The focus on sustainability in recent years has grown significantly and more and more people make environmentally friendly choices during their daily lives. Tourism is also one of the areas in which greater attention is being paid from the environmental point of view. In fact, it is no coincidence that we are witnessing a strong diffusion of the concept of sustainable tourism, a term by which we mean a way of traveling based on attention to nature and local communities. It is therefore a new philosophy of travel, which implies the adoption of a series of behaviors by individual travelers. Later we will try to deepen the concept, also trying to understand what are the methods to practice it.
Sustainable tourism: what it is and what advantages it brings
To better understand the concept of sustainable tourism, we can rely on the definition given byWorld Tourism Organization (WTO), according to which this expression means that tourism which "Meets the needs of travelers and host regions and at the same time protects and improves opportunities for the future".
As we said, it is a very widespread practice and which has numerous advantages. In fact, the tourism sector is particularly polluting. In addition, it can also represent one of the causes that lead to the loss of local identity, as it feeds a development aimed at ensuring the presence of accommodation facilities in tourist areas to the detriment of traditional activities in the area. Therefore, it is easy to understand how important it is to implement actions and behaviors such as to safeguard the territories from wild tourism.
How to become a sustainable traveler
Having therefore ascertained the importance of sustainable tourism, let's try to understand now how to become a responsible traveler. It is good to specify that traveling in a sustainable way does not mean reducing comfort at all. In fact, it can be perfectly combined respect for the environment and local communities with a comfortable journey.
Obviously, there are no standard rules you can rely on to be a sustainable traveler. However, the adoption of some behaviors can be useful. For example, it may be a wise choice to take low-polluting means for the travel, trying to avoid as much as possible the plane, which is the least environmentally friendly means of transport, and preferring electric cars or trains. In addition, attention must be paid to the characteristics of the structures that are chosen, preferring those that use renewable sources and guarantee water savings.
During your stay then you have to minimize waste and avoid purchasing plastic products. It can be a great idea to always carry a bottle with you. Equally important is the choice of premises, which must be conducted taking into account the offer of organic products. Last but not least, you must always remember to be a guest and to always respect the local culture. One of the purposes of a sustainable trip is also to immerse yourself in the traditions of the place.
Sustainable tourism and responsible tourism: are there differences?
Sustainable tourism should not be confused with the concept of responsible tourism. While they both have some elements in common, there are some factors that make the two concepts distinct. While in the case of sustainable tourism we speak of a travel method capable of respecting nature and at the same time local communities, the term responsible tourism means tourism that leverages social equality and respect for human rights, evaluating the ethical impact on the local population.
The future of Sustainable Tourism
Until a few years ago, sustainable tourism was a concept known to a few people, but the increase in attention in recent years towards the environment has allowed it to spread widely. The numbers of the World Tourism Organization show the sharp increase in people who prefer to travel in a sustainable way. Everything suggests that in the future these numbers are destined to increase, with positive effects not only on the environment, but also on local economies, which can draw numerous benefits from this new travel philosophy.