Following the COP26 summit, it's the perfect time to discuss sustainable tourism. First of all, what does it mean and what does it look like? If you want to find out how to bring a positive impact while travelling, keep reading!
It may seem pretty self-explanatory, but let me clear any confusion. Sustainable tourism means travelling for your holidays in an eco-friendly way. What does that entail? Well, first, you need to acknowledge the impact your trip will have on both the environment and the place you're visiting. Second, it takes some planning to take into account how you can make more environmentally friendly choices. Finally, you can enjoy your holidays knowing you did your best to have an as little negative impact as possible.
When travelling responsibly you must plan things like:
Now, let me elaborate on each of these points.
When planning your holiday, you probably have go-to places to visit. And most likely, many of them are very popular and swarmed by tourists, right? Well, if that's the case - I don't blame you. There must be a reason why they're so well-loved and a popular choice. However, that also means an incredible amount of CO2 emissions, littering, waste, noise pollution, and more. What you can do to limit that is travel during the off-season. Fewer people = less annoyance for you about not getting to do some activities, right? Additionally, think about adding some lesser-known destinations that could be just as exciting, or who knows - maybe even more?
If you stay longer, you can spend more time fully appreciating what your location has to offer. Moreover, you don't have to rush and run frantically to check off all the things on your to-do list. What comes with that is also getting the chance to walk and explore more instead of using taxis, cars, etc. Slower travel will not only enhance your experience but also eliminate unnecessary stress and pollution.
One of the biggest and impactful ways to travel more sustainably is by choosing the right transportation method. As you probably already know, planes emit a lot of CO2. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions equate to ¼ tonne CO2 for an hour of flying. So, if it's possible why not choose to take a train and admire the view outside the window? If that's not possible, airlines now allow the option to pay extra to help offset the CO2 emissions you'll contribute to. Moreover, whenever you can, switch your car for public transport or share rides with your travel buddies!
Got your location, now time to pick your accommodation... Well, if you want to go full eco-friendly, I've got great news! Now you can find eco-friendly glamping stations, green accommodations, and sustainable options! It will definitely make your holidays more exciting.
As a tourist, it's easy to get lost in the place, new culture, enchanting views and fun opportunities. So, you can still have fun but try to research before if there are any green tourism businesses or outdoor activities. By supporting these sustainable and eco-friendly companies you will reduce your carbon footprint!
You should always think about how you can give back to the local communities. So, shop at local shops, support rural businesses, and get involved with the community! It's one of the greatest ways to meet the locals and find out the TRULY best local spots!
Speaking of local spots, always be respectful of the places you visit. Be aware of the significance they have to the community and pay your respects. Don't leave any mess behind, don't take or break anything - just simply experience, learn and admire. You can always take a picture (if allowed and appropriate) for your photo album and leave nothing but footprints behind.
Thinking about making sustainable and eco-friendly decisions all the time can be exhausting. Unfortunately, there's no other way to tackle the climate crisis but to make those changes on a regular. We all have to play our part. So, I hope this little guide on sustainable tourism can help you make those changes. Let's all try our best not only for the planet but for future generations too. Inspire others at work, and introduce sustainable solutions just as the hospitality industry does!
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