Tourism is one of the sectors with the greatest opportunity for growth and expansion, but it is also vulnerable to various challenges, such as natural disasters and unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic. However, today I want to highlight the relevance and popularity of sustainable tourism, especially its influence on marine conservation. Does Sustainable Tourism Exist? If you are a regular reader, you will know that we have often referred to contemporary society as environmentally conscious consumers. This is confirmed by a note published by the German online statistics portal Statista, citing that approx 44% of respondents consider environmental protection one of the most important issues for their country. According to 2022 estimates, the sustainable tourism market was projected to grow annually by 33.3%, suggesting that by 2024, the percentage much be higher. Sustainable tourism involves respectful tourism activities that generate minimal environmental impact. How Does Marine Conservation Contribute to Sustainable Tourism? The reality is that, according to the Ocean Panel, coastal and marine tourism represents at least 50% of global tourism. This is largely attributed to the quality of ecosystems, which are crucial for attracting visitors. This presents a significant opportunity for countries, especially in the Caribbean, where tourism demand is primarily focused

Tourism represented approximately four percent of the global economy before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2020-2021, the sector experienced significant losses, including a marked decline in capital investment, which included foreign direct investment. Since then, global tourism has been recovering slowly but steadily, returning to pre-pandemic levels. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), investments are crucial for the recovery and future growth of tourism, aligned with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through its recent 2022 Tourism Investment Report, it sheds light on an uneven recovery landscape and the urgent need to redesign our investment strategies focusing on education, sustainable infrastructure, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The report highlights that while tourism has shown signs of recovery, with a 5.3% increase in tourist arrivals in 2021, foreign direct investment (FDI) has remained low. In this regard, FDI in tourism decreased in 2021 and continued its decline in the first half of this year, despite the significant increase in air traffic in Europe. This disparity indicates that, although the demand for travel has improved, investments in the sector have not followed the same pace, posing a critical challenge that demands our attention. Despite this scenario, the report points out that investment is