Both environmental and socio-cultural impacts are largely dependent upon two factors: the management of tourist destinations and the type and number of tourists they attract.The former governs the rate of resource depletion and environmental/cultural degradation through business practices. It also determines the second factor, which is related to people’s behaviour, their consumption patterns as well as their cultural, social and numerical distance to host communities (Hollinshead 1996), all of which are decisive factors as to the impact tourism may have upon the quality of its destination. Sustainable tourism, which attempts to maximise the positive and minimise the negative effects, by changing management practices and tourist behaviour as well as limiting the number of tourists, requires an understanding of the potential for negative and positive impacts. This is done through co-operation and the involvement of industry stakeholders. Thus education is a vital component of sustainable development as well as the proper use of marketing in order to attract the right type of tourist. Although definitions vary eco-tourism may be regarded as a subset of sustainable tourism with the additional element of being nature-based, which increases the potential for damage as it usually takes place in pristine environments. The eco-label has also been misused for marketing purposes, creating industry-wide efforts to introduce standards in recent years.
However, most of these approaches are fairly complex and aimed at tourism ventures with the necessary know-how and capital to invest in education, eco-friendly technology, accreditation programs and marketing. They are often not appropriate for tourism projects in the developing world, with very little capital and lack of know-how, or they require an outside mediator. So called pro-poor tourism, which tends to be low-capital and community-based, on the other hand may fulfil many of the principles of sustainable tourism, without external interferences, as it minimises economic leakage, maintains a desire to uphold cultural values and traditional forms of subsistence, limits the number of visitors, creates low-key tourism ventures and attracts culturally and environmentally sensitive visitors with lower consumption patterns. Community-based tourism is however, only possible through capacitating local communities and small businesses, which brings to mind the old saying of “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for life.”While there are certain programs and joint ventures that have created community-based tourism through capacity building, they are still limited and usually require outside assistance. This website is dedicated to introducing a tool that is accessible to most low-key tourism ventures.