Here at the Travel Foundation, sustainable tourism is what we do. But this term is like an empty suitcase – not much use without all the stuff inside.
If you work in the sector, you’re likely to hear these two words a dozen times a day, but what do they mean? Taken literally, just ‘tourism that can keep going’. It is a completely neutral, benefit-free statement that doesn’t pack in any of the things we actually want to do.
The reason we get out of bed in the morning is because of everything quietly implied by sustainable tourism: a business that cares for special habitats and heritage sites (so that people can continue to visit them), that brings money in and distributes it widely among the community, that sustains the destination, rather than just sustaining tourism itself.
Perhaps this is why our new strategy is focused so noticeably on ensuring tourism benefits destinations. Sustainable tourism is just the packaging – what matters are the positive things it can bring.
– Heather Child, Communications Officer
Find out more about our new strategy and approach: