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Glossary of Terms

There are a number of words used to describe what is essentially the same thing – tourism that seeks to minimise its negative impacts on the environment and society, and these have evolved from the variations in approach that industry takes. This glossary of terms helps explain what it all means.

Sustainable Tourism
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation defines sustainable tourism as tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Rather than being a type of product, it is an ethos that underpins all tourism activities. As such, it is integral to all aspects of tourism development and management rather than being an add-on component

The objective of sustainable tourism is to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development while reducing or mitigating any undesirable impacts on the natural, historic, cultural or social environment. This is achieved by balancing the needs of tourists with those of the destination

Responsible Tourism
Responsible tourism is the closest definition to sustainable tourism; however it tends to refer to the consumers’ choice of destination and mode of transport based on their ethical, political and racial sensitivities as well as being concerned for the environment and local culture.

Green Tourism
Historically the definition of this term has been travel which is environmentally friendly or benign that in general does not concern itself with cultural or economic elements of the destination. Current uses of the term are becoming broader to incorporate full sustainable tourism principles.

Ethical Tourism
Ethical tourism has evolved as a term when one considers travelling to, or developing tourism in a destination where ethical issues are the key driver, e.g. social injustice, human rights, animal welfare or the environment. Ethical tourism is geared towards encouraging both the consumer and industry to avoid participation in activities that contribute or support negative ethical issues.

Ecotourism
Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is a subset of sustainable tourism which focuses on ecology. Ecotourism tends to be encountered in destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. The industry actively works towards conserving or improving the natural and cultural heritage through managing its own operations to help conserve the environment, organising conservation projects, offering volunteering and educating visitors.

This article is written by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Education and qualification, Market knowledge, Sustainability.


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