The protection and respect of biodiversity should be the very basic and rudimentary factors governing the travel and tourism industry today. We should not promote tourism simply to measure the quantitative and sometimes unsustainable levels that this activity can have on the socio-economic aspects of any destination. Tourism is about seeing that those who visit destinations and countries show respect for the indigenous lifestyle, nature, and environment of that country or destination.
Over the past years, we have heard of countless resolutions, statements, and action plans to stem the awful and devastating effect from unsustainable and irresponsible travel on climate change and the quality of life of people living in vulnerable communities, such as small islands and those underdeveloped nations who still rely on nature and traditional methods for their existence.
In this year dedicated to tourism and biodiversity, the Malta Tourism Society calls on the Maltese and European governments to recognize the need to prioritze a policy and strategy that will promote real and practical sustainable tourism by:
1. Educating young and old about the importance of inculcating/promoting the spirit of civic responsibility and citizenship.
2. Ensuring that commercial decisions taken by the tourism industry stakeholders are not the myopic strategies and policies that consider short-term gain but reflect the longer sustainability of that industry through better tailor-made experiences, which vary from country to country and destination to destination. Policy making is not about “one size fits all” but about adapting to one’s characteristic environment and culture.
3. Considering the implications of carrying capacities not from a present standpoint but perhaps from a broader and more realistic baseline perspective.
4. Finally, the Malta Tourism Society recommends the compilation of a European Tourism Guide and Code of Ethics for responsible and sustainable tourism.