Tourism and the environment.
By Vijay Dandapani
Thursday, 13th September 2007
A WTTC report highlights the fact that tourism is one of the world's biggest industries, contributing 11% of the world's GDP, providing a means of livelihood to millions and transporting nearly 700 mln international visitors every year.

With people becoming more adventurous in their choice of destinations, as the Travelmole reports, once impoverished, "exotic" countries are joining the mainstream!

The report outlines many steps for travelers to support the cause of sustainable tourism (once a meaningless buzzword, today a necessity).

Tourists can contribute to a positive spiral of economic development by making the right choices, acting responsibly and not being a part of the exploitation of local people.

The US itself is in need of some serious sustainable development - take NYC. The city is a case study in overcrowding, mismanaged cleanliness initiatives, rush-hour traffic jams and filthy, crumbling subways. Tourism should give back to the environment and local people as much as it takes from them.

Perhaps, American cities need to go the way of other countries in enforcing cleanliness and responsible behavior - stiff fines and disciplinary actions et al.

Considering that international visitors are already subjected to some rigorous visa regulations and entry procedures, it's time to implement a code of conduct for all tourists (internal and international visitors)

Vijay is Chief Operating Officer and part-founder of Apple Core Hotels- a chain of 5 midtown Manhattan hotels offering value and comfort in the heart of the city.Member of the board of Directors - Hotel Association of New York.

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