What is sustainable tourism? 1 Aug 2023

What is sustainable tourism?

Understanding the Concept of Sustainable Tourism

Let's put on our green thinking caps and dive into the subject of sustainable tourism, shall we? Essentially, sustainable tourism is about having a softer impact on both the environment and cultures when we take that much-needed vacation. It is, in its essence, a way of travelling that can be maintained long-term without harming natural and cultural environments. Sustainable tourism should bring a positive experience for the people who live in the area, reducing the negatives to a minimum. A weekend in the countryside? An escape to the mountains? A tour around the city's delicious food spots? All these can be pursued in a sustainable manner, making the 'journey' a part of the meaningful 'destination.' Oreo, my energetic Golden Retriever and constant travel companion, always feels the vibrancy of how being eco-friendly can add to the overall travel experience.

Considering the Three Pillars of Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism is fondly referred to as the three-legged stool. It's like a juggling act between three significant aspects - economic, environmental, and socio-cultural. Let's imagine we're handling crystal balls here, trying not to let any of these essential elements slip. Economically, tourism must contribute positively to the local economy, creating jobs and promoting local services and products without exploiting local communities. Environmentally, it's the conservation and preservation of our natural resources, reducing waste and curbing pollution. It's high time we swapped selfies with endangered species for bird-watching from afar, don't you think? From a socio-cultural perspective, it's about respecting and preserving local customs, traditions, heritage, and monuments. Have you ever tried mastering the Maori haka or danced to the tunes of flamenco? Trust me; it's a hoot!

The Future of Tourism is Green

In the future, we're looking at a greener shade of travel. Think verdant forests, scenic landscapes and fresh, unpolluted air. As an ardent nature lover, I confess there's nothing that fascinates me more than witnessing Mother Nature in her full glory, untamed and unrestricted. I revere the moments when I can glimpse a rare endemic bird in its natural habitat, watch a herd of wild elephants crossing African grasslands, or sit quietly, watching the sun dip beyond the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink. Ah, bliss! Sustainable tourism is what we need to preserve these experiences for future generations. Isn't it great to think that our grandkids could still enjoy these sights, just as we do today? I believe it's our duty to take forward the baton of green travel, and make every journey a step towards sustainable living.

Playing our Part in Promoting Sustainable Travel

Now, you must be thinking, "Hey Sebastian, that's all good in theory, but how can we actually implement this in our travels?" Well, take it from me, it's easier than cooking a two-minute noodle! We can start by being considerate travelers, being aware of the cultural sensitivities of the communities we visit. Secondly, choosing local and eco-friendly accommodation options, and promoting small-scale local businesses by purchasing their products or using their services. Also, reducing, reusing, and recycling should be our mantra. And lastly, respect wildlife and their habitats. Oreo, my golden retriever, could show you a thing or two about peacefully co-existing with wildlife.

Each Step Can Make a Difference

I think it's the small steps that truly make the big difference. Like the time I chose to stay in a local Bed & Breakfast instead of a fancy resort when I visited Bali. Not only did I enjoy the authentic local cuisine (Who knew tempeh could be so delicious?), but I also got to experience the warm hospitality of the locals. My green choices extended even to the souvenirs I bought - handicrafts made by local artisans. No, I did not pick up that mass-produced miniature of a temple, but instead chose hand-woven baskets and wood carvings that held stories of a rich cultural heritage. These small decisions we make can actually help pop the tourism balloon that's been hovering over these communities and keep tourism sustainable for years to come.

Now go ahead - plan your next vacation, earn those priceless memories, and leave footprints of love, kindness, and respect on the sands of time. But remember, let's tread softly, because we tread on our dreams of a greener, more sustainable future. Let's make sustainable tourism our new way of life and remember, every little helps!

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