Sustainability features links for sustainable tourism, food, water, plants, land, and animals.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

Sustainable tourism is defined by United Nations World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” Thus, while environmental concerns are crucial to sustainable tourism, this approach is also highly concerned with people, culture, and livelihoods. Sustainable tourism is about how stakeholders (destinations, operators, hotels, etc.) can maximize tourism benefits and minimize negative impacts. The responsibility is more on the stakeholders.

Responsible Tourism or Responsible Travel  is about “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.” Responsible Tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable. The difference is that it puts the responsibility into the hands of the traveler. How can we educate travelers to do a better job when they visit? See resources in Visitor Section for more on this.