Have you ever been lost in one of these crowded places wondering why there are so many people? Buzzwords like flight shaming, over-tourism, and climate change are well known since 1.4 billion tourism arrivals were counted globally by UNWTO in 2018 (1). The middle class is rising, and it is accompanied by the wish to explore and travel the world (2). No matter how you define travel for yourself, local people already recognize that tourism sometimes also brings negative effects: rise in CO2 emissions, crowded places, rising prices for housing and food, bad air quality where cruise ships are landing, and their pollution of the environment (3).
Sustainable Tourism Is Explicitly Mentioned in the Following SDGs:
- Goal No. 8.9: ‘By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products’
- Goal No. 12B: ‘Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products’
- Goal No. 14.7: ‘By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism’
But how can you benefit from travelling sustainably?
- Actions against climate change: Your decision is making a change! Instead of taking a short-haul flight, why don’t you take the train? It sometimes provides some surprises and gives you some time to relax, work or slowdown. Even if you decide to book a flight, you can check the possibility of a direct flight, and you can also choose to offset your in-flight carbon emissions. This service is offered by different companies, which invest your money in planting trees or helping people to use and implement green technology.
- Enjoy travelling in different, surprising ways and change your perspective: Strongly connected to a change of your perspective when avoiding the crowds, talk elsewhere to people, and eat some food you have never experienced before. You may discover new places and hidden pearls, meet new friends, and collect some unforgettable moments.
- Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals: Actively support Agenda 2030 and help to behave more sustainably! Demanding sustainable goods and services helps to create more jobs in sustainable tourism and a wider range of new sustainable services. Take care of resources and don’t exploit them.
- Consciousness and learning: It may take some time to plan and prepare your trip, but you will understand the local culture in more detail. At your destination of choice, you can also visit local markets or spend some time in a museum to learn about the local culture or different ways/concepts of living. Whatever you expect and want to learn from your journey, it will be a fantastic experience and a surprising insight into your travel behaviour; for example, have you ever asked yourself how much CO2 you produce during a journey?
- International Tourist Arrivals Reach 1.4 Billion Two Years Ahead of Forecasts
- Chhabra, Deepak (2010): Sustainable Marketing of Cultural and Heritage Tourism
- Saarinen, Jarkko (2006): Traditions in Sustainability in Tourism Studies. In: Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 33 Issue 4, pp. 1121-1140; Islam, Faijul. (2013). ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF TOURISM. American Journal of Environment, Energy and Power Research/How Do Cruise Ships Impact on the Environment
- How You Benefit From Travelling Sustainably
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