Sustainable Travel is kind of new and popular concept birthing due to a rise of various awareness and alarming environmental facts reaching to the people around the world. As a tourist, one wants to know the impact he or she creates when they travel to a certain destination and that’s where SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL comes into limelight.
It’s a concept that tries to focus on the protection of the local economy of the place, to decrease the negative impacts on the environment, and uplift socio-cultural aspects of the local community. Travel and tourism go hand in hand. So the idea behind eco-travel, sustainable tourism and green travel and mobility are tightly backed with each other. Travel pleases everyone. Holiday attracts everyone. But it comes with lots of fun emotions, happy times and lots of beautiful experiences. But is it worth in the long run?
These days if you look at it closely, there is a gush of travellers; wanting to explore various parts of the world. Travel has become the idea of relaxation and change. Also influencing them are the presence of social media wherein you really can’t resist yourself to not travel to places. Whether real or not but millennials prefer to explore new things and show them to the world. This has made travel and tourism business a heck of business now. The approach and visibility have become very transparent and it is very easy for a person to travel from one part of the world to another. No big deal what so ever.
Having said that the people want to just book a flight and run away to a whole new destination one after the other. BUT is there any thoughts on how these numerous air travel, local transportation, fancy stays, multi-cuisine food business, ignorance of local communities, after-effects of the recreational activities and unethical shows on entertainment are collectively affecting our ecosystem and us. NO, THERE ISN’T!
This write up is not to discourage you to travel and explore but this is to make you aware to smartly plan your travel and keep in mind certain things to adhere before you go and step into a new place without disrupting the local routines, clean environment and socio-cultural life. Sustainable travel is what is required right now.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
Sustainable travel is a new ideal way of travel done by a person where there is no negative impact on the environment, local people and it supports the community. If we think of travelling the world, the basic etiquettes of not polluting the place, staying local, avoiding plastic and not hampering the ocean life come as very basic. But is it enough to make a journey sustainable? Absolutely not.
Sustainable travel needs to act in lots of things like how to travel, when exactly is the right time to travel, where to stay, what to shop and what kind of entertainment one is planning to see or any recreational activities that need to be carried out and local attractions we plan to cover during our travel. The overall result of an individual’s tourism at a place at a given time should be sustainable. If we investigate the tourism and travel business facts, 72% of tourisms CO2 emission comes from TRANSPORTATION, 25% through accommodation and rest 3-4% by local activities.
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL: Alarming factors to go unseen is:
AVIATION – Almost 60% Co2 emissions from any tourism transportation are FLIGHTS and it alone counts to 75% of the total tourism climate change impact factor. And that is a lot.
SO THEREFORE SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE
-Lots of travel and tourism is so much dependent on aviation which is in a way burning off lots of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases.
-It has a big effect on climate change.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL
The number of people travelling abroad has doubled in the last 10 years. Now nearly 1.2 billion people a year board an international flight. This number is set to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030.
FACTS CHECK: Not surprisingly, the travel and tourism industry accounts for up to 10% of the global GDP ($7 trillion!).
Of course, international travel is booming like never before. all this travel comes at an enormous environmental and social cost.
WHAT SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL AIMS TO ACHIEVE?
1. Ideal use of environmental resources.
2. Maintaining existing ecological process
3. Conservation of natural heritage
4.Protection of biodiversity
5. Respect of local communities
6. Empowering their heritage and traditions
7. Contrition in intercultural communications
8. Ensuring socio-economic benefits to the local community
9. Fairly distributed income opportunities to host
10. Good experient of the travelling community
11. Safety and guidance of travellers
12. Ensuring the tourist to remain in their usual sustainable habits like turning the lights off, not wasting food, avoiding creating trash.
HOW YOU CAN TRAVEL SUSTAINABLY IN THE YEAR 2020
Going straight to the point let’s get started with the ways you can curb the environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts while you travel.
DO SMART PLANNING – you need to plan an itinerary in a way that it smartly streamlines the travel time and number of flights. The less you fly the better it is for the environment. Try to indulge in a non-stop flight so that you’ll minimise the excess emissions caused by landing and take- off.
