Mountains of the world: Tourism and sustainable mountain development (1999)

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Tourism is a business. Despite attractive brochures that advertise international understanding and exchange between local people and tourists, tourism is clearly a business proposition for those who supply tourist services and those who market these services world-wide. It is also clear that tourists themselves are more interested in relaxation, a change of scenery, and their own enjoyment than in international understanding and exchange.

The rise of tourism as a business has brought great benefits to mountain regions. Many Alpine valleys became accessible by modern transportation only as a result of the growth in demand for tourist services. Tourism has also been responsible for opening mountain regions to new ideas, new modes of production, and cultural exchange. Today people in many mountain regions of the world owe their survival to tourism. Tourism has provided farmers with additional income and employment, opened new career opportunities, and created markets for both high-quality traditional products and local products from mountain areas. But positive economic impacts are only part of the story. Tourism also exhibits an unmistakable tendency to destroy the foundations of its own development, and it does much to rob local populations of their identity.

Can the adverse impacts be avoided? And if so, how? Can we find appropriate forms of development that safeguard natural resources, and can we make tourism in mountain regions sustainable in the broadest sense of the word?

The present publication uses concrete examples to illustrate how the problems of development can be dealt with in different mountain regions, and how solutions might be found to make tourism more appropriate and environmentally friendly. It also addresses some of the thinking, the concepts, and the innovations currently being discussed in this area, as well as the question of how environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources can become integral components of development in the tourist industry.
Language: English
Imprint: Centre for Development and Environment:<br /> </font> 1999
Series: Report,