Like it or not travelling and tourism in general contribute and have a big impact on climate change and our planet. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable 4% in 2019 to 1.5 billion last year.
Off course that COVID 19 came to shake things up, and now travellers are questioning where and how they should travel this summer.
The important thing to keep in mind is how we can ensure that tourism can be maintained without causing a negative impact to natural and cultural environments?
Well, we will give you a few tips that you can easily follow to make your vacation more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Before the trip
1 - Travel locally
Looking for places to go to this summer? Why not travel locally? Get to know the hidden gems of your home country. By travelling by train, bus, or as a group in a car, you'll produce up to 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and help to stimulate the local economy, that is so important these days.
2 – Carbon offset
The environmental impact of the airline industry remains as dominant as any other carbon-emitting industries today. Statistics indicate that flights around the world account for around 2.5% of global carbon production
The ideal thing is that you fly less often, but when you do fly, try to carbon offset your flight.
To carbon offset your flight is one of the emerging alternative approaches to cut down the environmental impact of air travel. Carbon offsetting your trip means you as a passenger voluntarily pay for a scheme that offset your flight - you make up for emissions that your plane produces. The money gained from your offsetting is then spent on alternative energy projects.
3 – Don't print anything
Avoid printing your ticket or hotel reservations. When checking in, show it on your phone instead. Decline paper receipts from establishments when you can.
4 – Sustainable pre-vacation shopping
Buy only from companies that have sustainable and eco-friendly practices. If you buy local, you're already reducing the mileage of the products you're buying. Buy goods with minimal packaging when you are travelling, and ensure you're always carrying your own water bottle.
5 – Reduce your luggage
You can still soften the impact of frequent travel by packing lightly. Lighter luggage means a lighter flight, which means that less fuel is burnt by the plane as it travels to your destination. Make it a fun challenge, and see how little you need to take with you when you travel!
During the trip
6 - Shop from local stores
Want to take home souvenirs and gifts for friends or experience the new country or city through their food? Well, you should. But it would be best if you also chose wisely the places you buy from.
Try to support neighbourhood businesses, that way you are helping keep people employed, and preventing trucks from driving far distances.
7 – Prefer walking
Prefer to walk, rent a bike, or take public transport when you can. Use car trips for when you've got a big group and a bigger distance.
8 – Don't do take outs
If your going out for coffee skip the to-go cup. Similarly, dine-in, don't take-out.
So, here they are! Our eight tips to be a little more sustainable and eco-friendly in your next travel.
As you can see from these tips, there's a lot of research that can be done to make your trip more mindful. Switching to land travel or carbon offset your flight are just one of the many options available to reduce your impact pre-trip. While in your final destination, it's crucial to take measures to mitigate adverse impacts on cultures and the environment; thus, tourists should choose cruelty-free activities and local food.