Sustainable tourism has established itself as not only a large and crucial component of a rapidly growing tourism industry, but also an invaluable and increasingly effective weapon in the fight against the destruction and loss of our natural ecosystems and cultural heritage.
Concepts of sustainability itself are relative newcomers to mainstream culture, having evolved from early ideas about ecotourism, adventure tourism and responsible travel. These contemporary forms of traditional tourism gained prevalence in the late 1980s and steadily took root as enthusiasm for conservationism and sustainable practice, or ‘green living’, grew hand in hand with increasing concerns over the fragility of our environment. In 1987, the `Brundland Report’ to the United Nations General Assembly, alerted the world to the urgency required in making swift progress toward economic development that could be sustained without depleting natural resources or harming the environment. The Brundland Report appealed to, and effectively reached a wide audience and succeeded in popularising the term `sustainable development’, leading to the ideology that is sustainable tourism today.