Due to
the dimension of the tourism industry – 900 million arrivals per year around
the world – and because tourism is related so essentially to natural areas, it
is one of the major threats to biodiversity and natural resources worldwide.

Therefore, it is absolutely indispensable to undertake efforts to make tourism
more sustainable – regarding all kinds of tourism, at all levels and for all
parts of the tourism business from international tour operator to small pension
owners. The challenge of sustainable tourism development is to make use of
tourism’s positive impacts, enhancing and channeling the benefits into the
right directions, and to avoid or mitigate the negative impacts as far as
possible. Referring to the different natural, cultural and economic resources
tourism is affecting, various international organizations have developed
definitions, principles, charters, codes and criteria for sustainability in
tourism – see a compilation in the box below. Note: These are just examples
from the international level, there are many more specific principles, criteria
etc. for sustainable tourism at regional and local level

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