Sustainable tourism is a tourism attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.
Between the 1960´s and beginning of this decade, the construction of golf courses in Andalusia has been directly linked to the promotion of the real estate and although until the 1990´s the quality of the golf courses was given more importance than to the real estate development, it
is necessary to recognize that in the years of the explosion of the very strong real estate
boom that Spain witnessed until five years ago, this balanced changed towards the interests of the real estate market, sometimes of a speculative nature, over the quality of the developments and the golf courses themselves.
Taking into account the risk involved for the balanced, sustainable and responsible development in Andalusia, the Government of this Autonomous Community established back in 1994 a Territorial Development law in which Government and Parliament where granted the power to plan the growth and define the basic schemes which all administrations should follow in the Territorial development of their cities. This TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF ANDALUSIA (POTA) and also the URBAN PLANS OF THE SUBREGIONAL AREAS are responsible for developing the principles, strategies, guidelines and recommendations of the regions, to which the Municipalities must adhere to.
These Plans (POTA AND POTS) approved by the Andalusian Government in 2006, have brought about a radical change in regards to the previous situation. Rigorous limits have been established
and the growth possibilities in urban as well as touristic areas of the Municipalities of Andalusia.
In relation to the development of golf courses it has completely separated the real estate development from the construction of golf courses, giving the quality of golf courses a prevalent importance in relation to its touristic value over the real estate aspect.
In this way, the Andalusia Government has established the main guidelines in which the Municipalities must act, whom until that moment did not have a reference to regulate growth and acted independently moved by their own criteria. This created an unbalance and great differences amongst different Municipalities of Andalusia.