Tourism is constantly evolving. One of the biggest topics in tourism and hospitality today is sustainability. This is an especially important concern given that tourism numbers worldwide keep increasing. Left unchecked, too much tourism can end up undermining the very qualities of destinations that make them so appealing to travellers in the first place.
Now that global travel is something that many people can access relatively easily, with everything they need to know on their phones or in a guidebook, the hospitality industry must consider the increased impact of tourism. Sustainable tourism presents an opportunity to create exciting experiences for travellers that lessen impacts on the local environment while increasing economic benefits for locals. Read on to find out how it’s done.
What Does Sustainable Tourism Mean for Me?
As you go through your hospitality program it is likely you will find a common thread to the responsibilities for which you are preparing. For example, coordinating hotel activities, hiring and training staff, and managing supplies have many things in common. One is that in order for these tasks to be done well a person must be highly conscientious of how all of these interact.
Similarly, sustainable tourism requires awareness and action on the part of tourist and hospitality professionals. The goals of sustainable tourism include cultivating respect for local cultures, optimizing processes to lessen the impact on local ecologies, and contributing to the economic stability of a region. While there is no single sustainable tourism formula, it is imperative for hospitality professionals to coordinate with locals to ensure a fair distribution of benefits.
A Case Study: Parks Australia Sustainable Tourism
In Australia, the Parks department laid out a plan to use the UN World Tourism Organization’s definition of sustainable tourism as a guide. The management principles focused on an approach that would consider “the tourism industry, traditional owners, local communities, government agencies and visitors” in its plans. This was especially important in Australia given that much of its natural wonders are both incredibly unique and extremely fragile.
Approximately 1.4 million people visit parks in Australia each year and the impacts are significant. In this example, a sustainable approach became a management tool that centred the preservation of environments and cultures so people can keep enjoying them. In fact, Parks Australia said that a greater understanding of the environment and cultural values enhanced visitor experiences rather than detracting from them. The example of Parks Australia is something you can use after your own hospitality training in order to improve sustainable tourism practices wherever you work.
Use Your Hospitality Training to Educate Others About Sustainability
Your passion to connect cultures and communities will serve you well in creating sustainable tourist experiences. In your hospitality management training, you will develop skills that can be applied in many areas that contribute to sustainability.
For example, you can use your training to educate staff and visitors about a hotel’s sustainability practices. More and more, consumers want their experiences to be ethical and, as noted above in the case of Parks Australia, knowledge sharing contributes to visitor experiences as well as a sense of belonging for everyone. With a career in hospitality, you can take your sustainability knowledge around the world.
Ready to begin your journey?