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7209THS : Sustainable Tourism

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7209THS : Sustainable Tourism

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Course Code: 7209THS
University: Griffith University

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Country: Australia

With reference to Edgell (2016, Figure 1.2), explain your understanding of ecotourism, geotourism, responsible tourism and cultural tourism. Explain how these components relate to sustainable tourism.Guidelines to follow :In this essay, are required to write in the 3rd person (i.e. not I, me, you, we, our, etc.). also required to use the appropriate format for university essays (see guides for essay writing). essay must include:An introduction, which introduces the topic, states the argument of the essay and states what points the essay will cover. (i.e., outlines the main points).A body, which (1) reviews the key literature and concepts related to the essay topic, and (2) critically discusses the main points of the essay (and builds the sustained argument), with industry examples to support your arguments.A conclusion, which restates the main argument.

The term sustainable tourism concept entered in the tourism industry few decades ago which deals in adaptation of critical steps that makes tourism activities more sustainable (United Nations Environment Programme, n.d.). Due to emerging issues like over usage of natural resources and increased rate in CO2 emissions, etc., challenges posed and consequences of tourism was seen developing appropriately. Therefore, in mid 90s, particularly in international mass tourism along with inexorable global spread of pleasure periphery, many organisations like WTO and UNESCO came up to consider negative impacts of tourism and bring in alternative approaches for development in tourism industry (Wee, 2017). According to Edgell (2016), Ecotourism, Geotourism, responsible and cultural tourism are considered as key components of sustainable tourism. This also forms the basis behind preparing this essay where present literature related to the above mentioned four components will be identified to find out how they contribute in providing sustainable tourism development.
Ecotourism is deep-rooted in sustainable tourism development concept, as stated by researchers and authors (Edgell, 2016). According to the recent reports, ecotourism has perceived significance in promoting sustainable tourism development in many countries where it helped communities develop an alternative source of livelihood along with nation’s economic development (Qian, Shen, & Law, 2018).  According to Kiper (2013), “Ecotourism is a sub-component of the field of sustainable tourism” (p. 773). The potentiality in ecotourism is the main reason why developing countries are including ecotourism activities as an alternative solution for economic and nature development. Ecotourism activities involves visiting of natural sites to learn or carry environment related activities and experiencing natural landscapes, flora, fauna and local inhabitants along with other cultural artefacts. Carefully planned ecotourism involves natural and cultural areas including natural assets while directing people to travel for attractive force and conserving ecological environment to gain sustainable tourism development. Ecotourism contributes in preservation of bio-diversity also. Australia is a good example for ecotourism destinations that have supported the country immensely in contributing towards sustainable tourism development. Examples are: The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Tasmania Forest famous for marine reserves and Kakadu National Park preserving rock art, wildlife, birds and aquatic creatures (Glazier, 2016).
Geotourism is a newer concept that has evolved in sustainable tourism development. While biodiversity and ecotourism has involved in academic literature since last thirty years, geotourism, geodiversity and geo-tours concepts are also emerging that are based on geological environment (Escorihuela, 2017). Geotourism can also be defined as a tourism activity in which area’s related to landscape and geology forms the basis of nurturing sustainable tourism development. The essence of geotourism starts with understanding of interpretation of geology in the forms of landscapes and landforms along with its formation processes like how it formed or what was the time of its formation. This holistic understanding of nature and environment provides residents and tourist great connection to understand the environment in which they live. Geotourism is also deals with promotion of geo-conservation to foster Earth’s heritage by benefiting local society along with geo-tourism activities. For example, Iceland, in Mid-Atlantic Ridge is famous for geotourism activities.  It is one of the most active volcanic regions on earth since last 1000 years and being in Icelandic region, there are vast number of tourists visiting this area. The country has 2 World Heritage Regions, one Geopark and 4 National parks along with 80 nature reserves and has become a popular tourist spots especially for geologists (Dowling, 2013).
Responsible tourism
