More and more countries are increasingly dependent on tourism to bring in the revenue they need. So it’s worrying that so many tourism businesses still haven’t woken up to the daunting environmental, social and economic challenges that are about to engulf them.
The massive impact that climate change, for instance, will have on tourism destinations and tourism businesses has only just begun to sink in.
Add to that rising energy prices, water shortages, declining biodiversity, let alone concerns about wages, human rights and basic entitlements for employees in the tourism industry, and it looks very much like a ‘perfect storm’ of pressures that will have to be addressed without further delay.
All the more reason to look to the industry leaders – companies that are already reducing costs while simultaneously building reputation and market share by putting the practice of sustainable tourism at the heart of their enterprises.
This is now a fast-moving, extremely dynamic area: those that get it right will thrive; those that don’t will perish and we are just beginning to see the first evidence of that as the impacts of climate change begin to bite.
Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist, writer and founder of Forum for the Future