Making Tourism Sustainable

The challenge of the World Tourism Forum is to find ways to allow people to enjoy traveling around the world while at the same time limiting the negative impact to the environment and to local cultures caused by such activity. The greatest challenge facing humanity at the start of the 21st Century is to preserve the environment. Nature is a dynamic system where all the parts are interconnected. Mankind is part of the grand scheme, and yet acts in such a way as to destroy the very eco-system that he depends upon.

Carbon emissions in 2012 have reached 390 parts per million. On November 9th, 2011 the International Energy Agency published research showing that the 'door is closing'; and that unless we change our habits of energy consumption and carbon output we will be unable to prevent catastrophic climate change that will see sea levels rise, mass flooding, rapid species extinction (not experienced since the last Ice Age) and whole scale desertification.

At the same time economic activity (which includes tourism) is exhausting natural resources? fossil fuels, trees, water, marine resources, soil, minerals and plant resources are all being exhausted. With the world reeling from a severe economic downturn the temptation is to ignore calls for environmental responsibility (as shown in COP 17 meeting) and exploit natural resources even more to try and kick start ailing economies.

It is not just a matter of irresponsible use of natural resources that is making the present situation untenable, unsustainable; it is also pollution. Factories are polluting the air and water supplies, oil exploration is repeatedly polluting the sea and agricultural products are polluting the soil.

One of the biggest challenges for sustainable tourism is cultural pollution. As the world becomes a village small isolated communities in mountainous areas, by beaches and in forests have a growing contact with the outside world. As well as positive influences such as increased income there is also a tendency for these cultural units to be polluted by drugs, prostitution and the lure of easy money. Men stop fishing and do boat tours, women stop working the fields and become waitresses and sex workers. Children stop attending to their classes and take up begging and entertaining tourists. It is a sad pattern that can be seen all over the world.

At the same time tourism has become a consumer product. Too many people are taking planes, hiring cars, demanding air-con and willfully causing carbon emissions. The drive to 'up-grade' accommodation has resulted in too many swimming pools and golf courses all draining water resources and causing yet more carbon emissions.

The mission of World Tourism Forum is to find ways to allow people to travel without destroying the environment and without undermining local customs and ways of life. Since 2004 delegates have been meeting from all over the world to discuss ways to promote eco-tourism and to make tourism sustainable. Thousands of delegates from many countries gather to discuss the issues that beset their countries and to suggest ameliorative measures. Delegates come from the hotel industry, from NGOs, from conservation groups and from indigenous groups. According to Helene Rocques of the Sustainable Development for Accor Group, "It is possible to harmonize pleasure with sustainability".

Many initiatives have already been taken. Some more successful than others. These include encouraging governments to set up eco-tourist areas. One successful example of this is Koh Phangan in Thailand. 90% of the island's tree cover has been preserved by means of setting up National Parks and limiting building. As a result Koh Phangan has maintained its pristine natural environment and is now beginning to overtake the neighboring island of Koh Samui in terms of tourist numbers that has let unregulated development pollute beaches and cause wide scale deforestation. Tourists don't like the negative results that the temptation of the tourist dollar has caused and are looking for unspoiled natural beauty.

Another important area of sustainable tourism is nautical tourism. Diving, snorkeling, fishing and sailing have all in the past caused pollution, damaged coral reefs and depleted marine resources. Organizations such as government tourist ministries and regulatory bodies such as PADI continue to improve guidelines to make nautical tourism sustainable.

As people travel more they become jaded with the 'regular' tourist destinations and seek to go to more and more 'exotic' locations such as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. It is vital that systems be put in place to preserve these natural environments and the indigenous culture.

Finally, there is the unavoidable fact that airplane travel causes immense amounts of carbon emissions not just in flights but also in building airplanes. It is essential to encourage people to take more environmentally friendly types of transport where possible. It is also essential that airline companies are lobbied (as well as governments) to set up more rigorous strictures for off-setting. It is not just a matter of emitting less carbon but also of planting more trees and other carbon recyclers. The World Tourism Forum intends to bring all the major players together to make these things happen.

