Holidays are in the air, so we find it very appropriate that our term of the week from IATE is ‘sustainable coastal tourism’.
‘Sustainable coastal tourism’ is a type of travel industry, developed at or near the coast, aiming at the conservation of the ecological environment; or, according to UNESCO, the “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment”.
Some studies claim that the concept of ‘environment-friendly tourism’ and the term ‘ecotourism’ first appeared between the 70s and the 80s, even though coastal tourism already prospered in the Roman period. Indeed, tourism is one of the largest and fastest developing industries in the world, and it can be itself the cause of a damaged environment, from cultural heritage to economic dependence, including ecological degradation. Coastal regions are very important because water is essential for life, however coastal areas are some of the areas most harmed by climate change. At the same time, coastal tourism is highly based on natural wealth, and tourists are usually attracted by the natural resources existing in a particular region. Therefore it is essential to protect what produces those means of living, without stopping tourists from enjoying a leisure activity.
Some projects have appeared in order to take care of the environment, leading to the creation of another term: ‘integrated coastal zone management (ICZM)’, which, according to the information we can find in IATE, is “a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones”. Nevertheless, the truth is that sustainable coastal tourism is just one kind of eco-friendly holidays we can find, as this sort of operations has become very popular in recent years. Sustainable coastal tourism include actions like water cleaning or wildlife protection, as well as a policy and an agreement between all the stakeholders, as this is actually an issue to be considered by both tourists and tourism services providers. These are good steps not only towards sustainable coastal tourism and responsible holidays, but also towards environmental sustainability in general.
Written by Ana Bennasar
Terminology trainee at TermCoord
– Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: http://www.responsibletravel.org/resources/documents/reports/global_trends_in_coastal_tourism_by_cesd_jan_08_lr.pdf [Accessed 1 August 2016]
– European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/index_en.htm [Accessed 1 August 2016]
– European Environment Agency: http://glossary.eea.europa.eu/EEAGlossary/I/integrated_coastal_zone_management [Accessed 1 August 2016]
– Sustainable Tourism: http://www.biodiversity.ru/coastlearn/tourism-eng/con_coastaltourism.html [Accessed 1 August 2016]
– UNESCO: http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_c/mod16.html [Accessed 1 August 2016]
– United Nations Environment Programme: http://www.unep.org/pdf/DTIE_PDFS/DTIx1091xPA-SustainableCoastalTourism-Planning.pdf [Accessed 1 August 2016]