PATA | Contact

Glossary

AccessPermission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, or pass to and from a place or to approach or communicate with a person or thing (GSTC). 

AccessibleProviding for the ability of individiuals with varied capaibilities the opportunity to reach, participate, or understand (GSTC).

Archeological artifacts/propertiesAny object manufactured, used or modified by humans. Common examples include tools, utensils, art, food remains, and other products of human activity (GSTC).

AuthenticMade or done the same way as an original (GSTC). 

AuthoritiesThe governing body or a particular geographical or topical jurisdiction; may include local, regional, or national governments as well as supra-national institutions (GSTC). 

Basic servicesWater supply, sanitation, waste management, transportation, energy supply, communication and education (GSTC). 

Benefit: To add positive value (GSTC).

Biodegradable chemicalsChemicals capable of decomposing naturally within a relatively short period of time (GSTC). 

Captive wildlife: Any undomesticated animal species being retained apart from its natural habitat (GSTC). 

Carbon dioxide: (CO2A colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that exists in trace quantities (less than 400 parts per million) in ambient air.  Carbon dioxide is a product of fossil fuel combustion.  Although carbon dioxide does not directly impair human health, it is a greenhouse gas that traps terrestrial (ie., infrared) radiation and contributes to the potential for global warming (GSTC). 

Carbon footprintA cumulative measure of the impact a product, service, activity, company, individual or other entity has on the environment, in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, and measured in units of carbon dioxide. These impacts usually result from energy consumption, pollution, and other sources (GSTC). 

Carbon neutralA combination of efficiency improvements (resulting in reduced carbon dioxide emissions), and purchases of carbon offsets that balance 100% of a carbon footprint (GSTC). 

Carbon (CO2) offsetsA reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by a project (such as rainforest preservation) that is sold to a purchaser to balance the purchaser’s own emissions. The funds generated by the sale of offsets support the development of additional reductions (GSTC).

Carbon sinking: see CO2 sequestration below.

CertificationA process by which an independent agent verifies that the claims made by a product, service, etc. are valid. Many certification programs exist through which products meeting independent standards may use a label or logo to indicate their claims have been verified (GSTC).

Child labourWork that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work (GSTC). 

Chloroflurocarbon (CFC):  a compound consisting of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. CFCs are very stable in the troposphere. They move to the stratosphere and are broken down by strong UV light, where they release chlorine atoms that then deplete the ozone layer. CFCs are commonly used as refrigerants, solvents, and foam blowing agents (EPA).

Climate changeChange of climate, which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods (GSTC). 

Climate neutralThe concept of reducing or offsetting any greenhouse gases produced by any entity (individual, business, country, etc.) so as to create a ‘neutral’ effect on global warming for that entity (GSTC). 

CO2 sequestrationAlso known as “carbon sinking”, a biochemical process by which atmospheric carbon is absorbed by living organisms, including trees, soil micro-organisms, and crops, and involving the storage of carbon in soils, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide level (GSTC). 

Code of behaviorComprehensive set of principles to guide tourists on appropriate actions while at a destination (GSTC). 

Code of conductGuidelines advising a tourism stakeholder, including tourists, on how to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. Recommended practices based on a system of self regulation intended to promote environmentally and/or socio-culturally sustainable behaviour (GSTC). 

Commercial sexual exploitationChildren, both male and female, engaging in sexual activities for money, profit, or any other consideration due to coercion or influence by any adult, syndicate or group”. The profit could go either to the child or to any third party involved in the transaction (GSTC). 

Community consentOften annotated as free, prior, and informed, consent, community consent indicates approval of any outside incursion or development into community lands or practices. Consent does not require unanimity among all of the members of a community. Rather, consent should be determined pursuant to customary law and practice, or in some other way agreed upon by the community (GSTC).

Community consultationProcess to examine the perceptions of communities that have the potential to be effected by tourism initiatives (GSTC).

ComplianceFulfillment by a business, community, or individual of its obligations under an agreement (GSTC). 

ConservationThe management of human use of organisms or ecosystems to ensure that such use is sustainable (GSTC). 