This website is intended as a resource for all those connected to the tourist industry. The articles herein introduce travel destinations and travel products and seek to encourage debate on how to make tourism sustainable. If solutions are not discussed and enacted foreign tourism could well go the way of the dodo.

Tourism is of course, vitally important to the Californian economy.  For anyone outside the US who’s come across those expensive, well produced adverts often on prime time TV slots, you can sense that’s it’s big business.   However the numbers can be quite staggering even when forewarned, a report published last week suggested that tourists in California spent well over $100 billion dollars in 2013 alone.


The exact figure is estimated to be around $110 billion which represents a significant growth of 3%.  That figure doesn’t sound great in isolation but taken in the context of global recession and wide spread austerity measures in many of California’s traditional tourist sources then it’s a very respectable boost.   There’s no doubt that compared with other industry sectors, tourism is the one still performing with more significant growth levels predicted over the next few years.    It’s not surprising in many ways, California is a terrific holiday destination for both non-US and US visitors.  Tourism is also a great sector to be in when global economic problems can hit, it’s very flexible as we see when Europe is struggling, then you can easily switch focus to attract visitors from other areas either in the short or long term.   This flexibility is something that Visit California team is very well aware of and they actively promote the Californian tourist brand in many countries around the world on an ongoing basis.

So how many people visited California? Well the official figures put the level at 235 million people, about 3/4 of these in-state tourists.  The demand for hotel rooms across the state however has increased every quarter for the last four years.   Many visitors base their holidays on the capital region, often using this as a hub to explore the rest of the state.  Sacramento Country actually received nearly $3 billion in direct spending by visitors.  More than half of these stay overnight, although this is not all attributable to tourism,  6 million were tourists and about 1.2 million people were visiting for business reasons.

There are encouraging signs that the traditional market for tourism for California – Europe is starting to recover.  California has always been a  favorite for visitors from places like the UK, France and Germany.  However problems in the Eurozone have impacted the numbers of visitors from those areas.  The recovery is growing strongly in  the UK though and the high value of the British currency currently is making California an affordable destination again.  There are also a significant number of people from the UK who are spending much longer than traditional breaks with many investing in holiday homes and apartments in the area attracted by the climate.  There are other obvious benefits to the UK market, language, infrastructure and cheap flights from the UK and it’s easy to watch UK TV stations online – as this site demonstrates watch the BBC – 

This familiarity and ease of access, makes California a very attractive locations as well for UK tourists particularly those who have retired and have more time for the longer air travel times.  No language problems, good value and that the link with home can be established by simply using the internet and a few bucks to buy vpn services to watch their usual TV shows from sites like the BBC and ITV all help boost the attraction California to British tourists.

The socialist government in France seems to have little idea about the negative impacts that increasing costs by levying taxes has on demand.   Only last month Mr Hollande launched an initiative to boost tourism in France by upgrading hotel sector, streamlining the visa process and finally building a long needed express rail link from Paris to the main International airport – CDG.

Now incredibly they have announced some of the plans to help fund this improvement in infrastructure, by taxing the very people they are trying to attract.  The proposals include increasing the hotel taxes which are levied on every visitor up from 1.50 euros to 8 euros a night, a huge increase.


If you’re planning to stay in Paris it’s even worse, in addition another 2 euros would be levied per night on top of that to help pay for the Paris related infrastructure projects such as the high speed rail link.

Not surprisingly the countries tourist related business, and hoteliers are furious.   They are dismayed that the government is even considering applying two new taxes to visitors when their aim is to bring more tourism to France.  It should be noted that no consultation has taken place with any tourist sector organisations.

There are some estimates that if France increased it’s share of the 5% growth in global tourism over the next few years then some half a million jobs could potentially be created.  It is of course a major economic challenge and a huge opportunity to help the French recovery.  It looks unlikely though that making France an even more expensive destination is going to attract more visitors, even if those costs will be funding infrastructure improvements.   Many travellers have become increasingly budget conscious and using the internet for both research and booking can make much more informed choices on their destinations.  For example if you use popular DNS services to bypass geo restrictions, you can often book domestic only tickets on airlines.

