Every Year on the 27th of September, the United Nations organizes the annual event of World Tourism Day.
The growth of tourism worldwide is estimated to grow at 3.3% till 2030. Following this trend, the International Tourist Arrivals which stand at 1.2 billion as of 2015, will likely grow to 1.8 billion by 2030.
Woah! This means more people traveling. This makes me happy.
World Tourism Day
This year’s, the World Tourism Day is focused on sustainable, planet-friendly, eco-tourism.
UNWTO’s Secretary General Taleb Rifai echoed this sentiment when he said, “the question is how we enable this [Travel as a] powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars.”
Sustainable Travel Tips
The five pillars of sustainable travel are Environment, Society, Economy, Peace, and Culture. The international tourism faced many challenges this year from the wave of terrorist incidents to disrespectful tourists plundering pristine eco-systems.
So, this year let all travelers learn to adopt sustainable tourism. Below, I have mentioned four tips to ensure you follow the ways of sustainable world travel.
Respect the Culture
Wherever you go, be updated about the culture of that place. Even if you are not, be as much as flexible as you can be. Talking from experience, I was once standing in front of a statue of Lord Buddha and so was another fellow traveler.
He started posting like the statue and framed comic pictures which didn’t go well with the locals who were devotees of Lord Buddha. This World Tourism Day, make sure you keep your mind open and your heart sensitive to understand what’s going on around you.
Protect the Nature
This is one of the top priorities of a responsible traveler. One thing I learned from my sister is how to protect nature. She is an environmentalist and always advocates for nature. As a traveler, you want to be carefree and wild.
But sometimes it is easy to mistake carefree and wild, with carelessness and irresponsible. We all have a duty towards nature, and whenever nature demands our attention we should pay it.
If you can dodge the use of vehicles (as much as possible) to curb the release of Green House Gases that is well and good.
If you refrain from entering the protected areas, which other tourists think as adventure then hats off (because Protected Areas are Protected areas for a reason).
Use Resources Wisely
We belong to a generation where water is as precious as fuel. If we don’t use our resources wisely then maybe we will have to live in a deficit.
As travelers, it is our concern not to misuse any resources. Do not let the tap open indefinitely, do not switch on numerous lights and electrical appliances when not needed. Save Energy and Energy will save you.
Support Local Businesses
Many of us dream of traveling luxuriously which excludes any involvement with the local businesses. But as a tourist going local is the best way to discover a place.
Whenever I travel, I try to go as much as a local as possible. Be it eating at a local shack, or buying a memento from a local vendor.
The UN released a handbook which is the responsible traveler’s etiquette called “Travel. Enjoy. Respect”, which has guidelines to be a responsible tourist.