This article will provide a brief overview about the historic background, importance, concepts, principles plus general debates about sustainable tourism.

Sustainable tourism is one of the pre-requisites of achieving sustainable development. the concept of travel and leisure with sustainability and development gets its historical inclusion from bulk tourism that got flourished within 1960s due to advent of jet plane and the passions for tourism obtained tremendous following and it also reached Third World countries (Dann, 2002). It was furthermore argued that this boost pushed agencies like World Bank and EL to examine the cost benefit analysis associated with tourism and it was acknowledged that potential costs of tourism is much lower than financial benefits in shape associated with balance pf payment surpluses, infrastructure development, and employment and foreign exchange gains. So that gave rise to the concept of sustainable tourism as one of the way to obtain bringing sustainable development. According to the Tour’s Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), it is claimed that Tourism will be the world’s largest industry where within 2000, 698 million people journeyed internationally which 7. 3 % more than 1999. Similarly the economic worth of international tourism was US$477. 9 billion in 2000 (Papers4you. com, 2006).

In terms of one particular concrete definition, literature suggests that it is not fixed and is ever evolving. Nevertheless Coccossis (1996) asserts that lasting tourism can be taken in four different interpretations that include” economic durability of tourism”, the “ecologically environmentally friendly tourism”, ” sustainable tourism development” with both focus of environment along with long term feasibility of the industry and lastly “tourism as a part of a strategy for eco friendly development”.

As mentioned above, sustainable tourism should be taken in consideration to environmental and resources effects. It was argued that Mediterranean tourism is the main source of economic gain for the reason however short term growth was unnoticed with long term adverse effect and deterioration of their ecosystem and assets (Farsari, 2000)

Effects of ignorant travel and leisure on its sustainability include: ‘over consumption of natural resources, environmental destruction, exploitation of cultures and work, displacement of people from their land, insufficient consultation with local communities, poorly thought out tourism planning and higher foreign exchange leakage which reduces local economic benefits’ in long run (World’s Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002),

Where such effects are there to pose a threat on environmentally friendly tourism there are guiding principles that can lead to ensure sustainability (Papers4you. com, 2006). Those principles include lasting use of resources, waste and over-consumption reduction, diversity maintenance, tourism-planning incorporation, local economy support as well as group involvement, consultation, training, research plus responsible marketing (Farsari, 2000)

So the discussion suggest that tourism industry provides potential to be a prerequisite for lasting development, however it is imperative to understand that focus on mass tourism only can pose danger to environment therefore in order to ensure sustainability in travel and leisure, guiding principles should be followed


Coccossis, H. (1996) ‘Tourism plus Sustainability: Perspectives and Implications’ within Priestley, G. et al. (eds), Sustainable Tourism? European Experiences, Oughout. K.: Cab International
Dann, G, M, S, (2002), “Tourism & Development”, in Desai V and Potter, R. (eds) (2002), The particular Companion to Development Studies, Greater london: Arnold,

Farsari, Y, (2000), ‘Sustainable Tourism Indicators for Mediterranean Founded Destinations’, Heraklion: IACM & FORTH

Papers For You (2006) “C/T/32. Environmentally friendly travel & tourism”, Available from
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