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Tourism – sustainable development option?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2000

Human Ecology Division, Lund University, Finngatan 16, 22362 Lund, Sweden Tel: +46 46 142493/+46 46 222 3697 Fax: +46 46 222 3695 e-mail:


In the 1990s, tourism received increasing attention as a low-impact, non-consumptive development option, in particular for developing countries. It is argued that tourism allows for the use of areas which are otherwise of low value, such as remote beaches, but perfectly meet the demands of the growing travel industry (e.g. WWF [World Wide Fund for Nature ] 1995; World Bank 1998). In line with the concept of sustainable tourism, it is believed that negative social and environmental impacts can be avoided or minimized if tourism development is thoroughly well planned and controlled. This view can be contrasted with the fact that what may be considered sustainable forms of tourism still represent an extremely small share of all tourism, presumably less than 5%, and that some impacts like the use of energy and its global consequences have virtually been excluded from the discussion on sustainability.

© 2000 Foundation for Environmental Conservation

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