In the last 50 years, tourism has been transformed from a leisure activity to a major business sector worldwide. In addition, while it was concentrated in a few world cities and sites, tourism is becoming increasingly global incorporating new destinations and reaching far distant places. Today, tourism is a key ingredient in the economic development strategy of many nations. The attractiveness of tourism as a generator of income, employment, tax collections, and foreign exchange earnings has led many countries to enter the competition of attracting international travelers to their destinations. The spectacular growth of tourism has brought to the attention of policy-makers its potential as an engine for economic growth, but also the problems it can create if left uncontrolled (EC, 2003). Tourism as a complex economic activity has multiple linkages to a wide range of other economic sectors and activities, thus having positive multiplier effects and a potential to act as a catalyst for economic development (Vellas, 2002). Particularly, at a local/regional level it offers opportunities for employment and income, spurring regional and local economic developments, which are often unique chances for many small and distant places with limited other options for development. However, although tourism has economic benefits, it has significantly contributed to environmental degradation, negative social and cultural impacts and habitat fragmentation. Tourism’s unplanned growth has damaged the natural and socio-cultural environments of many destinations. As tourism grows in a destination, major economic, social-cultural and environmental changes occur and as a consequence tourism has become a priority field in policy making at local, regional, national, supranational and international level. As a result, the notion of sustainable tourism emerges in order to conserve and preserve the natural resources, human well-being and long term economic viability of communities. Three are the dimensions of sustainable tourism: economic, socio-cultural and ecological dimensions. First, there is no doubt that sustainable tourism must be economically feasible, because tourism is an economic activity. Economic sustainability, in this regard, implies optimizing the development growth rate at a manageable level with full consideration of the limits of the destination environment. Moreover, the economic benefits from tourism should be fairly well distributed throughout the community. Second, socio-cultural sustainability implies respect for social identity and social capital, for community culture and its assets, and for a strengthening of social cohesiveness and pride that will allow community residents to control their own lives. Third, environmental sustainability recognizes that natural resources of the individual community and the world should be no longer viewed as abundant and are, in fact, constantly being depleted. The natural environment must be protected for its own intrinsic value and as a resource for present and future generations. This paper reviews the nature and scope of research into the environmental impact of tourism, the role such research may play in tourist development and conservation and the constraints which may be encountered. Research in this field is characterized by a wide spectrum of generally complex interrelationships and impacts. In recent years there has been a growing call from policy-makers for environmental guidelines, indicators and other research but as yet few immediate solutions to their problems and answers to their requests are to hand. The complexity of the issues involved and other difficulties have also limited the extent to which research has been fed into the decision-making process. So, there is a challenging need to identify the relationships between environmental quality and tourism. This paper has two objectives. The first is to identify indicators in order to measure sustainability in tourism areas and to allow the extension of the concept of sustainable tourism to touristic destination. Secondly, the study explores and illustrates the usefulness of the relationships between tourism and environment. It may be especially important to be able to isolate key variables which can be consolidated into few indices of environmental conditions as they are related to tourism. Such indices might be used to identifying associations among groups of variables, such as specific geographic area.

”Sustainable Tourism” Indicators: a Mapping of the Italian Destinations

Quintano C
2013

Abstract

In the last 50 years, tourism has been transformed from a leisure activity to a major business sector worldwide. In addition, while it was concentrated in a few world cities and sites, tourism is becoming increasingly global incorporating new destinations and reaching far distant places. Today, tourism is a key ingredient in the economic development strategy of many nations. The attractiveness of tourism as a generator of income, employment, tax collections, and foreign exchange earnings has led many countries to enter the competition of attracting international travelers to their destinations. The spectacular growth of tourism has brought to the attention of policy-makers its potential as an engine for economic growth, but also the problems it can create if left uncontrolled (EC, 2003). Tourism as a complex economic activity has multiple linkages to a wide range of other economic sectors and activities, thus having positive multiplier effects and a potential to act as a catalyst for economic development (Vellas, 2002). Particularly, at a local/regional level it offers opportunities for employment and income, spurring regional and local economic developments, which are often unique chances for many small and distant places with limited other options for development. However, although tourism has economic benefits, it has significantly contributed to environmental degradation, negative social and cultural impacts and habitat fragmentation. Tourism’s unplanned growth has damaged the natural and socio-cultural environments of many destinations. As tourism grows in a destination, major economic, social-cultural and environmental changes occur and as a consequence tourism has become a priority field in policy making at local, regional, national, supranational and international level. As a result, the notion of sustainable tourism emerges in order to conserve and preserve the natural resources, human well-being and long term economic viability of communities. Three are the dimensions of sustainable tourism: economic, socio-cultural and ecological dimensions. First, there is no doubt that sustainable tourism must be economically feasible, because tourism is an economic activity. Economic sustainability, in this regard, implies optimizing the development growth rate at a manageable level with full consideration of the limits of the destination environment. Moreover, the economic benefits from tourism should be fairly well distributed throughout the community. Second, socio-cultural sustainability implies respect for social identity and social capital, for community culture and its assets, and for a strengthening of social cohesiveness and pride that will allow community residents to control their own lives. Third, environmental sustainability recognizes that natural resources of the individual community and the world should be no longer viewed as abundant and are, in fact, constantly being depleted. The natural environment must be protected for its own intrinsic value and as a resource for present and future generations. This paper reviews the nature and scope of research into the environmental impact of tourism, the role such research may play in tourist development and conservation and the constraints which may be encountered. Research in this field is characterized by a wide spectrum of generally complex interrelationships and impacts. In recent years there has been a growing call from policy-makers for environmental guidelines, indicators and other research but as yet few immediate solutions to their problems and answers to their requests are to hand. The complexity of the issues involved and other difficulties have also limited the extent to which research has been fed into the decision-making process. So, there is a challenging need to identify the relationships between environmental quality and tourism. This paper has two objectives. The first is to identify indicators in order to measure sustainability in tourism areas and to allow the extension of the concept of sustainable tourism to touristic destination. Secondly, the study explores and illustrates the usefulness of the relationships between tourism and environment. It may be especially important to be able to isolate key variables which can be consolidated into few indices of environmental conditions as they are related to tourism. Such indices might be used to identifying associations among groups of variables, such as specific geographic area.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12570/17532
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