Conservation management: Formalized actions that includes realistic and integrated approraches to maintain existing genetic diversity and viable populations of flora and fauna in the wild in order to maintain biological interactions, ecological processess, and function (GSTC). 

Conscious travel: a movement, a community and a learning program that enables places to attract and welcome guests in a manner that doesn’t cost the earth. Tourism is system of three elements: Places, Guests and Hosts.  As such, it’s all about people (Conscious Travel).

Corporate social responsibilitya process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered stakeholders (Wikipedia). View in context

Criterion(pl. criteria). A standard, rule, or test on which a judgment or decision can be made (GSTC). View in context

Cultural artifacts/propertiesAny object manufactured, used or modified by humans that expresses the particular characteristic of a people or peoples, including way of life, spiritual beliefs, or a collective sense of history (GSTC).

Cultural heritageThe ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values. Cultural heritage encompasses material culture, in the form of objects, structures, sites, landscapes and natural environment shaped by cultural practices and traditions over time, as well as living (or expressive) culture as evidenced in forms such as music, crafts, performing arts, literature, oral tradition and language. The emphasis is on cultural continuity from the past, through the present and into the future, with the recognition that culture is organic and evolving (GSTC). 

Culturally important sitesStructures or locations, built or natural, having significance for, or being representative of, human activities or beliefs (GSTC).

Customer satisfactionThe level to which a consumer of a good or service feels that expectations were met and the value of the product is acceptable (GSTC). 

Destination: A significant place visited on a trip. It may be defined as the farthest point away from home visited (distance destination), the place where the most amount of time was spent (main destination), or place the visitor thinks of the primary place visited (motivating destination) (GSTC). 

Development: see ‘Sustainable development.’

Discrimination: Unequal treatment of persons on grounds which are not justifiable in law (GSTC). 

Ecotourism: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people (TIES). View in context.

EmissionsThe discharge of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources such as smokestacks, other vents, surface areas of commercial or industrial facilities and mobile sources, for example, motor vehicles, locomotives and aircraft (GSTC). 

Emissions auditA listing, by source, of the amounts of pollutants actually or potentially discharged. Such an inventory is used to establish and put forth emission standards (GSTC). 

Employee turnoverThe ratio of the numbers of workers that had to be replaced in a given time period in relation to the total number of employees (GSTC). 

Endangered species: A species that is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild (IUCN). View in Context.

Energy efficiencyProducing a high level of output or performance relative to the amount of energy consumed (GSTC). 

Environmental impact studyProcess of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse. Although legislation and practice vary around the world, the fundamental components of an environmental impact assessment would necessarily involve the following stages:

(i) Screening to determine which projects or developments require a full or partial impact assessment study;
(ii) Scoping to identify which potential impacts are relevant to assess, and to derive terms of reference for the impact assessment;
(iii) Impact assessment to predict and identify the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development taking into account inter-related consequences of the project proposal, and the socio-economic impacts;
(iv) Identifying mitigation measures (including not proceeding with the development, finding alternative designs or sites which avoid the impacts, incorporating safeguards in the design of the project, or providing compensation for adverse impacts);
(v) Deciding whether to approve the project or not; and
(vi) Monitoring and evaluating the development activities, predicted impacts and proposed mitigation measures to ensure that unpredicted impacts or failed mitigation measures are identified and addressed in a timely fashion (GSTC).

Environmentally friendlyA loose term often used in marketing to inform consumers about an attribute of a product or service that has an environmental benefit. This term does not necessarily indicate all attributes of a product or service is environmentally benign (GSTC). 

Environmentally soundTechnologies and techniques capable of reducing environmental damage through processes and materials that generate fewer potentially damanging substances, recover such substances from emissions prior to discharge, or utilize and recycle production residues (GSTC). 

EquitableDealing fairly and equally with all concerned (GSTC). 

EutrophicationThe process by which a body of water accumulates nutrients, particularly nitrates and phosphates. This process can be accelerated by nutrient-rich runoff or seepage from agricultural land or from sewage outfalls, leading to rapid and excessive growth of algae and aquatic plants and undesirable changes in water quality (GSTC). 