PLAN LONGER STAYS RATHER THEN MANY SHORT STAYS – Planning longer stays at one place and exploring it as a local count a lot rather than just bucket ticking the place and offsetting to another one in 2 days. This has a big impact on transportation and tiresome travel.
SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY – try to indulge in some local crafts, local shopping and local food to boost the community and its economy. EAT, SHOP, STAY, TRAVEL LOCAL. Do not look for sushi’s in Bali and naan in Brazil. Try to uplift and encourage all homegrown and indigenous things in the place.
CHOOSE LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS – Do not pre-book your tour online with big companies who are also outsourcing people like all tourists do and then eventually consulting and hiring local people. Support local tour companies to guide you. I m sure they would know better than anyone else could.
CHOOSE A ECO-FRIENDLY HOTEL – If you are planning to not opt for a local Airbnb, then look for a hotel that is using the natural resources to entertain their guests. These days it’s very easy to identify big hotels are green or not. So book your stay looking at all these factors.
DON’T EXPLOIT THE HOTEL DELIVERABLE – Carry your own toiletries and reusable water bottle to avoid stocking up all those tiny hotel toiletries and numerous water bottles under hotel hospitality.
RELATED: WHAT IS VEGAN BEAUTY?
SELECTION OF MODE OF TRANSPORT – chose an ecofriendly mode of commute to explore the city. Rent a bicycle or use public transport, or if you have friends or have met somebody then you can plan your itineraries together and carpool. Do not go honking in the rented car sitting all alone in an air conditioner.
CHOOSE SMART AIRLINES– There are many progressive airlines like Lufthansa, KLM, American Airlines, Qantas etc that use renewable biofuels extracted from plants, agriculture sector and wood waste instead of non-renewable fossil fuels. Use airlines who advances in the sustainable design model like noise reduction, reduced fuel usage, air traffic management, fleet modernization.
OPT FOR “REGIONAL UPLIFTMENT” STAYS – There are many stays in many places that support local tourism, art, handicraft and charity certain organisations for the upliftment of their place. Look for those option for your travel.
CARRY YOUR OWN REUSABLE ESSENTIALS – this is a must when you are travelling. Don’t litter and buy unnecessary plastic water bottles, plastic bags, coffee mugs and carry bags. Carry one of your own and for your family to avoid unnecessary trash.
READ HERE: EASY WAYS TO ADOPT ECOFRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
AVOID TOO MUCH HOPPIN IN HOPPING OFF – Plan your days in a way that it doesn’t include too many stops, too many commute resources and avoid all extra travel time.
CHOOSE HOTELS THAT ARE LEED CERTIFIED OR HAVE ADOPTED – Another important aspect of sustainable travel is browsed for the hotels or accommodation that are LEED CERTIFIED for encouraging the environmentally friendly hotel.
READ HERE: WHAT IS LEED CERTIFIED?
OPT FOR WALKING TOURS – Sustainable travel discourages the use of lots of transportation. so look for good local walking tours to indulge yourself in regional experiences
DON’T SHOP UNNECESSARILY – There is absolutely no need to go crazy about shopping. Just go easy, follow the minimalistic approach and CREATE LESS TRASH.
AVOID ANIMAL SHOWS AND ANIMAL PROPPING – Absolutely avoid all the zoos’, the circus’, dolphinariums etc. By not visiting these places you are directly not supporting the captivity of innocent animals and in a way working towards animal rights.
RESPECT OTHER CULTURES AND DIVERSITIES – Last but not the lease, instead very important aspect to sustainable travel is to respect each others’ cultural diversity and empower each other because we are stronger together.
CONCLUSION: WHY YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON TRAVEL SHOULD CHANGE RIGHT NOW.
Sustainable Travel can be summarised in two points of views. As a traveller in which it is important for them to actually be satisfied and happy with the touristic experience of the place they have travelled to see so far but it is also very progressively important to make them aware of the sustainable practices and rules to actively participate in bringing up the whole sustainable travel scenarios together.
So next time you plan a trip and pack your bags, sit and ANALYSE an itinerary that is smart, conscious and meaningful in the perspective of green conservation, ethical reach and moral sentiment. Rightly so!