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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Sustainability in tourism

Kirjoittanut: Jasmiina Servo - tiimistä Eventa.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Sustainable Development
Mikä kestävä kehitys
Sustainable Development of Tourism
Sustainable tourism in Finland
European Comission
The UN Association of Finland
Visit Finland
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Sustainability in tourism


We are increasingly consuming more and more resources as the world’s population grows even further. The struggle for clean water and farm-eligible soil is already a reality for many people. At the same time we waste our resources permanently. We have neglected the adverse consequences of our production and our consumption patterns for the enviroment and for the people in most vulnerable social positions. Enormous waste masses floating in the oceans that are mostly made of plastic are example of this kind of behaviour. Birds and sea animals are lurking in the plastic wastes, but the visible debris is just the top of the iceberg. (The UN Association of Finland 2015.)

The consept of sustainable delelopment was first introduced in the so-called Bruland’s Comission report in 1987. In it’s final report, the Commission defined the concept of sustainable development as follows: ”Sustainable development is a development that satisfies the needs of the present, without generating future generations to meet their needs.” The report also defined the four dimentions of sustainable development: enviromental, social, economic and cultural. (The UN Association of Finland 2015.)

The EU sustainable development strategy (EU SDS)


The Comission adopted the 2009 Review of EU SDS in July 2009. Recent years the EU has mainstreamed sustainable development into broad range of its policies. The EU has promoted the low-carbon economy and has taken the lead in the fight against climate change. However, unsustainable trends still persist in many areas. Efforts need to be intensified. Sustainable development remains a fundamental objective of European Union under the Lisbon Treaty confirmed at the European Council in December 2009. In 2009 the Presidency’s report review of the Union’s Sustainable Delelopment Strategy emphasised that the strategy will continue to provide a longterm vision and constitute an overaching policity framework for all Union policies and strategies. The low-input economy and sustainable low-carbon shift will require a stronger focus in the future. In the future EU strategy should be reinforced with clearer links; for example governance, including implementation, motoring and follow-up mechanism. (European Comission 2015.)

Finland’s Ministry of Enviroment produces legislation on enviromental procection, nature conservation, land use and building and housing. There are minimum standars of enviromental responsibility in Finland’s enviromental legislation. It’s apply to all businesses operating in Finland, also tourism businesses. Finland’s Ministry of Environment produces legislation on environmental protection, nature conservation, land use and building, and housing.  All the operators are obliged to be aware of their legal responsibilities and organize their activities accordingly. All businesses that are operating in Finland have to be aware of the enviromental impacts and risks of their activities. Businesses also need to be aware of opportunities to reduce impacts and risks. (Visit Finland 2007.)


Sustainability and sustainable tourism


When more regions and countries develop their tourism industry it will have significant impacts on

– polution

– social systems

– natural resources

– consumption patterns (Sustainable tourism).


Tourism can work towards becoming more sustainable.  The need for sustainable and responsible planning and management is imperative for the industry to survive as a whole. There are tourism and enviromental impacts. The tourism impacts means for example that the global travel and tourism industry creates approximately 11% of the world’s employment in 2016. On the other hand enviromental impact means for example climate change. Climate change can directly lead to death of 90% of coral reefs, the extinction of 30% of species and the loss of half the Amazon rainforest by the year 2050. Re-focusing and adapting is what sustainable tourism is. There should a balance between limits and usage. Continuous monitoring and planning ensure that tourism can be managed. Economic, social and enviromental aspects must include the intrests of all stakeholders including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industry and goverment. (Sustainable tourism.)

Sustainable tourism takes full account of

– current and future economic

– social and enviromental impacts

– addressing the needs of visitors, host communities, the industry and the enviroment (UNEP and UNWTO 2005).


Sustainable tourism should make optimal use of enviromental resources. It is based on maintaining essential ecological processes, helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. It is important to respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built, living cultural heritage, traditional value and also contribute to inter-cultural understanding. Sustainable tourism should ensure viable operations and long-term economic operations. Sustainable tourism providing socio-economic benefits to fairly distributed stakeholders. It includes income earning opportunies and stable emplyment. It also includes contribution to poverty alleviaton and social services to host communities. (UNEP und UNWTO 2005.)


List of references


European Comission. 2015. Sustainable Development. Realised on 17.9.2015. Updated on 17.9.2015. Read on 27.1.2020. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/


Sustainable tourism. n.d.  What is sustainable tourism. Read on 27.1.2020.  http://sustainabletourism.net/


The UN Association of Finland. 2015. Mikä kestävä kehitys. Realised on 13.4.2015. Updated on 13.4.2015. Read on 7.1.2020. https://www.ykliitto.fi/vaikuttamistyo/pallonkutistajat-kestavamman-tulevaisuuden-puolesta/mika-kestava-kehitys


UNWTO. 2005. Sustainable Development of Tourism. n.d. Read on 7.1.2020. http://sdt.unwto.org/content/about-us-5


Visit Finland. 2007. Realised on April 2007. Updated on July 2011. Read on 27.1.2020. http://www.visitfinland.fi/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2006-Sustainable-tourism-Finland_-updated-Aug2011.pdf?dl



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