As one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world, the international tourism industry places considerable stress on biodiversity habitats that are frequently used to support mass tourism. According to the global economist' global forecasts range between 3 percent and six percent annually depending on the location. Striving to protect tourism as an industry and to preserve their favorite destinations, sustainable tourists bear the responsibilities for reducing the negative tourism impact on communities by gathering information on the economy and culture of the communities that they visit by contributing to intercultural tolerance and understanding and by supporting the local economy by supporting the local businesses and purchasing special goods, and by supporting the integrity of the local culture by supporting the businesses that conserve the cultural heritage.
Sustainable tourism is associated with the informative activity, which implies that tourists not only learn about their destination, but are also informed how to help preserve its unique character while getting their travel experiences. What can be ordinary to residents of a place is frequently of value and of interest to outsiders.
Sustainable tourism supports the integrity of a place. While the destination savvy tourists look for places that emphasize their value in terms of ecology, architecture, cultural heritage, and cuisine, tourism revenues raise the value of such assets. Sustainable tourism also benefits residents since the travel companies try to employ local people, use local services, and buy local supplies. It also contributes significantly to conservation resources because travelers are aware of the environment and support businesses that minimize waste, pollution, landscaping, chemicals, water usage, and energy consumption. Foreign visitors also learn to respect the local culture and tradition and residents get knowledge about how to deal with foreign expectations that differ frequently from their own expectations. But, first and foremost, sustainable tourism strives for quality and not for quantity. Its success is measured not by the number of tourists but by the length of their stay and the quality of their experiences. Excited travelers are filled with new knowledge that they share with their friends. This provides a flourishing business for the destination.
Defined sometimes as part of sustainable tourism, ecotourism is the responsible traveling to natural areas which preserves the environment and preserves the well being of the residents. It involves a learning experience as delivered to small scale travel groups by small scale businesses and emphasizes local ownership. While the nature based tourism implies traveling to natural places, ecotourism ensures local benefits economically, culturally, and environmentally.
Among the major ecotourism organization are the Alaska Tourism Recreation and Tourism Association that are dedicated to protecting and promoting Alaska's wild places and The Green Tourism Association that collaborates with local businesses, environmental groups, and cultural organizations. COMECO, a New Mexico non profit organization, focuses on ecotourism and the World Tourism Organization offers web guides to the sustainable development of tourism and more.