Sustainable Tourism Law

Planning for a sustainable tourism – The Israeli experience Dov Kolani Advocate, IFTTA President Emeritus and Founding Member When the term “sustainability” has been coined in the wake of the “Brundtland report” it was applied by the report and following research to various industries and areas of human activity which were deemed at the time to endanger the biosphere and quality of life around the globe. However, the tourism industry was ignored. But when tourism has later become a major factor in world economy which affected the behavior and quality of life of substantial parts of its population, it did draw the attention of the academy and government alike. Nowadays, when a country defines itself as a “tourism country”, it calls for a planning process that considers the whole range of factors which may affect the touristic experience of the foreign visitor, without at the same time ignoring the needs of the local population; Therefore, the term “sustainability, when applied to the tourism sector, was adapted to tourism development plans in the sense that any development must take into consideration the capacity of the planned area – in its environmental, social and infrastructure aspects. The term “Capacity” meaning (a) the threshold of tourism volume, that overstretching of which would jeopardize the qualities of the resources of the area – nature, scenic and heritage resources; and (b) the threshold over which the experience of visitors will be hampered by overcrowding, noise, pollution etc. Capacity and development are interdependent, and the optimal balance between them has to be pursued in the planning of tourism areas. These principles have been the guideline for the planning of tourism and recreation areas in Israel. The National Master Plan for Tourism and Recreation Areas and facilities in Israel (N.P.T.) aims, first, at maximizing the country’s touristic potential in the historical, religious and cultural aspects, in the diversity of its regions, its sites and the beauty of its landscapes; and it addressed issues such as allocating areas