Extinction riskThe degree to which a species faces the possibilty of no longer existing as defined by expert organizations (GSTC). 

Fracking: (Hydraulic fracturing) the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid (Wikipedia). View in context.

Geotourism: Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents (National Geographic). View in context.

Global Sustainable Tourism CriteriaA set of criteria applicable worldwide to hotels and tour operators that determine whether or not the business approaches sustainability (GSTC). View in context.

Gray water (grey water)Wastewater that does not contain sewage or fecal contamination and can be reused for irrigation after simple filtration (GSTC). 

Greenhouse gasAtmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect and sustain life on earth. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are altering the habitat humans evolved to thrive in; this is a process called global warming or climate change. Greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, ozone, methane, and CFCs (GSTC). 

HabitatThe structural environments where an organism lives for all or part of his life, including environments once occupied (continuously, periodically, or occasionally) by an organism or group of organisms of that kind have the potential to be reinstated (GSTC). 

Hazardous materialsAny substance or item that poses a threat to biological health and the environment. Hazardous materials are toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive or chemically reactive (GSTC). 

Heritage areaA place where natural, cultural, historic or scenic resources present a distinct location arising from patterns of human activity (GSTC). 

High biodiversity valueAreas that meet one or more of the following criteria are considered to have a high biodiversity value:
1) IUCN Category I-IV protected areas
2) IUCN Category V-VI protected areas
3) Wetlands of International Importance designated under the Ramsar Convention
4) Natura 2000 sites as determined under the European Birds and Habitats Directives
5) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) as defined by Birdlife International
6) Biosphere Reserves designated under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (GSTC). 

Historical properties: Fixed assets that are identifiable because of particular historic, national, regional, local, religious or symbolic significance (GSTC). 

Historically sensitive sitesStructures or locations, built or natural, having significance for, or being representative of, human activities or beliefs, especially as they relate to the past (GSTC). 

Leakagethe way in which revenue generated by tourism is lost to other countries’ economies. Leakage may be so significant in some developing countries that it partially neutralizes the money generated by tourism (Wikipedia). View in context.

Living cultureThe activities or by-products of a particular group of people. It is to be distinguished from inert cultural artefacts, perhaps from a now-dead tradition ¾ except as these artefacts are given new life by the descendants of the original practitioners. Living culture is also to be distinguished from the cultural forms learned from members of a community and staged by students or professional performers (GSTC).

Living wageThe level of wages sufficient to meet the basic living needs (food, water, shelter, healthcare) of an average-sized family in a particular economy (GSTC). 

LocalThe area immediately around the site of business operations and can vary depending on the density of the location. The business’ definition of local (i.e. 10 km radius, within a municipality, etc) as it applies to the criteria and indicator should be decided upon and documented within planning document (GSTC). 

Local community: Those people living in the immediate area potentially affected socially, economically, or environmentally by a tourism project (GSTC). 

Local employeeAn employee from an area within a pre-defined geographic area (see definition for “Local”) of the tourism business or from an area that is effected by the tourism business’ operations (GSTC). 

Local minoritiesA social group or category of people from within a specified area from the tourism business (see definition for “local”) who are stigmatized and/or discriminated against on the basis of that identity. Refers to situations in which such groups are numerical minorities with respect to dominant cultural or ethnic majorities or to groups that suffer from disparities of power or unequal treatment (GSTC).

Local residents: Residents of local communities who belong to an ethnic group that is a minority in the country and has a lower standard of living than the general population (GSTC). 

Local supplierAn individual or an enterprise from within a defined area from the tourism business (see defintion of “local”) that provides a good or service to the tourism business (GSTC). 

Locally appropriateCommensurate with the sociocultural and ecological norms of a particular area, especially as it pertains to avoiding the damage to local aesthetics, customs, or biodiversity (GSTC). 

Native speciesPlants, animals, or other living organisms that are found as part of local natural ecosystems (GSTC).

Natural heritageNatural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view;geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation; natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value fromthe point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty (GSTC). 

