Sustainable travel should be the exclusive way to travel. From unreasonable air travel that results in destructive CO2 emissions to package vacation resorts that are constructed in natural regions, international travel and tourism are distant from sustainable. Our planet has limited resources. There are only so many magnificent, natural, unharmed locations on the earth and mass tourism jeopardize their presence. Nature, culture, and history should be protected, not capitalized.
Unfortunately, multiple travellers and travel business operators continue in denial about how finite our planet's resources are and how travel is negatively impacting on the climate, local cultures, and communities. That's where sustainable travel comes in.
What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel implies finding a way through which tourism can be sustained long-term without abusing natural and cultural realms. Sustainable travel should diminish the adverse consequences of tourism and ideally be helpful to the region in which it takes place.
The World Tourism Organization interprets sustainable tourism as "development which meets the requirements of current tourists and host localities while conserving and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is anticipated as directing to the managing of all resources in such a manner that economic, social, and aesthetic requirements can be fulfilled while protecting cultural sincerity, fundamental ecological systems, biological diversity, and life support system."
Sustainable travel is about respecting the climate and looking after our natural resources. Travellers need to be further conscious of pollution levels induced by travel and how that impacts on the climate and regional wildlife. They are furthermore required to be conscious of how tourism impacts on regional people, economy, and native cultures.
There is a crossover in meaning between sustainable travel, responsible travel, eco-tourism, and green travel. These words comprise the notion of being better aware of how we travel. They attempt to diminish adverse consequences on the climate and aim to have a favorable influence on regional communities and economies.
Why Sustainable Tourism Matters
Although it may not look like an adverse movement, tourism does have an enormous consequence on the earth. Every year, people take an aggregate of 32 million flights, generating 781 million tons of carbon. Then, when we literally get to our destinations, travellers consume double the amount of water they do at home.
In the holiday attitude, we tend to surrender by overusing resources. Whether it's that excess lengthy bath in your resort room or reaching back for seconds (or thirds) at the buffet. We like the sentiment of caring for ourselves when we travel. Unfortunately, that frequently implies we're consuming much extra natural resources than we generally would.
Since the maximum of the people merely travels once or twice a year, it appears okay to indulge ourselves. The only dilemma is that we're not only one person. Altogether across the planet, 1.2 billion people journeyed in 2015. That's 1.2 billion people generating a carbon footprint with airplanes, cruises, and other categories of tourism.
Travel Impact on Local Communities and Animals
It's not only the climate we require to be concerned about. Travel has tremendous consequences on delicate communities all over the planet. Regional populations can certainly perceive the consequence of irresponsible tourism. Local communities can be taken advantage of and made to suffer like a human zoo with travellers flashing cameras in their faces.
Furthermore, there are animal populations. You've possibly learned by now how harsh and cruel elephant riding enticements are, but multiple species of animals endure a similar destiny in exploitative traveller allures. With all these adverse consequences that travel has on the climate, regional communities, and animal populations, it can be pretty disheartening. It's practically reasonable to make us close off the curtains and just stay home.
However, travel has plenty of favorable consequences as well. It enables us to connect with people of all steps of life, to appreciate and respect each other as human beings. It bestows us an incredible understanding of what's occurring on the planet and links us so we can function together to figure out global problems. That's why it's so crucial to guarantee that we can proceed to travel in the future.
Why is Sustainable Tourism Our Responsibility?
You may be a reckoning, why do I have to take up this enormous responsibility? I'm only one insignificant individual out of 1.2 billion that journeys. That may be accurate, but it's all the more purpose to take it upon ourselves to maintain a favorable effect when we wander. Altogether we have the possibility to revamp our travel manners to make sure that this world and all of its dwellers are around for the future generations to come and visit.
And when we say everyone, we mean everyone. Responsible travel shouldn't be reserved for nature-loving conscious travellers or science students obsessed with conserving the endangered species of flora and fauna. And it should certainly not be reserved for the wealthy who can afford to forever consume organic and reside in eco-luxury resorts.
Responsible and sustainable travel requires encompassing all kinds of journeys and budgets. So we can proceed with travelling, not only for our future generations but for ourselves as well. Even in our own lifetime, we may not have access to the similar areas as we do presently. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, for instance, has undergone from irremediable destruction to delicate coral colonies by snorkelers and divers. These delicate locations may not be available in the near future, let alone the future of our kids.
What We Can Do
Before we get too intimidated by the frustrations of tourism around the globe, it is crucial to point out that we're not helpless in this battle. In fact, travellers have a plenty of impact on the locations they tour. According to estimates by 2030, the figure of travellers will increase to 2 billion and they will altogether expend $2 trillion on the tourism industry.
As customers, we possess the choice to promote sustainable travel. Whether that's putting up with extra sustainable modes of transportation like ride-sharing, or selecting responsible travel companies that appreciate the regional populations instead of abusing them.