There is evidence that cost plays an even more important part in the decision making process for most tourists in these times of austerity.   People aren’t missing out on their holidays but rather making the most out of their money by travelling to cheaper destinations and cutting costs wherever possible – taxes are going to be a huge disincentive to most tourists who already have a poor opinion of the way Paris treats it’s visitors.  It’s more likely that people pick alternative destinations and use the internet and the best vpn software they can find to pick up bargains on flights and travel.

It is said by some psychologists that if you experience a tragedy or an event of great trauma then you start a new timeline in your life.  That is to say that you will tend to refer to events as being before or after the event.
If you speak to the residents of New Orleans then you’ll have no doubt that is true.  The date August 29th, 2005 is the day that Hurricane Katrina stormed through their home city.  That date is marked in  the psyche of the city and every single one of it’s inhabitants. From the shop owner in the French quarter to the worker in the plantation – all look at their lives as being before and after Katrina.

French Quarter
The scars are now beginning to heal, largely due to the tremendous sense of community that the tragedy has created in the survivors.   Much of the city has simply been rebuilt brick by brick. There have been many government agencies who have helped repair and improve the flood defence systems which failed so dramatically,

The French Quarter in the picture actually suffered less than the rest of the city mainly due to it’s height.  The Quarter is just that little bit higher than the rest of the city, and it made a huge difference to the extent of the damage caused.  It’s a very historic section of the city and I spent many happy hours in bars there.  One bar owner became a good friend of mine after I showed him how he could access the French TV Station My Replay by using a French proxy server and his laptop – here’s the site by the way!

All across the city though, you’ll see rebuilding still happening and a genuine sense of community.  There are many people who have failed to return deciding against living with the dangers that the city has to accept.  But there’s no doubt that it’s a fantastic place to live and I’m certain people will return slowly.

Technical Citation: Youtube

It’s not really surprising, after all it happens just about anywhere that a global sporting event takes place. I remember trying to book a hotel for a short break during the London Olympics, some of the prices were eye watering even if you could find something available. It looks like the same is happening across Brazil particularly in Rio prior to this Summer’s World cup finals. If you can find a price double what you expected to pay then you’d be well advised to grab it quick.

Rio is the worse hit, although a deal which has been agreed will limit rates to not rising above the levels of the Carnival and New Year which is still a pricey $1000 a night. It is sad that this is happening as short term profit will do nothing to help the long term tourism prospects of this wonderful country.

There is already plenty of horror stories of crime and violence on the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities, the stories of profiteering will only reinforce this negative image. It’s hard to get rid of these images and reputations especially those of tourist exploitation.

Brazil could really benefit from a tourism increase, it’s a great country with lots of things to see and a friendly population. Currently Brazil only receives around 6 million visitors a year (many of those associated with short breaks around festivals). If you think that sounds a lot consider that France gets around 80 million tourists every year.

However despite the price rises, all the rooms will of course sell out but some football fans are looking for alternatives. Instead of paying a few hundred dollars a night even in hostels near the center, they are starting to look further out.

Outside the beaches among the hillside slums of Rio for example are a variety of hostels available. They may not be in the best area, but they do have some fantastic views of the city and the costs are much less than in the center. Many of the hostels have hiked their prices up too but they still are relatively inexpensive compared to the city hotels and hostels. You can find a reasonable hostel for around $70 a night in these areas. The hostels are clean and well run the ones I visited even have rigged up TV and computer screens for fans so that they can watch Iplayer abroad and follow a BBC commentary instead of one in Spanish!

There is still a concern though – which is security. Only a few years ago these areas were completely controlled by drugs lords and gangs. Although the police have mostly cleaned these out they have not been 100% successful and there are still reports of periodic gun battles in certain areas. Mostly if you follow advice and stay away from specific areas it should be reasonably safe though.

