What is the difference between Sustainable Tourism Management and Sustainable Management of Tourism?

They might seem synonymous, in reality, it is right to make a distinction.

Originally I had already explored this concept in-depth, but today I analyze it even more in detail.


Sustainable tourism management focuses on managing one type of tourism, from the preconceived notion that ecotourism, nature tourism, or sustainable tourism is a subsector of tourism. For some authors, it is a type of tourism intended for all those people attracted by the knowledge of natural resources in particular of a destination.

For others, it has been identified as alternative tourism and different subtypes have been exposed: from the rural one, whose main motivation is to know and sometimes implement human habits and customs in the rural world; to ornithological tourism. The common denominator of all of them is that they are a type of tourism that tries to move away from mass tourism, or at least, it tended to be understood that way at the time.



On the other hand, sustainable tourism management is governed by sustainability summits regardless of the specific type of tourism on which the activity is based and generally applied to all areas and types that tourism includes.

It is necessary to take this last premise into consideration, as well as to distinguish between the two concepts, in order to apply development strategies in the field of tourism under a prism that apologizes (as in praise, defense, and justification) to sustainability and that does not infringe the ideal barriers of equilibrium in any of the aforementioned vertices.


Externalities, however, as a concept, appear when it comes to sustainable tourism management. These are factors that have been excluded from the traditional economic equilibrium but tend to be included from the point of view of environmental economics. Therefore, by varying the competitiveness of destinations based on the impact on the natural resources that are produced in the place; assuming that the landscape and the natural environment of these places are its main attraction.


These factors always include those variables that affect the environment and that can be caused both by local residents and by the tourist activity that takes place there.


For this reason, at a micro or local level, we could speak of the destruction of wild habitats. This is the case in Hawaii, as explained in the publication Negative Impact of Tourism on Hawaii Natives and Environment, where the great development of hotels (among other tourism infrastructures) from 1985 to 2010 multiplied the number of rooms from 65,000 to 132,000. the consumption and waste of the five (there have been years that reached seven) millions of tourists who visit the Hawaiian islands every year and also the energy resources they need directly affect the environment. For these reasons, it has been reported that 60% of Hawaii's plants and species are considered critically endangered.



Another example would be the fragmentation of society linked to the creation of tourist ghettos, as in the specific case of Angkor Wat in Cambodia a few years ago. The saturation of tourists creates such a “non-local” atmosphere in the place that some visitors with their actions tend to insult the local population, as well as their culture and religion.


On the other hand, the vast majority of locals who did not have the means to benefit from tourism during the "boom" remained in the same situation of poverty: as in the city of Siam Reap, prices have skyrocketed and clear evidence among the upper and lower social classes was even more marked, virtually bypassing the middle class.


This creates a rejection of tourism by the locals, which subsequently negatively affects the value of the place for the tourist, as they may feel rejected due to generalization by the local population. And this goes exactly against our principle of ecotourism, i.e. tourism based on nature and culture that is both ecologically sustainable and above all supports the well-being of local communities.


And you, would you have any example of a place you have visited with similar situations?


#Sustainabletourism #Tourismexternalities #Sustainablecommunities

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