Food and Travel (UK) - - 200 th Issue -

From pump­ing money into de­vel­op­ing economies to pro­tect­ing trop­i­cal forests – such as the 10,000ha na­ture re­serve cre­ated by the Do­mini­can Repub­lic’s Pun­ta­cana Re­sort – tourism is of­ten very ben­e­fi­cial. How­ever, it can also be dam­ag­ing. At the World Sum­mit on Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment in 2002, re­spon­si­ble tourism was de­fined as ‘max­imis­ing the ben­e­fits to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, min­imis­ing neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts and help­ing lo­cals con­serve frag­ile cul­tures and habi­tats.’ The con­cept is spread­ing into all ar­eas of travel. Now peo­ple vis­it­ing the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands must be ac­com­pa­nied by a li­censed guide, while as of May this year, San­torini has lim­ited cruise vis­i­tors to 8,000 per day to re­lieve its creak­ing in­fra­struc­ture. Among con­sumers, trends such as ‘vol­un­tourism’ (vol­un­teer­ing hol­i­days) demon­strate our de­sire to make pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions. We are proud to know that when Food and Travel read­ers visit an area they un­der­stand the im­pact that tourism has and sup­port lo­cal economies by buy­ing street food, stay­ing at re­spon­si­ble ho­tels and be­ing re­spect­ful of lo­cal cus­toms.

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