Tourism has been a major economic activity in many countries especially in the developing countries. It earns foreign exchange to countries, creates employment to the locals and provide adventurous experiences to the tourists. It has contributed to huge developments in the countries such as good infrastructure, quality education, development in handcraft businesses and improved standards of living. However, it has massively contributed to climate change. As asserted by Perch-Nielsen, Sesartic and Stucki (2010), Air transport contributes to over 80% of greenhouse gases emissions which has led to global warming. This phenomenon has led to melting of polar ice caps, huge glacial have developed during the melting causing destruction of the natural resources such as the mountains that acts as tourist attraction it also causes the increase in sea levels. Global warming has led to prolonged droughts in some regions. This has posed a risk to the wildlife in the parks due to lack of adequate nutrition. This has led to higher wildlife extinction rate and this poses a risk to this industry. The gases emitted to the atmosphere by the fossil oil used in planes has contributed to the acidification of the ocean waters. This highly affects the marine life and hence will lead to reduced or extinction of marine attractions.As according to Scott (2011), tourism is considered as the least prepared economic sector for risks posed by climate change. therefore, these impacts affect the tourism sector to a high magnitude and hence measures need to be developed on how to deal with climate change.
According to United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWOT), sustainable tourism is achieved when the tourism takes account of the impact it has on the economic, social and the environment now and in the future in meeting the needs of their clients, industry, surroundings and the community. For instance, the DolphinDiscovery Centre which is a non-profit organization in southwest part of Australia, is a tourism attraction that host many tourists within a year. The Centre ought to implement sustainability to have a positive impact in the industry, its visitors, and the community. Indicators are therefore necessary to measure the progress towards sustainability.
Water as a natural resource is fundamental to the tourism sector. The water used in the hotels and restaurants that hosts tourist, in the swimming pools and in the ocean are resources that are crucial and need to be taken good care of. Contamination from the waste from the neighboring areas and the tourist can affect the marine life especially the dolphins which acts as the major tourist attraction. Therefore, the Centre ought to be environmentally cautious and ensure that this resource is safe for current and future use by the coming generations. It should ensure that the water resource is sustainably used. as according to Gossling et al (2012), proactive water management should be embraced to deal with the challenge of climate change.
The energy consumed in the tourism sectors is relatively high. Accommodation being the area where most energy is consumed, production of food is the major contributor to high use of energy. As asserted by Nepal (2008), research indicates that the primary sources of energy in accommodation centers in the tourism industry are wood and kerosene, this highly contributes to destruction of natural resources such as trees and the environment for sources of energy. The gases emittedin the process of energy use highly contribute to global warming. Therefore, to ensure sustainable tourism is achieved the Dolphin Discovery Centre should use renewable energy source technology to reduce the negative impacts to the environment.
The tourism sector is highly challenged by waste management. The solid waste from the hotels and those brought by the tourist has posed a challenge of finding an effective method to eliminate these wastes. However, some attraction sites incinerate or recycle the waste (Shamshir et al, 2011). These wastes may end up into the ocean water or into the safe water used in the hotels and poses a health risk to both the tourists and the Dolphins. Therefore, Dolphin Discovery Centre need to ensure there is an effective waste management to achieve sustainable tourism.
As according toHomafar, Honari, Heidary and Emami (2011), tourism industry has influenced job creation to the locals and has led to improved living standards of the locals. The Dolphin Discovery Centre has provided job opportunity to trip advisors, hotel managers and workers and volunteers to ensure smooth running of the Centre. This has positively contributed to the growth of the surrounding environment and the employees’ life has been enhanced. However, the Centre should come up with new developments to increase the employment opportunities to ensure sustainability of their tourism activity.
Sustainable tourism though difficult to be achieved, it helps to work for the good of every party involved. That is, the industry, tourists, environment and the host community. Therefore, tourism operators and the policy makers should aim at achieving sustainability of this industry.
Gössling, S., Peeters, P., Hall, C. M., Ceron, J. P., Dubois, G., & Scott, D. (2012). Tourism and water use: Supply, demand, and security. An international review. Tourism management, 33(1), 1-15.
Homafar, F., Honari, H., Heidary, A., Heidary, T., &Emami, A. (2011). The role of sport tourism in employment, income and economic development. Journal of hospitality management and tourism, 2(3), 34-37.
Nepal, S. K. (2008). Tourism-induced rural energy consumption in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Tourism Management, 29(1), 89-100.
Perch-Nielsen, S., Sesartic, A., & Stucki, M. (2010). The greenhouse gas intensity of the tourism sector: The case of Switzerland. Environmental Science & Policy, 13(2), 131-140.
Scott, D. (2011). Why sustainable tourism must address climate change. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(1), 17-34.
Shamshiry, E., Nadi, B., Bin Mokhtar, M., Komoo, I., SaadiahHashim, H., & Yahaya, N. (2011).Integrated models for solid waste management in tourism regions: Langkawi Island, Malaysia. Journal of environmental and public health, 2011.