Event - 11th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism

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11th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism
Wessex Institute
Conferences & Exhibitions
  • Other

  • Spain
Meliá Lebreros C. Luis de Morales, 2, 41018 Sevilla, Spain
Sustainable Tourism 2024 is the eleventh meeting organised in this successful series. The first was held in Segovia (2004), followed by one in Bologna (2006), Malta (2008), the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute (2010), A Coruña (2012), Opatija, Croatia (2014), Valencia (2016) and Vienna (2018). Both 2020 and 2022 meetings were held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series success can be attributed to the realisation that, today, tourism is an important component of development, not only in economic terms but also for broader human knowledge and welfare. Tourism is an activity accessible to a growing number of people leading to a greater importance for transport and communication links.

Human societies benefit from tourism in many ways. New forms of economic activity leading to greater wealth depend on tourism. Nowadays, tourism strongly enhances our perception of the world. Through its physiological and psychological elements, it promotes human welfare, due to both the enjoyment of discovering new territories as well as increased contacts with near or far away societies and cultures.

The tourist industry has nevertheless given rise to some serious concerns, including social transformations and ecological impacts. Many ancient local cultures have practically lost their identity due to their societies having orientated their economy only to this industry. Both the natural and cultural, rural or urban, landscapes have also paid a high price for certain forms of tourism. Natural ecosystems are now becoming a rarity on the planet and ecologists talk today about ‘socio-ecosystems’. These problems will persist if economic benefit is the only target, leading to short-lived financial gains that become ruinous in the long term; they are also intensified by the visitors’ increasing cultural and environmental demands. Environmental education in the tourist sector faces a major challenge in addressing these concerns.

Technological and social developments associated with tourism also play an important environmental role by strongly affecting natural changes inherent in the Earth’s ecosystem (the ‘ecosphere’). Also, technological and social changes are inherent to mankind (the ‘noosphere’) and are now becoming widespread. Cities are growing rapidly and industry requires increasingly larger areas. Many traditional rural areas are being abandoned. However, many historic agricultural districts have maintained, or even recovered, their local population numbers through intelligent tourism strategies focused on nature and rural culture. Natural landscapes and biodiversity are becoming increasingly appreciated. The tourism industry must be able to respond to these aspirations.

This conference aims to promote ways of protecting the natural and cultural landscape through the development of design and management strategies which minimise the adverse effects of tourism. This can be achieved through the involvement and active collaboration of planners, developers, engineers, scientists and the society as a whole.