Tourism can play a significant role in driving global debate regarding sustainability

Published on : Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tourism has a very important roleTourism has a very important role to play in driving the global debate surrounding sustainability but is too often “absent” from the debate, according to a nature-based tourism initiative.

The Long Run, which helps its members look after more than 12 million acres of “ecologically important areas”, released its annual report this month. Its chairman Jochen Zeitz said that tourism does not often take the lead in global debates around issues like climate change and “environmental degradation”. He maintained that tourism can have a significant effect on the way businesses across the world deal with those issues.

Zeitz said, “The sector represents 9.8% of the world’s GDP, one in 11 jobs, and will concern 1.8 billion travellers by 2030. Travelling transforms lives; by exposing people to new experiences and cultures, it increases understanding and opens minds. If done right, it can drive sustainable development and significantly contribute to the delivery of the world’s Sustainable Development Goals by helping to protect nature, improve livelihoods and preserve cultural identities. Despite all this, the tourism sector is noticeably absent from global sustainability debates.”

The Long Run’s members have invested over US$10 million in conservation and local communities and employed more than 3,700 people. Its sites include Cottar’s, a 1920’s Safari Camp in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, Brazil’s Sinal do Vale biosphere reserve, and hiking destination Comrie Croft in Perthshire, Scotland.

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