Destinations for skiing, climbing, hiking, taking in beautiful landscapes, discovering new cultures and exploring the past, mountains attract tourists for a multitude of reasons. Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in mountain regions, attracting around 15-25% of global tourism. Revenues generating from mountain tourism provide opportunities for local communities to diversify their livelihoods, expand new markets and to enhance cultural exchange.
Mountain tourism is economic pillar in some mountain areas, bringing jobs and business opportunities. The tourism industry in mountain regions also leads to infrastructural development which further creates economic opportunities.
Yet mountain tourism also has the potential to destroy the natural and cultural resources on which it is built.
Concerted efforts by policy makers, development agencies, civil society and the private sector working with mountain communities to steer tourism on a more sustainable path can create a force to fight poverty in mountain areas.