Negative impactThe result of a tourism-related activity that it detrimental to the economic, socio-cultural, or environmental fabric of a destination or its peoples (GSTC).

Neighboring communities: A community that is located tangentially to a tourism business or to the areas in which the tourism business operates (GSTC). 

Offset: The process of counterbalancing or compensating for another process (seecarbon offset) (GSTC). 

PollutionThe presence of substances and heat in environmental media (air, water, land) whose nature, location, or quantity produces undesirable environmental effects; an activity that generates pollutants (GSTC). 

Population inventoryThe total process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and publishing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining, at a specified time, to all persons in a country or in a well delimited part of a country (GSTC). 

Potable waterWater that is suitable for consumption by humans (GSTC). 

Protected areasA legally established land or water area under either public or private ownership that is regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives (GSTC). 

Protected speciesPlants, animals, or other organisms whose populations are seriously reduced and which are given special consideration for their conservation by laws, regulations, or international agreements (GSTC). 

Public benefit: Relating to the improvement in quality of life for members of a predefined community set (GSTC). 

QualitativeExpressing a certain quantity, amount or range. It makes sense to set boundary limits to such data, and it is also meaningful to apply arithmetic operations to the data (GSTC).

QualityThe degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of a product fulfills customer requirements (GSTC). 

Quantitative: Describing a quality which can be measured by numerals (GSTC). 

Rare speciesRare species are taxa with small world populations that, though not at present endangered or vulnerable, are at risk. These taxa are localized within restricted geographical areas or habitats or thinly scattered over a more extensive range (GSTC). 

Renewable energyEnergy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat—which are naturally replenished, but when utilized to not destabalize ecosystems; a resource that is capable of being replenished through natural processes (e.g., the hydrological cycle) or its own reproduction, generally within a time-span that does not exceed a few decades (GSTC).

RespectProviding consideration and deference to the actions, beliefs, or existence of another person or thing (GSTC).

Responsible consumptionA concerted effort to purchase and use goods and services that have low environmental footprints and provide a positive economic impact where feasible (GSTC). 

Sexual exploitation: Sexual exploitation is the sexual abuse of men and women of all ages through the exchange of sex or sexual acts for drugs, food, shelter, protection, other basics of life, and/or money (GSTC). 

Slum tourism: A type of tourism that involves visiting impoverished areas (Wikipedia).View in context.

StakeholderIndividuals or institutions (public and private) interested and involved in a process or related activities (GSTC). 

Sustainable constructionConstruction that maximizes the use of renewable energy resources, and minimizes noise pollution, erosion of the site and roads, destruction of vegetation by project vehicles, and negative impacts on air, soil, and water (GSTC). 

Sustainable designA term now in common use in architecture and refers to design that reduces energy and water consumption, uses environmentally innocuous materials, and is in harmony (aesthetic, environmental, and cultural) with the surroundings (GSTC). 

Sustainable development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Bank). 

Sustainable landscapingSustainable Landscaping should include an attractive environment that is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs, such as fertilizer, pesticides and water. Sustainable landscaping begins with an appropriate design that includes functional, cost efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly and maintainable areas. It is landscape design that emphasizes native tress, vines, shrubs, and perennials which help to maintain the biodiversity of the region (GSTC). 

Sustainable tourismTourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities (UNWTO). View in context

SustainabilityUse of resources, in an environmentally responsible, socially fair and economically viable manner, so that by meeting current usage needs, the possibility of its use by future generations is not compromised (GSTC). 

Sustainability management systemManagement system (set of iterrelated elements) to establish a sustainability policy and sustainability objectives and to achieve those objectives (GSTC).

VoluntourismA form of tourism in which travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity (Oxford Dictionaries). View in context.

Waste management planA documented methodology to address: (a) collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, (b) control, monitoring and regulation of the production, collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, and (c) prevention of waste production through in—process modifications, reuse and recycling (GSTC). 

Waste waterUsed water, typically discharged into the sewage system and often contains matter and bacteria in solution or suspension (GSTC). 

Wildlife: Living things that are neither human nor domesticated (GSTC). 

Share