Traveling is fantastic and therapeutic but consider the impact it has on the environment. It contributes a great deal to the climate crisis. The Tourism Industry is one of the biggest economy sectors in the world .It is responsible for creating 235 million jobs in the world. Tourism is the main source of Income for most developing countries. Research states that by 2030, there will be 1.8 billion International Tourists in the world.
On the other hand, Tourism is one of the major causes of pollution and carbon dioxide production. For example, EU data tells us that tourism is one of the first causes of the carbon dioxide production in Europe, and that over 20% of polluting emissions are associated with accommodations .If we do not travel responsibly, it can cause so much threat to the world in which we live.
In this blog post, we look at few ways to practice Sustainable Tourism. Ways to make our travel more conscious and sustainable.
Understanding the concept of Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism is a way of traveling and exploring a destination or a place while respecting its culture, environment, and people. In short, it means to travel in such a manner that you would prioritize local traditions, natural resources, and residents over mass tourism.
What is the Importance of Sustainable Tourism
We all need to practise Sustainable Tourism as it helps in protecting the environment by curbing pollution to a great extent. It also helps promote peace and harmony, reduce poverty, better economic growth etc. I am so glad that the city i live in Barcelona realises the importance of Sustainable Tourism and promotes it in several ways. Wondering how? Have a look at the inforgraph below
If you are concerned about the environment, consider these recommendations for your next trip:
- Avoid taking flights.If you have to fly then take direct flights and also travel with a light luggage. Purchase carbon offsets when flying- For every Co2 you emit, you can offset it with a reduction elsewhere. Some airlines offer this option when you purchase your flight (for a fee) and then use this money to fund renewable energy or methane capture projects. Even one kilogram luggage weight will help the plane to use less fuel so try to pack wisely.
- Use ecopy of your boarding pass instead of printing and wasting paper.
- Walk or Cycle whenever possible. If you are visiting Barcelona, and wondering whats the best way to explore the city, then take up a tour with Runner Bean Tours .This Tour Company is a true advocate of Responsible Tourism. We have spoken several times about their free walking tours on our blog .You can read our reviews HERE
- Use Reef safe sunscreen (environment friendly sunscreen) to protect the water and prevent water pollution and damage to reefs and sea life.
- Use Bamboo utensils, Reusable straws and bags. Reduce plastic wastage and always Bring zero waster toiletries.
- Avoid buying new clothes or products instead Shop at a thrift store. Thrifting is so in these days.
- Do not litter.
- Do not visit animal abuse attractions such as Zoos. Avoid riding animals and say NO to places that practise animal exploitation for recreation purposes.
- Opt for eco friendly accomodation. Say yes to couch surfing or homestays over hotels and Airbnbs. Request the staff not to wash your bed linen or towels everyday and save water. Avoid single use hotel toilteries. Carry solid soap and conditioner.Lush Cosmetics makes amazing solid shampoo and conditioner. If you havent checked them out yet, its high time you do.
- Shop local and ethnical. Say no to illegal trade and black market.
- Buy a filtered water bottle and refill on the go.
- Switch to a menstrual cup and invest in a Zero Waste Period.
- Try vegetarian or vegan food during your travel. Use HappyCow to find Vegan Food options near you. So good for you and the planet! Go shopping at the farmers market and eat local produce instead of promoting the major Fast Food Giants like Burger King, McDonalds etc.
- Respect the local customs and practises of the people. Learn a few phrases in their language and converse with the locals.
Sustainable Tourism should not just be a trend. It should be considered a way of life and not just limited to tourism.
We hope you enjoyed this post on Sustainable Tourism. The purpose of this post was to highlight the importance of Sustainable Tourism and ways to follow it. If you have more pointers on how to make travel more sustainable, then let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.