ski trails whistler tourism.jpeg
ski trails whistler tourism.jpeg

Sustainable Tourism

Define sustainable tourism.

Examine the extent to which it may be successfully implemented in different environments


Sustainable Tourism

Define sustainable tourism.

Examine the extent to which it may be successfully implemented in different environments

Sustainable tourism allows for continuation of activity at the same level for future generations.

It minimises the impact of activity on the environment; supports the livelihoods and culture of local people; manages resources to prevent depletion; and reduces the ecological footprint of industry.

What are the problems and opportunities facing tourism?


Conceptual definition

Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability.

Thus, sustainable tourism should:

1) Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.

2) Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.

3) Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary.

Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them.




  1. Write the definition of sustainable tourism above in the middle of your page.
  2. Read the rest of the document and annotate your definition with extra information about sustainable tourism principles.

sustainable tourism means business

  1. Read pp 5-6
  2. List and briefly describe the 6 good reasons to adopt a sustainable approach to tourism
  3. Read one of the longer explanations of these reasons, summarise it and share this with the class (pp 9-16)
  4. Add to your notes

Carrying capacity

physical carrying capacity - the measure of absolute space, for example the number of spaces within a car park

ecological carrying capacity - the level of use that an environment can sustain before environmental damage occurs

perceptual carrying capacity - the level of crowding that a tourist will tolerate before deciding that a location is too full


sustainable tourism in uganda

Watch the video above from the perspective of one of the thinking hats below:


group discussion

To what extent can tourism ever be made sustainable? [10 marks]

  1. Share your thoughts and notes with the group in the role that you were given.
  2. Listen to others, add to your notes.