There is a temptation though that with the high cost of travel, accommodation and the various concerns about security many fans may decide to skip this particular world cup. There are some temptations to just go on holiday somewhere and watch it on UK TV like this instead!

The Germans were once pretty famous for travelling far and wide on their holidays, but the latest survey of German tourism habits suggests that might be changing.  Last year just under half the population took their holidays in their  own country.  It was far and away the most popular holiday destination quite some distance from the second spot which was Spain.

Another factor that seemed to be changing was duration, last year only 60% took a holiday for more than five days, although this is presumably due to the shorter time needed for a domestic break.  The costs fell considerably too, with the average cost of the Summer break now costs 1063 Euros.

The most popular destination with Germany was the South side of the country, also lots of people visited the Black Forest and also the beautiful area around Lake Constance.  The trend for domestic holidays is expected to continue mainly due to the economic considerations of foreign travel.  Other people also cited the political upheaval in many areas which had previously been popular destinations for German tourists.

It’s a worrying statistic for many countries like Greece, Egypt and Spain which rely heavily in tourism in the economies.  Germans are always welcomed as popular visitors as they usually spend quite heavily often returning to the same resort over many years.   In fact in one tourism survey suggested that German tourists were among the best tippers in the world

There’s a lot more information about German tourism and destinations within Germany broadcast on their TV stations.  Unfortunately most of the are inaccessible without a German IP address , as they block access from outside the country.   This video explains how it’s possible to bypass these restrictions and access all the shows just like a resident -

Germany is definitely a great and often underrated tourism destination. It’s safe, clean and easy for English speakers were English is spoken widely. Berlin is one the world’s great cities and makes for a fantastic weekend break with lots to do including many galleries, museums and other attractions.

Tourism is of course important to many countries across the world and the majority of governments do their very best to encourage it whenever possible.  It is unfortunately one of the most unpredictable areas of the economy where external events can have a huge impact on the numbers of tourists.  We can see now in places like Egypt where political unrest has virtually destroyed an important tourism sector, or Zanzibar where two tourists where attacked and numbers have similarly plummeted.  It takes a lot of good will and effort to counteract incidents like these, especially when people want to feel safe when on holiday.

However sometimes positive benefits can be created, without warning.  Ireland for instance had a big boost to it’s tourism sector with the success of the TV show Game of Thrones simply because it is largely filmed there.  Other benefits go on for years such as the famous list produced by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891.


This list was created by the co-founder of the Scottish Mountaineering club basically to detail and categorize all the Scottish peaks over 3000 feet.   Ever since that time visitors have come in droves every year attempting to climb them all and tick off the peaks from their own lists.  It formed the basis of mountaineering and hill walking in Scotland, pastimes that form a huge percentage of Scotland’s tourism sector.

Not all the tourists come to complete Munro’s of course, although over 5000 since the 1980s have completed the entire list.   Sir Hugh Munro made the country well known for the pastimes though and people are attracted to the Scottish culture and way of life that it represents.

Scotland’s countryside and mountains are probably it’s biggest tourism attraction and brings visitors from all over the world.  Many people now are starting to appreciate the huge impact the work of Sir Hugh Munro has had on this country and believe that he should be added to Scotland’s Hall of Sporting fame in recognition of his work.

If you’re interested in travelling to Scotland and perhaps climbing a few Munros yourself then there are lots of web sites to help you get started.   You can get lots of information on the BBC web site and indeed some programs, for those outside the UK then this video may be helpful – BBC Iplayer overseas.

For more information- check here.

The well respected group the Environmental Audit Committee has just published a report on environmental issues in Britain’s many overseas dependencies. You can find the report here – but the overall conclusion is that the UK is failing to protect most of the environmental issues in these often remote areas.

The UK is responsible for endangered species and habitats in 14 locations across the world – places like Bermuda, Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.   The report found that none of these species for example had been properly recorded and cataloged and thus what policies that did exist were not based on facts but more a general ideology.   Many environmental groups have been pressing for an increase in funding for these issues, a stance that the report seems to back.

