders as well as ongoing monitoring of the impacts of tourism  Sustainable tourism is to strike a balance between the host, the guest and the environment  This three way relationship is at the core of sustainable tourism principles and requires careful consideration to maximize positive benefits and minimize negative effects  Sustainable tourism does not imply a no growth policy but it does recognize that limits to growth exist and that environments must be managed in a long term way  Clark four ways sustainability in tourism can be viewed o Polar opposites – sustainable and mass tourism are at opposite ends of the spectrum o As continuum – where shades of sustainability and mass tourism are recognized o As movement – where positive action can make mass tourism more sustainable o As convergence – where all tourism strives to be sustainable  Swarbrooke provides a useful definition of sustainable tourism “tourism which is economically viable but does not destroy the resources on which the future of tourism will depend notably the physical environment and the social fabric of the host community, observing the need to achieve a balance in the tourists use of tourist resources and environments they visit and consume  Academic and practitioner circles has been emphasis on sustainable tourism as a major focus of attention  Sustainable tourism (two strands) o Development centred o Ecologically centred  Development centred ideas = consider sustainable tourism as a way of sustaining the tourism industry while ecologically centred ideas concentrate on placing priority on the environment and biodiversity over economic gain  If these lines are pursued then no consensus can be achieved  Move towards a clear, workable definition with which all stakeholders are reasonably satisfied  Tradeoffs will have to be made to reach a consensus on the type of sustainable tourism experience they wish to create for a destination  First is acting in an environmentally conscious way o Related to integration of environmental practices into everyday processes and operations such as using products which cause less harm to the environment such as biodegradable washing powders, ozone friendly cleaning sprays, conserving energy, minimizing waste through purchasing package free goods or composting and recycling using locally produce organic produce, reducing the need to travel  Second way is sustainable tourism as an under pinning philosophy  Sustainable tourism takes place respecting the landscape, wildlife, people, existing infrastructure and cultural heritage of a tourism destination  Latter is a more holistic philosophical perspective that underlies the first element for developing sustainable tourism which may be useful framework for considering the principle used when sustainable tourism is put into practice Sustainable tourism in practice  Sustainable tourism can be interpreted in a variety ways from small scale community ventures to environmental/ technical management in hotels o 1990 consort hotels adopted message “conservation in comfort” which was translated to a number of selected hotels o Go green weekend = talks by local naturalists, nature walks, a nature interpretation room and fresh whole food produce on the menu The rationale for sustainable tourism  1991 – Inter continental hotels group put together an environmental reference manual giving guidelines and instructions to staff on environmental management. The aim was to increase staff awareness of environmental concerns and encourage a more proactive approach  1992 international hotels environment initiative produced a revised manual environmental management for hotel: the industry guide to best practice, this voluntary code of conduct and useful reference material on how to upgrade procedures and systems such as waste management, energy consumption, noise, congestion, purchasing and training  Canadian pacific hotels launched the green partnership guide which identifies environmental improvements and how they might lead to reduced operating costs Regional rural projects: cover a large area of mainly rural region such as the alto Minho region of Portugal and tend to focus on regional economic development with a tourism focus District wide projects: run by a single authority and covering a specific generally politically defined areas such as the National Park Authority projects in Kruger National Park, South Africa Local community initiatives: originate and run by locals, take a bottom up approach, good examples of these are beginning to emerge in the international arena Urban/ single sit visitor management: town centre management, scheme set up to restore part of a historic city incorporating tourism objectives, environmental management in seaside resorts/ Honey pot or visitor attraction such as Niagara Falls, Ayers Rock and Pompeii Pan country projects: sustainable model for arctic regional tourism which sought to establish a number of principles for sustainable tourism, to empower the tourism sector to continually innovate more sustainable tourism practice across the arctic region including Finland, Sweden, Canada, Alaska, and Scotland Tools for sustainability  Difficulty in finding way to put into practice  Processes and practices have been developed and tribe identify a range of environmental instruments which can be used: laws and regulations, special designation of sites and resources, taxes, subsidies and grants; tradable rights and permits, community programmes, ecolabelling, environmental management systems set up by companies and awards scheme to disseminate good practice  Best practice management = achieving total quality management in all industries and is of direct relevance to tourism Principles for sustainable Arctic Tourism  Ecological foot printing estimate of resource consumption and waste generated by economic activity such as tourism can be generated in a given area Corporate environmental management  1980s environmental management procedure have become part of the tourism industry assisted by the Rio Summit in 1992 and subsequent Earth Summits  Survey of tour operators and environmental awareness in 1991 found that most businesses had not seriously addressed environmental issues and that the recession meant that they were not even on the agenda  Follow the strategy of see it now before its gone  Launch of tour operator initiative developed with the support of UN/ WTO/ UNEP/ UNESCO focused on cooperation with destinations and sustainability reporting including performance indicators in sustainable tourism  British standards institute have developed a standard procedure and kite marking system for corporate environmental management = BS7750  It entails annual independent assessment of company environment practice and there are numerous examples of its adoption in diff business settings Environmental impact assessment (EIA)  Project assessment of the adverse and beneficial impacts of a specific development used in the planning control system  Covers the period from initial planning to post development which covers not only impacts but quality of environmental management systems  Information assists decision makers in evaluating the consequences of a development and thus deciding whether an application should be approved or made conditional on implementing environmental management procedures  Three main issues upon which one can criticize the effectiveness of EIA o Global implementation is patchy. Most developed nations have adopted legislation on EIAs; many less deve
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