Sustainable Travel - The Future of Tourism
Why Should Travelling be Sustainable?
Our planet has a limited amount of natural resources, and these are rapidly depleting due to a number of activities we take on as travellers of the world. Every time we decide to explore a new destination, we use up resources and affect the planet in a negative way.
We start this by catching a flight to get there which results in massive CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Once we get to our destination of choice, we stay in fancy hotels. New hotels and resorts are constantly being built to cater for the growing number of tourists. They are often built on natural areas to give you access to the breath-taking views and this, along with a great many other factors, is how mass tourism threatens our environment.
“New hotels and resorts are constantly being built to cater for the growing number of tourists”
While tourism is a wonderful industry, it should not prosper at the cost of our planet. Tourism often causes increased pollution levels and can affect wildlife and nature adversely. This is why travellers need to be more mindful about valuing the environment and making sure not to exhaust natural resources for the future. There has to be greater emphasis on preserving nature and avoiding over-tourism.
What Is Sustainable Travelling?
Sustainable tourism is about finding a way to continue tourism in a place without negatively impacting its natural and cultural environment. It focuses on providing comfortable facilities to tourists while preserving the resources and environment of the host region.
It is all based on the central idea of being more conscious of how we travel. Sustainable travelling aims to reduce harmful effects of travelling on the environment. It also tries to improve the condition of the local economy and to create a positive effect on the local community.
Why Is Sustainable Travelling the Way Forward?
The tourism industry has finally entered a new era of sustainable travelling. Leaders around the world have started to address this issue to create awareness. The future success of tourism relies heavily on economic, social, and environmental initiatives. These are the reasons which have led to the popularity of sustainable travelling.
Global Warming Continues
Summers are getting hotter and winter seasons around the world continue to shrink. Polar ice sheets are starting to melt as a result of the rising average temperature of the planet, and even islands in the Pacific are slowly disappearing due to the rising sea levels.
All of these consequences of global warming are alarming to say the least. Companies all over the world are making efforts to lessen their harmful impact on the planet. People are becoming more and more conscious of their carbon footprint. This is why an ever increasing number of people are shifting towards sustainable travelling. According to a report on home ownership accommodation, 72% of its users have claimed that environmental benefits of home sharing were the main reason they chose this type of stay.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Summit
The United Nations took an initiative to promote sustainability and brought together leaders from all over the world. The summit decided upon 17 sustainable development goals which will help to minimise problems of poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.
Such global campaigns with the involvement of influential world leaders have surely contributed to the awareness and popularity of sustainability. Reaching these goals involves the implementation of sustainability in every industry including the travel industry.
Millennials Are More Environmentally Conscious
Millennials have been born into an era where they have to fulfil the duty of becoming responsible inhabitants of this planet. Generations before them continued to exploit and pollute the planet as they fancied and now they have no choice but to fix it. This is why millennials are committed to making this world a better place through sustainable travelling.
In 2018, young travellers were 45% less likely to book a holiday with recreational activities included. Instead, they seeked enriching travel experiences and engaging with local culture. Their passion for globetrotting came with dedication to protect destinations and local communities. Their interaction with local communities made them want to do right by them.
Digital Storytelling Encourages Responsible Travelling
In this digital age, everyone is on social media. We all love making videos and blogging about our unique experiences. Technological advancements have put the power of spreading messages in the hands of ordinary people.
“Technological advancements have put the power of spreading messages in the hands of ordinary people”
As a result, people share their travel stories and create awareness about social problems instantly. Social media can help them highlight the issues that come with tourism and promote sustainable travelling.
Such measures to create awareness have resulted in some remarkable results. According to booking.com, more than two thirds (68%) of all travellers wanted to stay in eco-accommodation in 2018. This shows a rising trend as this was 65% in 2017, and 62% in 2016. This is a great achievement for sustainable travelling and shows that people have finally realised its significance.
What We Can Do
The idea and general concept of sustainable travelling has really only arisen in recent years as the ever-evident need to help save and preserve our planet has become so apparent.
It’s quite plain to see now that we must do all we can to protect the wonders this earth has to offer, for future generations to be able to see and enjoy them for themselves. If we continue to travel irresponsibly as people did in the past, future generations will be robbed of the exceptional experiences we were lucky enough to have. This is why we must make an effort to care for this earth and encourage people to do the same.
It is time for a change and becoming a greener traveller is a start.
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