One of the best definitions of sustainable tourism is that written by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which addresses what sustainable tourism actually should be doing.
Sustainable tourism should
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, which contribute to poverty alleviation in those areas.
Sustainable tourism development re