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Tangible benefits of sustainable tourism for people working in tourism

Published 22 June 2024

You know about responsibility and sustainability in tourism. You’ve read about it or you’re already implementing sustainability practices within your hospitality business.

Wherever you are on the scale of just starting my journey to I have decades of experience in regenerative tourism, we are here to support you. We’ve identified five key benefits of sustainable tourism for destinations, hotels, lodges, and everyone involved in the travel and hospitality industry.


Sustainable tourism: The benefits for your hotel and your team


Sustainable tourism, at its core, embodies a conscientious approach to travel that seeks to balance economic prosperity, environmental conservation, and socio-cultural integrity. The aim is to minimise the negative impacts of tourism while maximising the positive contributions to destinations and host communities.

There are many benefits for your hotel and the people working within your establishment that encompass environmental, social, economic, and cultural aspects. We unpack five tangible benefits below.

Tangible benefits of sustainability

#1 Benefit of sustainable tourism: Environmental conservation


Get practical and involve your team. Embrace responsible best practices and start small. This can include efforts such as conserving water resources, reducing food waste, and launching initiatives to protect wildlife and natural wonders.

Resorts, hotels, lodges or hospitality establishments that contribute to tourism positively are mindful of the preservation of natural habitats, ecosystems, and biodiversity.


#2 Benefit of sustainable tourism: Economic growth and job creation


Tourism serves as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation within host communities by supporting local businesses, artisans, and service providers. Why not connect with your immediate communities to gauge where you can offer additional experiences to your visitors that support these businesses?

Point guests to tourism-related activities – such as local dining options, events or cultural immersions – that could increase income and employment opportunities and foster economic prosperity in the community in which you operate.


#3 Benefit of sustainable tourism: Community empowerment


Closely linked to benefit #2, involving residents in decision-making processes and tourism development initiatives promotes community engagement and empowerment. This includes your immediate team and those working directly within your tourism or hospitality business.

Everyone wants to be heard and this inclusive approach ensures your internal team and wider network have a voice in shaping tourism within your operational environment.


#4 Benefit of sustainable tourism: Cultural preservation and heritage promotion


Sustainable tourism encourages travellers to respect and celebrate the cultural heritage of host communities, fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. By promoting cultural traditions to guests, you can contribute to the preservation of cultural identity and make your team and neighbouring communities feel valued and included.


#5 Benefit of sustainable tourism: Education and awareness


More travellers today seek ethical experiences that change or inspire them through learning and understanding. Tourism gives all of us working in tourism, a platform for environmental and cultural education, to raise awareness among travellers about the role we all play in conservation and responsible travel behaviour.

When sustainable tourism becomes part of your operational DNA, this permeates through everything you do, cultivating a sense of stewardship and responsibility towards the environment and local communities – inspiring guests and shifting behaviours.

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