Sustainable tourism, responsibility of all
The tourism industry has grown exponentially, but the contamination of natural spaces with a large influx of visitors poses an inescapable challenge
Although tourism contributes to the economic development of the communities where it is carried out, it generates an impact on the environment that can often trigger negative consequences for the native flora and fauna.
In the context of the 2030 Universal Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDO) promoted by the United Nations, 2017 was established as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
From there, the World Tourism Organization has promoted the change in policies and commercial practices, as well as the behavior of consumers to promote a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the 17 SDGs.
5 tips to recommend a responsible tourist
- Reuse bottles and bags: to avoid contaminating the environment with plastic waste, and enjoy a better way, it is advisable to have a reusable bottle at hand. If it is thermal, it can be charged before leaving and then look for places to recharge it. On the other hand, avoid using disposable plastic bags, it is recommended to take a cloth.
- Use public transport and bicycle: to avoid gas contamination, instead of renting cars or taking taxis, it is recommended to use public transport, as a super interesting way to connect with the destination, learn more about the idiosyncrasies and live like a local . In addition to finding out if they have a bicycle circuit, to travel autonomously and sustainably.
- Take care of the resources in the lodging: it is important not to leave lights on when they are not used, as well as heating or air conditioning. The energy consumed is reflected in the carbon footprint and that impacts the welfare of the planet. In that sense, some hotels have sustainable policies, in which they even recommend asking room service every other day as a measure to save water in the washing of linen.
- Zero waste: when visiting a tourist destination it is important to pay attention to the waste generated. Therefore, it is recommended to save them until you find where to deposit them. In addition, each place has its customs, and many separate the garbage into organic and recyclable and others have several categories that are obligatory to respect.
- Return tourist maps and brochures: most of these papers, upon returning from vacation, end up in the garbage. Therefore, once used, it is recommended to return them to the person who delivers them so that another tourist can use them.
87% of travelers from all over the world want to travel in an ecological way
An investigation of Booking.com revealed that travelers from all over the world choose these accommodations more and more, and are willing to cover the extra costs in order to travel in a more sustainable way.
According to the report, 87% of travelers from all over the world want to travel in an environmentally friendly way and 39% actually manage to travel like this or always. However, 48% indicated that they never, almost never or only sometimes manage to travel sustainably, with which we can notice that there is a great advance in ecological issues but there is still much to be done.
A sustainable journey begins with accommodation
A "sustainable journey" is a subjective term, which has different meanings for each person. However, for 46% of travelers, making a sustainable trip means staying in an ecological lodging and it is the first thing they think when they hear this term. The main reasons why travelers choose ecological accommodation are: reduce the damage to the environment (40%), enjoy a local experience (34%) and feel good about the chosen accommodation (33%).
68% of travelers want to stay in an ecological accommodation in 2018. This percentage increased: it was 65% in 2017 and 62% in 2016. Those travelers who did not consider staying in an ecological lodging (31%) said that they did not they did because they did not know about its existence. Fortunately, this situation is getting smaller, compared to 39% and 38% in 2017 and 2016 respectively. ***
Apparently, what inspires the greatest extent to travel sustainably is the journey itself. 60% indicated that the view of the natural landscape that he met in his previous trips inspired him to travel more sustainably. And 54% of travelers said that the obvious impact tourism has on destinations served as inspiration.