Miguel is responsible for LGS Panama Tourism Development‘s operations.
A recent Technavio report revealed that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the negative environmental impacts of tourism, driving demand for sustainable tourism. In fact, the sustainable tourism market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.72% and is expected to record incremental growth of $235.21 billion between 2020 and 2025, according to the report.
Is your development team ready to keep pace with these seismic shifts in the global sustainable tourism market? Have you thought about how your next ecological development will include sustainable use of water, a local wastewater treatment plant, solar panels, electrical internal transportation and more?
3 ways to improve the local environment and reduce negative effects
The top three most important things a developer should be aware of when starting an ecological development are:
1. Conscious water consumption and quality protection
Preventing water pollution and waste is now an important part of any ecological development. We can’t live without water, and yet only about 0.3% of the world’s water resources are usable, leaving more than a billion people without sufficient drinking water. Given this – and the fact that water consumption doubled between 1940 and 1980 alone – it’s vital to be extremely careful with our water resources, especially as the world’s population continues to increase.
2. Preserving air quality, including its energy sources
Preserving the air quality of the local environment should be a top priority for any ecological developer. As researchers continue to explore the relationships between air quality and natural ecosystems to better understand how lakes, forests and other ecosystems are affected by air pollution, research is already showing that reducing air pollution is associated with widespread public health benefits. For example, a study found that reductions in fine particle pollution in U.S. cities between 1980 and 2000 led to marked improvements in average life expectancy at birth.
3. Waste reduction and its controlled disposal
Responsible planning for waste reduction and its controlled disposal is critical to any ecological development. Waste poses a challenge to everyone on Earth, although with more than 90% of the waste because they are overtly dumped or incinerated in low-income countries, the poor and vulnerable are most affected. In recent years, landslides from landfills have even buried homes and people under piles of garbage. Sameh WahbaWorld Bank director for urban and territorial development, disaster risk management and resilience, is quoted as saying: “Poorly managed waste pollutes the world’s oceans, clogs drains and causes flooding, transmits disease, increases respiratory problems from combustion, harms animals that consume waste unknowingly. , and affect economic development, such as through tourism.”
Guidelines and practices for sustainable tourism development
In addition to the environmental impact of all ecological developments, it is also important for new tourism projects to consider whether they fall under the umbrella of ‘sustainable tourism’.
The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, and meets the needs of visitors, industry, the environment and host communities.”
As a result, all tourism developments should consider these three best practices when it comes to sustainable tourism:
• Optimize environmental resources. All ecological developers should work to preserve the natural heritage and biodiversity of the environment and maximize the use of natural resources.
• Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of the place. It is equally important to pay tribute to the socio-cultural authenticity of the communities in which you build, while preserving their existing heritage and values.
• Ensure long-term socio-economic benefits. Ensure that development delivers socio-economic benefits to the community in a sustainable way by providing stable employment opportunities and contributing to long-term poverty alleviation.
Creating ecological development and achieving sustainable tourism requires a consistent commitment to monitoring the impact of the project. It is an ongoing process that sometimes requires corrections.
By maintaining the highest level of tourism satisfaction and ensuring that your project provides them with a meaningful experience, you can not only raise awareness of sustainability issues, but also promote sustainable tourism practices to those tourists who increasingly appreciate this approach.