Alumni Talks, Sustainable Travel

Travel: The Sustainable Way!

Travelling – something we truly miss because it brings us a deeper understanding of the world around us and helps us to break down barriers by learning about different cultures.

Thanks to our four speakers we had the chance to learn about travelling sustainably in February’s Alumni Talks. They took us on a virtual trip across the world and showed us a more conscious way to explore the globe.

Our first speaker was Ada from Poland. Her passion: To dive head-over into different carnival traditions across Europe. This is how she gains access to different cultures. In her talk “Traveling to dive into cultures instead for Insta fame” she leads us into a colourful and sometimes eerie but joyous world of different traditions, festivities and costumes. She took us from Poland to Italy – from beautiful flower carpets to the fantastic world of scary looking masks. She was inspired by our previous Alumni Theme Programme “Break Out of your Routine” to learn more about European traditions and develop a deeper understanding of them. She gained fantastic insights about local traditions and a more profound connection to locals, one will never experience while hurrying for the best picture to present oneself on.

You want more carnival madness?

Check out Ada’s Talk here!

Our second speaker was Bernis who comes from Benin with “Save the World, Go off the beaten track”. He explained what sustainable tourisms means and showcased how harmful our travel behaviour can be in terms of “overtourism”. Right now, the industry is struggeling with the negative impact of the current pandemic. Especially, smaller travel agencies and wildlife tourism are badly hit and are facing huge losses in income. How to turn the situation around and use it for a transition to a more eco-friendly type of tourism? Travel countries and locations that are not affected by masses of tourists to split up the stream of people. For example travel to Benin, a Western-African country which is well-known for its hospitable people, a rich culture and Voodoo! Make sure when exploring such hidden gems to use local travel agencies like 2Morrow Trip to support the communities!

Escape with Bernis to Benin here!

Olga was our third speaker and presented the new trends for 2021 illustrated by many examples in Russia. Of course, travelling will look different this year and we should take into account that we all need to rethink our travel behaviour in general to adapt to the new reality.

She hinted that travel will predominantly happen locally or go to nearby destinations to rediscover these locations from a different perspective. Another trend is slow travel, where one travels less and spends more time to mingle with locals. Maybe you will visit less crowded sites instead of the typical hot spots. Virtual travels, too, are one the rise. How about learning to cook Soljanka online? Have you ever considered to travel to a new place from home?

If you are interested in further inspiration, check out Olga’s talk here!

Last but not least, Amit took us to India and showed how to build a community for sustainable travellers with this simple formula:

Connection + Culture + Commitment + Care = Community

He gave further insights into different types of communities: which are online or offline communities on various channels. But why is this community based tourism so important in terms of sustainable tourism? From a traveller’s perspective it provides a much deeper understanding of local traditions and livelihoods. The travel experience is more intense and full of learnings and meaningful connections. For the local communities it is a great way to raise more awareness about their culture and environment which helps in protecting these areas and empower sustainable development.

They key to a positive impact is the power of the community in which all parties will learn from each other!

Do you want to know more? Enjoy Amit’s talk here!

Thank you very much to all our speakers and we hope to see you at the next conference!