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The biggest challenge the World Tourism Organization predicts for tourism in Asia and the Pacific in the new millennium is sustainability. This assertion is buttressed by the fact that the volume of international visitors expected to visit the regions natural and cultural sites would undoubtedly have a remarkable impact on its social, cultural and natural...
The biggest challenge the World Tourism Organization predicts for tourism in Asia and the Pacific in the new millennium is sustainability. This assertion is buttressed by the fact that the volume of international visitors expected to visit the regions natural and cultural sites would undoubtedly have a remarkable impact on its social, cultural and natural environments. Owing to their relatively small size and fragile nature, islands in particular are more prone to feel the weight of the negative sides to the increased volume of tourists to the region. The International Conference on Sustainable Tourism in the Islands of the Asia- Pacific was organised mainly to analyse strategies that could forestall or minimise the undesirable impacts of this impending heavy tourist flows to islands of the Asia-Pacific region. These strategies, grouped under three broad topics, formed the basis of the Conference: namely, regulatory and voluntary frameworks for the sustainable development and management of island tourism; application of sustainability principles and sound environmental technologies in land use planning, design and construction of tourism facilities, particularly in coastal areas; and socio-cultural issues with respect to involvement of local communities in the decision-making process for tourism. The underlying message of the 30 presentations made at the Conference hinged on this point: to be able to face the challenge the growth of tourism to their lands would pose, it is imperative for islands in Asia and the Pacific region to integrate tourism planning and development in their national development and resource management plans, while giving full attention to the three main subjects of the Conference.
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