What is Sustainable Tourism?
VisitScotland's definition of sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism is tourism committed to generating a low
impact on the surrounding environment and community by acting
responsibly while generating income and employment for the local
economy and aiding social cohesion. Sustainable tourism aims to
ensure that economic development as a result of tourism is a
positive experience for everyone involved; local community, tourism
businesses and visitors.
What does sustainable tourism mean in practice?
- Greener transport - transport is central to
tourism, but it also puts pressure on our natural resources and
makes a contribution to our global environmental impact. Measures
like encouraging visitors to use public transport, and innovations
in cleaner forms of transport will help in this area.
- Seasonal and geographical pressures - a
more even spread of visitors reduces pressure on natural and built
environments and on communities, and maximises the economic
benefits. VisitScotland tailors its marketing campaign to encourage
a spread of visitors throughout the year and around the country,
e.g. Surprise Yourself.
- Understanding the impacts - we need to work
with partners to measure the environmental and social impacts of
tourism so we can ensure that tourism development brings a positive
experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists
- Greener accommodation - a sustainable tourism
industry will be one in which all accommodation providers minimise
their waste, energy and water use. The Green Tourism Business
Scheme encourages businesses to reduce their environmental impact.
With over 800 Scottish members the scheme is one of the largest of
its kind in Europe.
How will Scottish tourism benefit from becoming more
Because it safeguards the very assets on which Scottish tourism
depends, taking a sustainable approach to tourism growth is the
only way to ensure long-term tourism growth in Scotland. Ignoring
the environmental or social impacts of tourism development will
ultimately undermine the success of tourism in this country.
Visitors benefit from a sustainable approach to tourism through
better links with local communities, a high quality tourism
experience and a natural and built environment that is cared
Becoming a sustainable tourism destination will give Scottish
tourism businesses a competitive edge by generating greater
community support for tourism, achieving cost savings and creating
new marketing opportunities.