B A C K G R O U N D Tourism has become one of the world's leading economic sectors. The disadvantages of nonsustainable tourism, such as ecological disruption, pressure on resources, air, water and soil pollution, visitor pressure, disturbance and damage to the ways of life and social structure, all lead to a growing public awareness and the need to establish a new type of tourism development that harmonises socioeconomic benefits with the protection of the environment.