Tourism may be quite destructive to the environment as well as local communities but with good management businesses may achieve quite the opposite. They can provide jobs, limit littering and help to preserve the original culture of tourism destination as evidenced in latest project in Thailand.
A growing number of people and companies are well aware of the negative effects travelers have on the environment. Eco tourism and voluntourism are among the ways how people try to revert the trend and to help the environment and poverty-stricken destinations. Many tour operators therefore offer environmentally friendly services and some even launch projects that contribute to the sustainability of their destination.
For example, a Bangkok based travel agent, Khiri Travel purchased 1,000 machine washable cotton bags, which were made by disabled people, mainly children, to limit the number of disposable bags used in destinations it visits. Disposable bags pose a real problem to the environment as they pollute rivers, seas as well as streets and parks. They are often dangerous to animals who mistake it for food. By buying and distributing the bags the travel agent not only helps the environment but they also enable disabled people to be an important part of the society.
Companies do have a social responsibility, which is especially true about tourism related businesses. Masses of tourists can cause a lot of damage to the environment and can cause problems to the local indigenous people. On the other hand, they can also help. It is all about the right management. By buying local products, employing local people, limiting the use of disposable materials, like e.g. paper or plastic bags, a responsible tourism business can make a very positive contribution to the society as well as the industry itself.