Some of these territories contain huge areas of ocean, coral islands and atolls, tropical forests and even some polar wilderness.  The scales are huge – the polar area for example is over five times the size of the entire United Kingdom.  In these areas there are at over 500 endangered species many of them of international importance.

The report highlights many issues but the main concerns were with development being unregulated, no control on invasive species and the threats they bring.  Also the issues of climate change were often ignored in some of these areas, despite their importance.

Much of the problem lies with the fact that environmental management for these areas, is mostly devolved to the local authorities in the specific locations.  This is often less than successful and the committee urged the UK to recognize that it was the UK who was ultimately responsible for the environmental issues in these areas.

One example cited was that of the Pitcairn Islands, a remote place with only 50 inhabitants.  They are keen to establish a fully protected marine environment around their island, however without the backing of the UK government this is unlikely to succeed.  The isolation of these places is obviously one of the biggest difficulties that the residents often face in securing help from Government sources.

Here’s a list of the locations -

  • Anguilla;
  • Bermuda;
  • British Antarctic Territory;
  • British Indian Ocean Territory;
  • Cayman Islands;
  • the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus;
  • Falkland Islands;
  • Gibraltar;
  • Montserrat;
  • Pitcairn,
  • Henderson,
  • Ducie and Oeno Islands (known as Pitcairn Islands);
  • St Helena,
  • Ascension and Tristan da Cunha;
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands;
  • Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • British Virgin Islands

There is an estimate produced by the RSPB that the Government needs to urgently increase funding to support environmental issues in these territories by a significant amount.  Having said that the figures are not huge as current spending is only 1.5 million and an increase to some 16 million could have great benefits.

You can keep up to date with current environmental issues on the BBC website, documentaries and news are  accessible outside the UK by using links like this.

More Information Available here:


The primary aim of the Arab league is to co-ordinate the aims of it’s twenty two members. However a recent meeting between it’s members revealed that there are huge differences in success when it comes to the tourism sector.

There seems to be two distinct experiences, which was highlighted during the summit in Bahrain. Ironically this is now probably the most successful, Arab tourism destination – something which would have seemed incredible a decade ago. The first point is that most of the North African nations, who have traditionally had strong links with Western tourists are still suffering the backlash of the Arab Spring. Tourists from Europe and North America simply haven’t returned in any meaningful numbers which has been devastating to many countries like Egypt.

Saudi Arabian Tourism

The positive messages mainly came from the Gulf countries, who are seeing growth in many areas of tourist travel. They too are now trying to promote the heritage sector as well as the traditional luxury hotel holidays. They are also keen to try and bring tourists from their own countries, particularly as Arab tourists are typically some of the highest spenders in the world. Saudi Arabian tourists for example spend nearly 10 billion UK pounds abroad every year, a massive amount of money considering the numbers involved. Gulf countries are keen to try and keep some of that income back home and are looking at increasing the choice and options for local travellers.

The focus for them has been heritage, it’s what tourists from Saudi Arabia often seek, so they are building six major museums. There is also an extensive program of sponsorship for students to study abroad in places like the British Museum and the Louvre. The intention is to raise the standards in the heritage sector which has been ignored mainly in the past.

There are other issues for these countries to contend with and they focus mainly on democracy and politics. In many Gulf countries there is a distinct lack of freedom and even the internet is heavily censored and filtered. Western visitors often have to change their IP addresses like this video just to access standard sites or use application like Skype without issues -

Now of course, spending a few bucks on a proxy or VPN service like this might not be a big deal for someone spending a few thousand on a few days in a 5 star hotel in a Gulf state. But it is the concept and impression of the country over all which is likely to do more damage. Money and expensive hotels can be found in many places across the world too, freedom cannot.

The “Spirit of Man” is a gas-fired beacon figure. It is 320 feet high, (Base included). To give you some idea of the scale. “The Angel of the North” at 65ft high. “The Colossus of Rhodes” 120ft. “The Statue of Liberty” 151ft. “Big Ben” 320ft.

