Responsible tourism for human well-being
Tourism is one of the most important economic industries in the world, driven by consumer motivations such as pleasure, business or study; it also generates important impacts on ecosystems, culture and social structures of the receptive community. Hence, it makes clear that, there is an inconsistence in the benefits that tourism brings to human well-being, which could be balanced if responsible practices are developed.
Tourism and well-being: a two sided relationship
Based on the hierarchies need’s pyramid proposed by Maslow, we could say that tourism brought humans the opportunity to develop activities to satisfy their love/belonging, esteem and self actualisation needs. In contrast, the negative impact of those activities on natural and social resources, landscape and culture have an affect in short term on communities, and in medium and long term the planet’s biodiversity; decreasing possibilities to satisfy basic needs such as physiological, safety and security health.
Therefore, it is essential to promote responsible tourism practices involving receptive communities, services providers and tourists.
Owing to this reality, there is a new type of respectful and sensitive tourist that is looking for better understanding of cultures and ecosystems; visiting unconventional destinations while creating transcendent experiences. They are trying to learn about new cultures from an intercultural perspective, where their approach to host communities’ livelihood and with the conservation of protected areas is an important attribute for their travel experience. As well as this, there are services providers interested in the conservation of cultural heritage and biodiversity of the receptive communities where they are developing their practices.
In other words, the worldwide trend of this industry aims to develop their practices towards inclusive and sustainable tourism, where its planning, implementation and later stages bring knowledge to conserve and improve the ecological, biological and cultural quality of destinations. This is a progressive track to advance, where it is necessary for a constant commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
To speak about responsible tourism it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of destination, community and practices developed by services providers and tourists. It has to be sensible and tolerant.
Sensible, because it supports environmental politics of locality and social surroundings; also it encourages human rights and international labour agreements. Tolerant, because it invites passive tourists to become active ones, integrating them with cultural and natural scope. Responsible tourism transforms the tourism activities into a learning experience about the livelihood and customs of destinations, in order to create an added value of travels.
If we wish to enjoy of the advantages offered for tourism into human well-being, we need to conserve landscaping, cultural and biological attributes of each destination. Please, let us widen our consciousness into our travel practices and preferences when we are selecting a service. Help to fortify responsible tourism