South American countries, in implementing development plans and programmes since the 1950s, have sought not only to secure economic growth but also to improve the social living standards of their inhabitants with regard to health, education and higher levels of personal income. Such objectives have not yet been fully met. More recently, tourism has been seen as a means of contributing to their attainment. In this context, the introduction of the concept of sustainable tourism immediately met with acceptance, even though the meaning of this term has not yet been fully understood. Sustainable development is interpreted by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED 1987) to be a process which enables development without destroying the resources that make such development possible. When applied to tourism, as Godfrey (1996) points out, the concept of sustainable development relates to a form of environmentally friendly tourism. In South America it is ecotourism and adventure tourism that are generally considered to be sustainable.