If tourism can be managed in a sustainable way, the resultant economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts can be positive for the local community. Tourism is a double-edged sword related to sustainable development; in order to be lucrative some amount of environmental degradation inevitably occurs but too much deterioration will make the destination unappealing. As a consequence, pursuing sustainable tourism is a major challenge for all the stakeholders involved.
Successful cases have shown that sustainable tourism can be achieved through wide participation and consensus building. The informed involvement of all relevant stakeholders, inter-agency coordination and strong political leadership are integral to this process.
The development of sustainable tourism necessitates holistic and integrated management. This concept entails the identification of pertinent issues; preparation and adoption of management plans and full subsequent implementation. Sustainable tourism practices are an effective tool to raise awareness among both tourists and the local population.
The ELP’s workshops on sustainable tourism have often been related to coastal areas and have therefore been combined with training on integrated coastal zone management.