For tourism to be sustainable it is dependent on some key principles including operating within the capacity of the environment so that biodiversity is not lost through the degradation of areas of natural and cultural significance. The Conference of the Parties to the CBD has been called upon to help develop and implement an action oriented programme of work on sustainable tourism development and within this programme botanic gardens should play a role.
Many countries regard their botanic gardens as important tourist assets and the income to the botanic gardens from visitors and tourism is relied upon. Larger institutions have public relations and marketing sections employing professional staff, however in smaller gardens such promotion is carried out by staff who are required to be multi-skilled in several areas and may not have specific training in this work. The challenge for all botanic gardens is to attract people and then use innovative education programmes that engage the public and raise their awareness of the issues involved.