What is Sustainable Travel? You are planning to travel and you want to travel without harming the natural and cultural environment you travel to next! With more focus on sustainable travel, there is more ability to reduce the negative impact of tourism and even improve the areas visited. No matter your knowledge of sustainable travel, its important we all take time to help with conservation efforts around the globe.
We all had to learn that whole wheat is not the same as whole grain or sprouted wheat… please be careful and research the many names for sustainable travel… Geotourism, Ecotourism, Voluntourism, and Responsible Tourism, as they do not all mean the same thing. Check out https://sustainabletravel.org/ for all your sustainable travel questions.
But before you do that here are a few guidelines to get you started!
Choose Local Operators
- The tourism industry in any area can boost the local economy. Many all inclusive itineraries and hotels are run from abroad. Try to use locally run accommodations. The Brando is a shining example. https://thebrando.com/stewardship/
- If you prefer larger chains, choose operators that prioritize taking steps toward sustainability. They do exist. For example, all of the Fairmont properties have been LEED certified, and they employ innovative concepts like heat recycling and green roofs. Some of their properties even have bees on their rooftops! They participate in redistributing food and soap as well.
- Use local tour operators. A walking tour, fishing outing, or hike can be hosted by the local expert. A regional example is that in Africa, where poaching is epidemic, tour operators are training locals to be tour guides so they have a source of income and will have no need to poach. You can also support these local operators by recommending them to others.
Respect the Culture and the People
- Learn the customs of the region and respect them. Try to question your assumptions while meeting people. Show a genuine interest in who they are and compare that to who you thought they would be. It will broaden your horizons.
Support Social Projects
- Before you leave on your trip, ask your travel advisor or those local operators you contracted with if there are a few usable goods you could bring with you to give away, i.e. pens, chalk, books.
Responsible Consumption at Home and on the Road
- When you return, look into your local conservation efforts. Whether it be water, gardening, recycling, solar energy, composting or donating money to a local effort. Get involved.
Micato Safaris – For every safari they sell, they send a child to school.