Tourism has an important role in the various development plans and strategies around the world. It has also become an important component of rural development programs, as rural communities experiencing serious economic downturns often consider tourism to be a possible way of development. The expected positive economic and social impacts may no...t occur and negative tendencies are reinforced if communities do not support or even oppose tourism development. For this reason, it is highly important for planners and decision-makers to understand how the public perceives the tourism industry.
In the international literature there is a growing number of studies about residents’ attitudes toward tourism development. In the present study I review the social and economic factors that influence the attitudes of residents and communities, as well as demonstrate the typologies that were created on the basis of the results. Finally, I summarize the theoretical models that are used to interpret the results of the investigations.
Tourism as one of the most significant sectors of the world economy plays an important role in achieving the goals of sustainable development. The fundamental conditions of sustainable development are the proper management of the environmental, social and economic impacts, as well as the well-established planning based on a detailed analysis. M...easuring the changes and evaluating the results are tasks carried out by governmental and professional organizations. The first step of the assessment is defining the concept of sustainable tourism. Indicators are the most widely used set of tools for the assessment. Several international organizations have focused on elaborating the most suitable indicators for sustainable tourism development and formulating assessment models based on indicators since the beginning of the 1990s. Neither a generally accepted set of indicators nor a universally applicable assessment method has been put together until now. In the present study a few definitions of sustainable tourism are reviewed, criteria for indicator selection are listed, followed by the presentation of a sustainable tourism model. Finally a recently published assessment procedure based on the Bellagio Principles is summarized.
More than one hundred types of ecolabels have been introduced worldwide since the 1980s. These voluntary certifications may play a prominent role in achieving sustainable tourism as, on the one hand, they may encourage companies to behave responsibly, and on the other, they may contribute to increasing tourists’ awareness in their choice. Con...sidering that there are many small and medium-sized companies working on the tourism market, developing voluntary certification systems is highly encouraged in the member states of the European Union.
At the same time, there are significant differences among the various ecolabels concerning their content, qualitative criteria, and requirements, which makes it difficult for them to gain acceptance on the tourism market. It is worth mentioning that the sets of criteria belonging to the ecolabels usually do not involve indicators related to the social and cultural impacts of tourism.
In my paper I review the main characteristics of voluntary certifications with special emphasis on the players in tourism ecolabels, furthermore I discuss their advantages and some of the arising problems as well.