Sustainable Tourism: Overview

The world is continuously getting smaller as globe trotting gets easier with each passing year. In fact, tourism is one of the fastest growing industries [33]. One study by the World Travel and Tourism Counsel found, that in 2015, 1 in 11 jobs was related to tourism [35]. This is especially true in the Caribbean, where tourism has grown at a rate of 7%, nearly double the global average of 4% [3, 13]. Although tourism has continued to increase, natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 proved to be devasting to local tourism [19]. Fortunately, 2018 and 2019 saw a rebound of these numbers, yet this was completely undone by the Corona virus halting all travel in 2020. These various incidents prove the fragility of the entire tourism sector, and show how important it is to design a tourism plan which can help weather these dips.

At first glance it may appear that the demands of increasing tourism are at direct odds with conservation efforts, but this does not have to be the case. Designing a sustainable tourism plan will not only work to protect the environmental richness that inspired tourists to visit the islands in the first place, but actually enhance their overall experience. This special edition BioNews will work to introduce the idea of Sustainable Tourism and provide examples and objectives to help drive these efforts into the future. It is paramount that the development and growth of the tourism industry within the Dutch Caribbean take into account the fragility of its natural resources and work to ensure that these environments are protected for everyone to enjoy for years to come.


Portion of the Sustainable Tourism Special Edition BioNews

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