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Tourism in mountain areas put to the test

Irreconcilable? Sustainable tourism aims to protect natural and cultural assets and create prosperity.

Irreconcilable? Sustainable tourism aims to protect natural and cultural assets and create prosperity. © Pierre Dérioz

The new December 2009 issue of Revue de géographie alpine / Journal of alpine research looks at mountain tourism and sustainability. Six articles examine the sustainability of current practices in tourism and take a closer look at the experience gained with sustainable tourism.
The examples from the Pyrenees, the Himalayas and the Alps show that the tourist offer in mountain regions is being replicated more and more. The contributions also make clear that any re-examination of the situation is at best hesitant. In their article on Mountain Tourism and Sustainability Pierre Dérioz and Philippe Bachimon attribute this inertia to deeply rooted mentalities. This resistance and the undeclared, but implicit, continuing attachment to the cycle of heavy investment in sports facilities and increases in the number of visitor beds all act as a brake on implementing stated intentions such as limiting visitor numbers or protecting area of natural beauty.
Can sustainable tourism protect nature and culture and at the same time produce prosperity and economic development? Some answers and more questions still can be found in English and in French at: http://rga.revues.org/index961.html (fr/en)
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