What Is Sustainable Tourism?
The world is changing and with it, the way we experience it. Gone are the days when we didn’t think much about the way we traveled, nor cared for sustainable practices in the places we visited. But if we want to continue exploring the world, and even more so, explore a world that is healthy and fair to all living species, we must make some changes in the way we do it.
The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency created by the United Nations, defines sustainable tourism as a “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities”.
By definition, sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. This means that we must take care of the resources we have at hand to ensure that the future of this planet and our species can enjoy a world with similar, if not better, ecological characteristics than we have today.
The point of being aware of climate change and our own impact on this issue is not to lock ourselves down at home and never come out again, but to make conscious decisions about how we live and what we can offer to this planet in return for everything it gives us.
There’s a new trend that’s quickly picking up that The New York Times named “regenerative travel“, which is the idea that sustainable travel is no longer enough, but we have to start thinking about travels that leave a place even better than we found it, applying the ideas of circular economies. “Regenerative tourism addresses impacts holistically, from destination and community perspectives as well as environmental.” says the article.
Whether we go for sustainable travel or regenerative travel, the important choice here is to be more intentional about how you travel, what you choose, and why you choose it. Don’t continue living this life in a non-sensical autopilot. Pick up the wheel and be the driver of a vehicle that heads into a direction that keeps in mind the communities, the animals, the ecosystems and, of course, the future generations to inhabit this planet.