APEC member economies’ tourism sector challenges and innovative approaches (Part 2)

by Ricky Rillera

Calle Crisologo, in Vigan, Philippines, is one of the new 7 Wonder Cities of the World by Ray in Manila. In Wikipedia

(Editor’s note: The APEC 12th Tourism Ministers Meeting was held in Urubamba, Cusco, Peru, from June 5 to 9, 2024, under the theme “Innovating Pathways for Sustainable Tourism Growth.” After their meeting, the Tourism Ministers issued a Joint Statement highlighting the need for innovative approaches to address current challenges in the tourism sector. The Statement also emphasizes the benefits of tourism enterprises’ transition into the formal economy, which supports the growth of small—and medium-sized enterprises and builds resilience.

The Statement also highlighted the need to promote sustainable gastronomy, food production, processing, and consumption patterns to minimize the environmental footprint of tourism activities in the region.

Tourism Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to building resilient tourism ecosystems that withstand extreme weather, natural disasters, and global health crises. It will safeguard livelihoods, preserve cultural heritage, and promote inclusive growth.

This report continues an earlier article, which discusses the Tourism Ministers’ Statement and provides insight and perhaps an understanding of specific aspects of the challenges and actions that may help address these challenges.)

Click here to read the Statement and Part 1 of this report.

Wat Arun, Bangkok is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks | Photo by Preecha MJ via Wikipedia

4. What are some examples of successful sustainable tourism initiatives?

Sustainable tourism initiatives are essential for preserving our planet and supporting local communities. Here are some examples:

Valencia, Spain: As the European Green Capital Award recipient, Valencia focuses on green spaces, renewable energy, and improved mass transit. Visitors can explore urban parks, bike lanes, and nearby national parks.
High Atlas Mountains and Marrakesh, Morocco: Despite the 2023 earthquake, Morocco’s tourism industry remains resilient. Tours are returning to areas less affected, such as the Ourika Valley. Supporting local artisans and communities is crucial.
Nature Reserves and National Parks: Visiting protected areas contributes to conservation efforts and supports local economies.
Marine Conservation Projects: Engaging in marine conservation activities helps protect fragile ecosystems and aquatic life.
Community-Based Tourism: Supporting local communities through responsible travel initiatives ensures economic and social sustainability.
Responsible Bicycling, Bird-Watching, and Snorkeling: Participating in eco-friendly activities minimizes environmental impact while enjoying natural beauty.

Remember, sustainable tourism benefits travelers, communities, and the environment!

5. How can travelers actively contribute to these initiatives?

Travelers can actively contribute to sustainable tourism initiatives in several ways:

Choose Responsible Accommodations: Opt for eco-friendly hotels, lodges, or homestays that prioritize sustainability. Look for certifications like Green Key or EarthCheck.
Reduce Plastic Usage: Bring reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils. Say no to single-use plastics and participate in beach cleanups.
Support Local Businesses: Buy souvenirs from local artisans, dine at family-owned restaurants, and hire local guides. Your spending directly benefits the community.
Respect Cultural Norms: Learn about local customs, dress codes, and traditions. Show respect for sacred sites and cultural practices.
Choose Sustainable Activities: Participate in wildlife tours, nature hikes, and community-based experiences. Avoid activities that harm animals or exploit local resources.
Offset Carbon Emissions: Calculate your carbon footprint and consider offsetting it by supporting reforestation projects or renewable energy initiatives.
Educate Others: Share your sustainable travel experiences with friends and family and encourage them to make conscious choices.

Remember, every small action counts toward a more responsible and sustainable travel experience!

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