The Paradox of Sustainable Tourism


In this weeks issue of The Economist, there is an article titled “Travelling light” that we would like to recommend. Do read it. The Economist makes the point that travelling by itself is so polluting to the environment, that sustainable tourism does not make sense. To quote the article:

20150829_IRC962“According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), a UN agency, 1.1 billion international trips were made in 2014, a 4.4% increase on the year before. As popular destinations become overcrowded, more people seek places that remain comparatively unspoilt. But pristine wildernesses don’t stay pristine for long once they are on the holiday trail. The paradox of sustainable tourism is that it can be “both a destroyer of nature and an agent for its conservation”, notes Andrew Holden of Bedfordshire University in Britain.”

It is an interesting thought, although environmentally friendly resorts and activities once tourists are on their destination at least helps to pollute less.

Historically few people travelled more than 50 kilometres from their home during their lifetime. Now we have the means to cross the world. It is a world to discover out there and staying put is not a realistic option in the modern world.

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