The Possibility of Sustainable Tourism Development in Mountain Tourism
But it is action at the country level that is vital for sustainable tourism in mountain regions. Only countries have the power to build capacities, implement national strategies, develop policies and pass laws that will create conditions in which tourism can work sustainably and benefit local communities. International Mountain Day in 2005 with its theme of ‘Sustainable Tourism for Poverty Alleviation in Mountain Areas’ provides a unique opportunity to increase awareness, to enhance solidarity and to promote concerted action for sustainable tourism – particularly at the country level.
Mountain based tour operators can have considerable influence in minimizing negative impacts and promoting positive impacts by adopting good environmental and social practices in their tour operations. Responsible practices can help increase the quality of visitor experiences and maintain the viability of tourism businesses by protecting the biodiversity, preserving the habitats and landscapes and supporting the communities those visitors are coming to see. Adopting good practices can help operators develop a positive reputation and recognition as a responsible operator among tourists who are increasingly showing a preference for sustainable products and suppliers who demonstrate good social and environmental environmental practices. Good practices can also contribute to positive relationships with suppliers, staff and local communities, who are more likely to support operators that are conserving local environments, contributing to the well-being of local communities and ensuring that mountain ecosystems are conserved for future generations.