With growth comes prosperity. With prosperity comes an increase in travel and tourism. With an increase in travel and tourism comes pollution, ecological damages, and pandemics.
No, this post is not about Coronavirus. This blog is about the future of travel. This blog is also about how you can practice and promote sustainable travel.
By 2050, with all other economic sectors having greatly reduced their CO2 emissions, tourism is likely to be generating 40% of global carbon emissions.
The main cause is an increase in the average distance traveled by tourists, which for many years has been increasing at a faster rate than the number of trips taken.
In other words, more people are traveling to faraway international destinations than they did in the past.
Travel and tourism is related to traveling for leisure, business, or visiting friends and family. Tourism also involves primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, food and dining, and shopping.
Approximately, 72% of tourism’s CO2 emissions come from the transportation aspect of travel (moving from point A to point B), and 24% from accommodations related activities, and roughly 4% from local activities including eating.
Airline travel alone accounts for more than half of all travel-related CO2 emissions. Do whatever you can do to minimize this part.
How To Promote Sustainable Tourism
The world is massive and has endless possibilities. There is so much that we haven’t seen, and if we don’t travel, we aren’t going to either. Looking at Instagram photos and YouTube videos can only do so much for our wanderlust.
Traveling is adventurous, exciting, and stimulating, and I believe that everyone should make an effort to reach out beyond their borders. That said, it is important to be environmentally conscious while you are traveling. Hence, the promotion of sustainable tourism is essential.
In today’s post, I am going to discuss 10 practical ways to promote sustainable tourism.
Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting somewhere as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.
This can be done either by staying at a place longer than a few days and visiting adjacent countries, attractions, cities in a single trip instead of making multiple long-distance round-trip flights.
The future of our planet and climate change is in our hands
When Possible, Take Direct Flights
Planes are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions, and they are an essential part of traveling, yet we can start moving on sailboats to avoid these emissions.
So, how can we make our travel more sustainable and decrease the impact we have on the environment.
Did you know? Planes emit most of their carbon emissions during takeoff and landing. This means that connecting flights are more damaging to the environment as compared to direct flights.
Therefore, whenever you have the option, choose a direct flight, these flights maybe a little more expensive than connecting flights. Still, they are more convenient and use less fuel as well, which is also suitable for sustainability.
- Lessons Learned from Traveling the World & Living Abroad
- Top 15 Travel Trends That Will Only Grow
- 5 Tips on How to Plan a Babymoon
Find Sustainable Accommodation
If you are planning to stay at a hotel or a hostel while you are traveling, make sure that the place you chose is environmentally conscious. This will allow you to decrease your carbon footprint. Moreover, you should try to be sustainability-conscious as well.
For example, try not to waste any energy, water, or food. Make sure that you don’t cause any noise pollution, either.
Finally, you should also try to find accommodation that is locally owned so that you can support the local economy.
Only Use Reusable Stuffs
Reusable coffee cups
While you are traveling, you should try to minimize the use of disposable items such as plastic cups, bottles, and straws.
We know that plastic isn’t good for the environment, therefore, when you are traveling, make sure that you keep some useful accessories with you, like a grocery bag for shopping, a glass water bottle, a travel mug, etc.
Leave the Place As You Found It
A clean beach in Greece
This is an essential rule to follow when you are traveling in nature; for instance, if you are hiking or camping. You should try your best to have no adverse effects on your surroundings.
This means that you shouldn’t damage any local plants or trees and be as eco-friendly as possible. In short, you should leave the place as you found it.
Support the Local Food Vendors
A local fruit seller
If you are a foodie like me, you can appreciate the local cuisine and street food or exotic locations. Whenever I am traveling, I take some time to check out the local street foods, and when I’m visiting a restaurant, I choose one that is locally owned.
Instead of eating at fast-food restaurants owned by global conglomerates, I prefer eating at local establishments so that my travels can benefit the local economy.
Moreover, trying out local foods allows me to experience a whole new array of flavors and cuisines. So, make sure that you give it a try as well.
Pack Light and Smart
Carry only the necessities
One of the first lessons to becoming a master traveler is to pack light. You should always aim to travel with a single backpack or small trolly case.
If you do have a large bag, then traveling in the local transport will be more difficult for you. You will have to take a taxi or use an online ridesharing app, which can result in extra carbon emissions.
Moreover, this is bad for your budget, and if you are using ridesharing apps like UBER, you are once again benefiting large companies rather than the local economy.
Therefore, pack light, but more importantly, pack smart. This is a skill that you will develop with time, so keep making an effort. For instance, once while traveling, I got a painful ear infection; luckily, I knew how to treat an ear infection at home.
Now I always keep some medications with me, because it can be challenging to find a good doctor sometimes, like when you are on a camping trip.
Volunteer to Help Local Communities
A group of UN Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine
One of the best ways to travel on a budget and have a significantly positive impact on the world is to volunteer with organizations like the peace corps. Not only will they fund your travels, but you will get a chance to help communities in need all over the world.
If you don’t want to make a long-term commitment with the peace corps, many other non-profit organizations will allow you to volunteer for a shorter time.
Use Sustainable Transport Wherever Possible
A bike parked in Amsterdam, Holland
When you are visiting another country, you will need to move around. Now, what form of transportation should you choose? Your objective should be to minimize your carbon emissions; therefore, for longer routes, choose public transport vehicles like busses and trains.
You can also use public transport to move around locally, but these days, most big cities have electric scooters that everyone can apply through an app. These are quite affordable and convenient as well. You can also consider renting a bicycle for the day.
Respect the Practices of Local Culture
When you are traveling to a foreign country, you will encounter different religions and cultures. To be a sustainable traveler, it is also essential that you respect the practices of the local people.
This means that you should try to be discreet when people are praying or doing cultural rituals. Also, make sure that you follow the appropriate dress code when you are visiting places of worship.
In short, don’t be insensitive and do some research.
Gondola in Venice / Climate change and its impact on Tourism
Raise Awareness About Sustainable Travel
Lastly, apart from following all the tips mentioned above yourself, you should always try to raise awareness in others.
This can be achieved by sharing your sustainable traveling experience with others through vlogs and your social media accounts. Moreover, you should talk to fellow travelers about sustainable traveling as well.
Katherine Joseph writes this article. She has been wearing hearing aids for over twenty years and still is a veteran of the audiology industry. She gives a holistic view of the hearing aid industry and the equipment available at DoctEar.