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What is SUSTAINABLE TOURISM? What does SUSTAINABLE TOURISM mean? SUSTAINABLE TOURISM meaning - SUSTAINABLE TOURISM definition - SUSTAINABLE TOURISM explanation. Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license. Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping. It can be related to travel for leisure, business and what is called VFR (visiting friends and relatives). There is now broad consensus that tourism development should be sustainable; however, the question of how to achieve this remains an object of debate. Without travel there is no tourism, so the concept of sustainable tourism is tightly linked to a concept of sustainable mobility. Two relevant considerations are tourism's reliance on fossil fuels and tourism's effect on climate change. 72 percent of tourism's CO2 emissions come from transportation, 24 percent from accommodations, and 4 percent from local activities. Aviation accounts for 55% of those transportation CO2 emissions (or 40% of tourism's total). However, when considering the impact of all greenhouse gas emissions from tourism and that aviation emissions are made at high altitude where their effect on climate is amplified, aviation alone accounts for 75% of tourism's climate impact. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) considers an annual increase in aviation fuel efficiency of 2 percent per year through 2050 to be realistic. However, both Airbus and Boeing expect the passenger-kilometers of air transport to increase by about 5 percent yearly through at least 2020, overwhelming any efficiency gains. By 2050, with other economic sectors having greatly reduced their CO2 emissions, tourism is likely to be generating 40 percent of global carbon emissions. The main cause is an increase in the average distance travelled by tourists, which for many years has been increasing at a faster rate than the number of trips taken. "Sustainable transportation is now established as the critical issue confronting a global tourism industry that is palpably unsustainable, and aviation lies at the heart of this issue (Gossling et al., 2010)."
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