The tourism sector has grown exponentially in recent years, and is responsible for a good part of the economy and commerce in many places. However, in addition to the great advantages that this activity presents, it generates another large number of inconveniences with high repercussions, for example, the contamination of natural spaces with a large influx of tourists. Thus, sustainable tourism arises from the need to create a type of tourism that allows us to continue enjoying the wonders that we can find all over the world, but guaranteeing their conservation so that others can continue to enjoy them.
If you are still not convinced by the importance of this new type of tourism, in this Green Ecologist article we will tell you why sustainable tourism is important. We anticipate that it has become such an important issue for the planet that congresses are held for it in many countries, such as the National Ecotourism Congress held in Spain.
Sustainable tourism, also called ecological tourism, refers to tourism governed by the sustainability principles, that is to say, it considers the effects it has currently and in the future in order to meet the needs of visitors and generate income and employment, but causing a low impact on the social environment and the environment that this tourism receives.
From sustainable tourism another related term arises, solidarity tourism. This tourism is one that considers a way of traveling that is based on the respect of those travelers who make tourism towards the other people and places they visit. Furthermore, these tourists contribute to the economy of the place through the use of accommodation found in places managed by that community, as well as visiting and collaborating in solidarity projects that are developed in the area and the purchase and consumption of local products.
Find out more about Ecotourism: definition and characteristics in this other Green Ecologist article. However, it should be borne in mind that concern for the environment at this deeper level is something recent in the tourism sector and, therefore, the different entities related to it, such as the National Ecotourism Congress in Spain, they consider that the foundations of sustainable tourism still have to be well laid, many aspects defined and their management improved in the different destinations.
We have commented that sustainable tourism is governed by the principles of sustainability. But what are these principles? The sustainable, ecological or responsible tourism It is considered more than a specific type of model, as a movement that is based on the following basic principles:
Hand in hand with the principles on which it is based, sustainable tourism encompasses a series of essential objectives supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Common to all of them is the need to guarantee sustainability through tourism. The basic premise of sustainable tourism is that we are able to visit a place and enjoy it without producing a negative impact on it when we leave.
As we can guess with all the above information, the main goal of sustainable tourism is to take into account both the benefits and the derived problems. In this way we will be able to enjoy to a greater extent while avoiding the damages that we can cause to the environment, especially in the environmental and social fields.
Based on the objectives set by the UNWTO, we can distinguish the following ecotourism objectives:
Although we remember that, as we have commented before, the different associations and other entities, such as the National Ecotourism Congress, continue to debate and set ecotourism objectives, both locally and generally, throughout the globe.
Tourist activity moves a very high number of people around the world. Undoubtedly, it provides multiple economic benefits where this tourism is received, but it also produces great impacts on the social and natural environment and the environment. Some examples of these damages are the acceleration of climate change, the large amount of waste that is produced and that is harmful, the loss of natural spaces due to the large influx of people, with the consequent loss of biodiversity, among many other aspects. In this other article you can consult information on How ecotourism influences the environment.
For all this, it is necessary to include a type of tourism that allows us to travel and visit places, but that does not cause dire consequences on the environment. A) Yes, sustainable tourism, ecological or ecotourism offers another more respectful alternative that produces multiple benefits at different levels. For all this, sustainable tourism is important:
We also recommend this other Green Ecologist article to give you ideas on How to do sustainable tourism.
As we have pointed out at the beginning, as a result of the great reception and growth that ecotourism is experiencing, a variety of specialized companies, associations and other entities dedicated to this type of tourism have emerged. In addition, congresses are already taking place around the world, bringing together industry professionals and other stakeholders to discuss and work to continually improve the concept, goals and achievements of sustainable tourism.
This is the case of Spain, the National Ecotourism Congress has been created due to the significant increase in this in recent years. This congress is about to celebrate its third edition and it will do so in Cangas del Narcea, in Asturias, from November 13 to 15, 2022. It arose from the growing need to lay the criteria and the foundations of sustainable tourism or ecotourism, which will facilitate that all those involved, from companies and associations to the users and tourists themselves, can understand the related aspects alike. Likewise, it is also an important point for the conservation of nature and for local development, issues that the congress intends to address to ensure that it is really contributing to it.
The III National Congress of Ecotourism It is the benchmark congress for sustainable tourism destinations and companies in Spain, since it will talk about the aforementioned, but it will also seek to identify new needs of the sector and, based on them, it will seek to define the next actions to improve the ecotourism in Spain. Thus, it will talk about the management of destinations for ecotourism in Spain, marketing and promotion aspects and also about training and cooperation between the different agents involved in Spanish sustainable tourism.
It has been decided that this edition will host Cangas del Narcea, in the Principality of Asturias, due to the fact that it has long been a benchmark in sustainable tourism and nature tourism. This, in addition, offers those attending the III National Congress of Ecotourism in Spain the possibility of carrying out complementary activities, such as tastings and guided visits, and also visiting the Natural Park of Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Íbias, as well as the Muniellos Biosphere Reserve, enclaves for this type of tourism.
As a summary, to get to know well the focus and reason for the III National Ecotourism Congress, we explain two fundamental points in more detail: why Cangas del Narcea has been selected as the venue for the event and the specific objectives of this congress.
After the success of the two previous editions of the Congress, in which the business sector and public administrations have responded with high attendance, its celebration in future editions has generated great interest. With the approval of the Secretary of State for Tourism, the candidacy of the Rural Tourism Association of Fuentes del Narcea, a member of the Ecotourism Club, to host the third edition of the Congress in 2022. This candidacy had the firm support of the Cangas del Narcea City Council and the public tourism company of the Principality of Asturias, to which was added the following aspects in favor:
The goal of the III National Ecotourism Congress is to be the useful meeting place and of reference for the actors involved in Ecotourism in Spain. The specific objectives:
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