Global economists forecast a continuing groth of international tourism, ranging between three and six percent annually, depending on the location. In one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries, such growth will place great stress on many of the remaining biologically diverse habitats, some of which are increasingly used to support mass tourism. Travel agencies and tour operators who promote sustainable tourism are aware of these dangers and seek to protect their destinations and in so doing, the industry itself. This poses many challenges:
- understanding the culture, politics, and the economy of the communities being visited
- anticipating and respecting local cultures' expectations and assumptions
- encouraging intercultural understanding and tolerance through education
- supporting local economies by purchasing local goods and participating with small local businesses.
- seeking out businesses and tour operators that are environmentally conscious and use the least possible amount of non-renewable resources.
Sustainable tourism involves active and responsible local participation. In 1997 Nonni Travel established a sister company in Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund), NE Greenland. This was later to become a WWF awarding project. Importantly majority ownership has come into local hands. Certain standards have been set, but visitors will almost certainly realise, that despite their proficiency in dealing with nature, the local hunters are beginners in the field of tourism. Scheduled flights to the area are still rudimentary and accommodation is basic. However, experience has shown, that the warmth and sincerity of our hosts more than make up for any deficiencies.