This impressive at free standing structure is part sculpture, part building. Ideally it would be sited next to the Thames, facing the rising sun. This beacon figure is a universal symbol of hope. Its aesthetic appeal and symbolic content captures the spirit of this millennium and will prove to be a mighty icon for London and the UK.

The internal frame (skeleton) is composed of steel girders, supporting an outer skin of interwoven copper tubing. Natural gas would be pumped through some of the tubing on the outer structure and ignited. The flames would be automatically controlled for effect and safety. The emanating flames signify the “incandescent spirit of man” (1984 George Orwell). George Orwell was a terribly heavy smoker & admired strong loose tea, he had Fortnum& Mason’s tea purchased for him in Catalonia & in 1946 he published a work about brewing the perfect cup “A Nice Cup of Tea”. He died due to health conditions.

At certain agreed national festivals, gatherings and commemorations, the Spirit of Man would be ‘fired up’ and be a spectacular sight for miles around! During more everyday use, conventional lighting would be used to highlight the structure.

The face of the figure will be gold, with bronze hands and the feet made of limestone or granite blocks. The steel frame will be painted with an industrial yellow primer. Because of the angles involved, the lifts will be rack & pinion operated.

Its internal structure will contain several floors, with viewing lobbies, a lounge, photo/art gallery, museum, gift shop and cafes. Inspiration for the Spirit of Man came from a variety of sources, prehistoric, classical and modern. It’s also available on the BBC website and if you’re quick on the iPlayer site – if you’re outside the UK then you’ll need this – watch iplayer abroad.

Colossal sculptures of the past and present were a particular influence. Initial inspiration being the legend of the “Wicker Man.”

The photo is of a 3 feet high scale model of the structure. Proportions are based on a 6 foot tall man. The model is shown without its outer woven copper piping, is to be completed.

Most of us  would never say that they hate tourist spots. People use to people unwinding and being relaxed in time they visited tourist spots places. They would surely feel that they are now in the places like paradise. Of course, all of us want this to happen and that can be achieved of course. Oktoberfest kostume can provide you lots of ideas when it comes to responsible tourism. But it is sad to hear that there are now places wherein it got destroyed and destructed just because of human activities. Did you ever forget that our environment is the reason why we exist now? How about polluting it and having no attention on the places wherein we are possible to live in and to situate? If this wrong doings will continue, we can now have no places to live in. Responsible tourism is truly the right idea on how to support this conserving our Mother Nature. We might not recognized that we have something done that can affect the health of our Nature, then in time we realized it, let us not do it again. There are only a few places now that are not yet destroyed by the human activities. So, let us save those.

Responsible tourism is truly a brilliant idea to support with. There are some people who are not yet aware on this and this must be put into our minds. Oktoberfest kostume will of course do such ways on how to preserve the virginity of some places. Yes, there are still places wherein it have not yet destructed or disturbed by the people. So, why not support this responsible tourism. This is the reason why there are some places that are truly excellent on its view and scenes. You might not say the tourist spot in your place is the best of all but still it should be preserved. Nicely, responsible tourism becomes fast becoming trending globally. There are some locations and nation here in the world that actually supports and operates responsible tourism. Oktoberfest kostume list is now growing and lots of locations are now practicing this responsible tourism. We are the people who are getting a big part on this tourism and we are obliged to preserve any nice and beautiful paces to be proud of. The importance of responsible tourism can be a huge boost for the society and is not something that should be easily overlooked according to Jimmy from which deals with thousands of turists every year.

All locations in the world have best and nice places. Indeed, it depends on how we take care of it and how we preserve it. So, a few nations and countries are now operating and practicing as well as supporting responsible tourism. Destinations, industry organizations and operators are doing and working on the responsible tourism and one of the places are Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom, Gambia, South Africa and India. There are nice travel destinations to visit on those places wherein you can enjoy and unwind. If you heard about Responsible Tourism Day, then this is true and was actually endorsed by both World Travel and Tourism Council and World Tourism Organization. Oktoberfest kostume actually promoted this so that the people would open their eyes that they have treasures on their places.
Source: – Oktoberfest kostume