Unseen Passage: Sustainable Tourism

The UN’s 2017 International Year tells that sustainable tourism is an important tool for development, most importantly in poor communities and countries. Today sustainability – environmental, social, and economic – is increasingly recognised as the benchmark for all tourism businesses. As noted by the UN World Tourism Organisation, 57% of international tourist arrivals will be in emerging economies, by 2030. The various ‘Tourism Terms’ are defined as follows:

  • Ecotourism – Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, socially and economically sustains the well-being of local people, and creates knowledge and understanding through interpretation and education of all involved (including staff, travelers, and community residents).
  • Ethical Tourism – Tourism in a destination where ethical issues are the key driver, e.g, social injustice, human rights, animal welfare, or the environment.
  • Geotourism – Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and well-being of its residents.
  • Pro-Poor Tourism – Tourism that results in increased net benefit for the poor people in a destination.
  • Responsible Tourism – Tourism that maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species.
  • Sustainable Tourism – Tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life-support systems.

Based on data collected by a survey by Travel Bureau, the following market profile of an eco-tourist was constructed:

  • Age: 35 – 54 years old, although age varied with activity and other factors such as cost.
  • Gender: 50% female and 50% male, although clear differences based on activity were found.
  • Education: 82% were college graduates, a shift in interest in eco-tourism from those who have high levels of education to those with less education was also found, indicating an expansion into mainstream markets.
  • Household composition: No major differences were found between general tourists and experienced eco-tourists**
  • Party composition: A majority (60%) of experienced eco-tourism respondents stated they prefer to travel as a couple, with only 15% stating they preferred to travel with their families, and 13% preferring to travel alone.
  • Trip duration: The largest group of experienced eco-tourists- (50%) preferred trips lasting 8-14 days.
  • Expenditure: Experienced eco-tourists were willing to spend more than general tourists, the largest group (26%).
  • Important elements of trip: Experienced eco-tourists top three responses were: (a) wilderness setting, (b) wildlife viewing, (c) hiking/trekking.
  • Motivations for taking next trip: Experienced eco-tourists top two responses were (a) enjoy scenery/nature, (b) new experiences/places.

** experienced eco-tourists = Tourists that had been on at least one “eco-tourism” oriented trip.

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions:

  1. In the line “……recognised as the benchmark”, the word “benchmark” DOES NOT refer to:
    1. a basis for something.
    2. the criterion required.
    3. the ability to launch something new.
    4. a standard point of reference.
  2. The World Tourism Organisation of the UN, in an observation, shared that:
    1. emerging economies of the world will gain 57% of their annual profits from International tourists.
    2. countries with upcoming economies shall see maximum tourist footfall from all over the world in the next decade.
    3. a large number of international tourists in 2030 will be from developing countries.
    4. barely any tourist in the next decade shall travel from an economically strong nation to a weak one.
  3. One of the elements that is important to ecotourists on trip is:
    1. wild and untouched surroundings.
    2. cultural exchange.
    3. car and bus rides.
    4. fully furnished flats.
  4. Choose the option that lists the correct answers for the following:
    1. Asha Mathew, an NRI, loves animals and wishes to travel to places that safeguard their rights and inculcate awareness of their rights. What kind of tourist is she?
    2. Gurdeep Singh from UK is an environmental scientist and has always chosen to travel to places that are examples of a symbiotic relationship between man and nature. What kind of tourist is he?
    1. (1) is an eco-tourist and (2) is a geo tourist
    2. (1) is an ethical tourist and (2) is a geo tourist
    3. (1) is a sustainable tourist and (2) is a pro-poor tourist
    4. (1) is a geo tourist and (2) is a responsible tourist
  5. Based on your understanding of the passage, choose the option that lists the inherent qualities of geo tourism.
    1. showcases adventure sports 2. promotes landscape appreciations 3. promises luxurious travel 4. includes being environmentally responsible 5. believes in commercializing forests 6. initiates donations for the underprivileged
    1. 1 & 2
    2. 5 & 6
    3. 2 & 4
    4. 3 & 5
  6. In the market profile of an Eco-tourist, the information on gender indicates that:
    1. female eco-tourists were more than the male eco-tourists.
    2. the activity preferences were varied in females and males.
    3. the choice of things to do on a trip were quite similar for both the genders.
    4. male eco-tourists were frequent travellers.
  7. The education aspect in the market profile of the eco-tourist revealed that:
    1. mainstream market trends were popular with undergraduates.
    2. eco-tourists were only those who had basic education.
    3. mainstream markets were popular tourist destinations for educated eco-tourists.
    4. eco-tourism was no more limited to the small group of highly educated travellers.
  8. According to the survey conducted by the Travel Bureau, the total percentage of experienced eco-tourists who DID NOT prefer to travel alone was:
    1. 60%
    2. 75%
    3. 15%
    4. 13%
  9. According to the survey, one of the most powerful driving forces leading experienced eco-tourism to invest in new trips was:
    1. setting up work stations in new places.
    2. the chance to go camping in the wild.
    3. competing with other eco-tourists as frequent travellers.
    4. the opportunity to travel to new places.
  10. Choose the option that lists statement that is NOT TRUE.
    1. Economically backward countries will benefit from sustainable tourism.
    2. The tourism business currently recognizes sustainability as an important factor.
    3. Emerging economies will receive negligible international tourists in the near future.
    4. The sustainability factor in tourism is a significant means for development.
  11. The survey clearly showed that the age range of eco-tourists:
    1. remained the same for the choice of touristattractions to visit.
    2. changed with the monetary requirements for the trip.
    3. fluctuated due to male-female ratio.
    4. was constant across various features of the trip.
  12. Who isn’t an experienced eco-tourist?
    1. The person who has travelled as an eco-tourist once earlier.
    2. The person who is yet to travel even once as an eco-tourist.
    3. The person who is a regular eco-tourism enthusiast and traveller.
    4. The person who is not regularly travelling on eco-tourism trips.

Answer

  1. the ability to launch something new.
  2. countries with upcoming economies shall see maximum tourist footfall from all over the world in the next decade.
  3. wild and untouched surroundings.
  4. (1) is an ethical tourist and (2) is a geo tourist
  5. 2 & 4
  6. the activity preferences were varied in females and males.
  7. eco-tourism was no more limited to the small group of highly educated travellers.
  8. 75%
  9. the opportunity to travel to new places.
  10. Emerging economies will receive negligible international tourists in the near future.
  11. changed with the monetary requirements for the trip.
  12. The person who is yet to travel even once as an eco-tourist.

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