At Runner Bean Tours we are committed to responsible tourism. We are certified with the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism. This is awarded to a few tour operators who are committed to responsible and environmentally-friendly management, culture, decent working conditions, gender equity and social and economic benefits.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM?
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), sustainable tourism is one that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.
Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability.
Thus, sustainable tourism should:
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
- Takes into account the impact generated by tourism on the natural, cultural and human environment
- Ensures an appropriate balance between benefits and costs
- Generates local employment directly in the service sector
- Stimulates the profitability of local domestic industries
- Generates currency within the country and investment in the local economy
- Diversifies the local economy, particularly in rural areas where agricultural employment may be sporadic and insufficient
- Seeks understanding and decision-making among all social groups for their coexistence and use of their resources
- It incorporates planning that ensures tourism development appropriate to the capacity of the ecosystem
- Stimulates the improvement of local transport, communications and basic infrastructures
- Offer activities that can be enjoyed by both the local community and tourists
- Aids the preservation of historical and cultural heritage
- On the one hand, it encourages the recovery of agricultural uses on marginal lands and, on the other, favours the maintenance of natural vegetation in large areas
- Improves the self-esteem of the local population and the revaluation of their environment and their cultural characteristics
- Provides an opportunity for greater communication and understanding between people from different backgrounds
- Demonstrates the importance of natural and cultural resources to the economic and social well-being of the local community, and how the local community can help preserve them
- Controls and assesses the impacts caused by tourism, develops reliable methods of environmental responsibility and counteracts the negative effects
WHAT IS BIOSPHERE BARCELONA STANDARD FOR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM?
The Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism is awarded to tour operators who are committed to responsible and environmentally-friendly management, to culture, to decent working conditions, to gender equity and to social and economic benefits.
This is based on a handbook of best practices that includes the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).