The sustainability of responsible tourism is stressed by authors and researchers who defines responsible tourism as “a form of tourism which respect the host’s natural, built and cultural environments and the interest of all parties concerned” (Chettiparamb & Kokkranikal, 2012, p. 03). However, absence of distinction between sustainable and responsible tourism, as prompted in literature has surrounded sustainable tourism under controversies along with involving the topic in debates and discussions. For example, the debate related to sustainability is often criticised due to lack in conceptual clarity where it has been characterised as inadequate and flawed concept based on misconception while performing the role of tourism and sustainable development. The growing number of environmental-friendly tourism activities and organisations taking the initiatives still argues that responsible tourism solely cannot prove as an ultimate solution for growing issues in environment rather corresponding the negative impacts can bring a significant change (Aall, 2014). Therefore, responsible tourism concept has been arisen in past few decades to consider responsible activities in tourism destinations without hampering environment and nature. South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) states that responsible tourism is a form of tourist activity that promotes responsibility towards environment by utilising available resources responsibly along with involving local communities in tourism activities (Bob, 2016).
Cultural tourism
Tourism also plays a significant role in developing destinations around the globe. Accordingly, culture is also assumed as major beneficiaries and regarded as key asset in tourism industry. Gastronomy, festivals and visiting cultural events along with vising beaches and natural mountains also falls under cultural tourism elements. According to Mousavi, Doratli & Moradiahari (2016), the diversity and complex relationship between tourism and culture underlines the issues while cultural tourism is defined. For example, considering culture as key aspect in human life, it may be probable to assume that everything relates to culture and therefore, every tourism activity can be related to cultural tourism. Nevertheless, this is a broader and holistic approach that is particularly unnecessary in identifying significant cultural principles in tourism and vice-versa. It is obvious that cultural tourism plays a significant role in sustainable development of tourism industry as it provides critical contribution in identifying sites that are culturally very important. The sites may include promotion of national monuments or creation of alternative cultural itineraries to give resident identity. City of Zadar in Croatia is one of the finest examples that shows how culture promotes tourism in the countries (Gluva?evi?, 2016).
The growing concern towards environment and nature have evolved sustainable tourism concept where large number of organisations like WTO and UNESCO are undertaking necessary steps to safeguard the nature while promoting sustainable tourism activities. The above essay has identified contributions made by ecotourism, geotourism, responsible and cultural tourism for enabling sustainable tourism development. All the above-mentioned components provide with one core activity i.e. tourism, but relates to diversified attractions and peculiar interests in destinations. World tourism indicates that destination branding has become unavoidable activity. In this regard, every destination tries their best to get themselves distinguished form the others and become more competitive that indirectly promotes sustainable and developed tourism activities.
Aall, C. (2014). Sustainable Tourism in Practice: Promoting or Perverting the Quest for a Sustainable Development? Sustainability, 06(05), 2562-2583.
Bob, U. (2016). An assessment of responsible tourism behaviour among beach tourists in Durban, South Africa. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 05(03), 1-14.
Chettiparamb, A., & Kokkranikal, J. (2012). Responsible Tourism and Sustainability – the Case of Kumarakom, Kerala, India. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism Leisure and Events, 04(03), 302-326.
Dowling, R. K. (2013). Global Geotourism – An Emerging Form of Sustainable Tourism. Czech Journal of Tourism, 02(02), 59-79.
Edgell, D. L. (2016). Managing Sustainable Tourism: A Legacy for the Future. New York: Routledge.
Escorihuela, J. (2017). The Contribution of the Geotourism to the Sustainable Development: The Role of Geoethics. Arch & Anthropol Open Acc, 01(03), 1-3.
Glazier, R. (2016). Ecotourism Destinations: Australia. Retrieved from https://blog.goway.com/globetrotting/2016/07/ecotourism-destinations-australia/
Gluva?evi?, D. (2016). The Power of Cultural Heritage In Tourism- Example of The City of Zadar(Croatia). International Journal of Scientific Management and Tourism, 02(01), 03-24.
Kiper, T. (2013). Role of Ecotourism in Sustainable Development. In Advances in Landscape Architecture (pp. 773-882). Creative Commons.
Mousavi, S. S., Doratli, N., Mousavi, S. N., & Moradiahari, F. (2016). Defining Cultural Tourism. International Conference on Civil, Architecture and Sustainable Development, 01(02), 70-75.
Qian, J., Shen, H., & Law, R. (2018). Research in Sustainable Tourism: A Longitudinal Study of Articles between 2008 and 2017. Sustainability, 10, 1-13.
United Nations Environment Programme. (n.d.). Sustainable Tourism Development in UNESCO Designated Sites in South-Eastern Europe . Retrieved from https://portal.unesco.org/en/files/45338/12417872579Introduction_Sustainable_Tourism.pdf/Introduction_Sustainable_Tourism.pdf
Wee, C. H. (2017). Emerging Trends in Tourism: Opportunities, Challenges and Implications. Journal of Tourism & Hospitality, 06(06), 1-5.

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