What does sustainability
mean to us?
The aim of sustainable tourism is ultimately to increase the benefits and to reduce the negative impacts caused by tourism for destinations. It’s a complex and continuous process and requires the participation of all stakeholders.
As tourism grows within Region 7, we face several pressing sustainability issues. First and foremost is climate change. But tourism sustainability is also threatened by destination degradation, that can threaten the tourist-resident relationship. And the sharing economy, while it has many benefits, also brings challenges such as accommodation shortages for the local tourism workforce.
To RTO7, long-term sustainability requires finding a suitable balance between the environment, the economy and social needs (as outlined below). This will be challenging, however. Not balancing the three pillars may lead to a region in conflict with the environment, residents, businesses, and tourists.
e.g. protecting natural environments, wildlife, and natural resources when developing and managing tourism activities, providing education through guided tours, providing adequate infrastructure, encouraging responsible tourism, etc.
e.g. providing authentic tourist experiences that celebrate and conserve heritage and culture while promoting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (or EDI, which has many benefits including workforce attraction/retention), providing positive interaction points for community members and the visitor, etc.
e.g. creating an environment for tourism businesses to be successful and, importantly, financially stable, extending their season, encouraging businesses to buy more products locally, providing favourable income-earning opportunities within host communities, etc.
We recognize the need for a longer-term shift amongst both stakeholders and tourists towards improving and increasing sustainability, and as such, we are committed to supporting our tourism operators (as well as municipalities and other organizations) in their sustainability efforts in all aspects of their operations, products and experiences.
We currently need your help in determining what the next step towards sustainable tourism should be. Thank you for completing this short survey in order to share your views with us.