What is "Sustainable Tourism?" First of all, an excellent definition of "sustainability" is simply "the capacity to endure." Or, not to leave negative impacts to future generations from our actions today.
Sustainable Tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources such that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems (source: UNWTO).
GeoTourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – the environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and well-being of its residents. (source: National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations)
Sustainability is about “building a relationship” with the places you visit – with the local culture, the natural environment and working together with people who live there and partners to enhance and protect for the future.
Sustainable tourism is on a rapid rise...Consumer awareness of sustainability efforts is growing and they are demanding change. The tour and travel industry, associations, corporations and individual advocates are making a positive effort through strategic plans. Such changes include wonderful programs and efforts to enhance cultural integration and development with local people and the local economy.
The chart below from by Phocus Wright provides a nice visual representation of the various aspects of “Sustainable Travel.”