Travelling sustainable : what is about ?
Sustainable tourism is a specific tourism that started at the beginning of the 1990’s. This concept includes economic, social and environmental aspects of the sustainable development. Sustainable tourism includes the respect of all stakeholders (indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industries, governments), while protecting nature and social heritage. It requires to think long-term because it is a continuous process.
To be sustainable a destination has to promote sustainable practices : tourism by host population, fair compensation for local workers, touristic transportation and activites environment-friendly. Also, sustainable tourism has to maintain a high level of client satisfaction by ensuring a meaningful experience to the visitors.
That means :
- to minimise negative impacts on social, economic and environmental aspects
- to generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
- to provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through meaningful connections with local people.
- to involve local people in decisions that affect their life conditions
- to preserve the natural and cultural heritage by embracing diversity
- to arrange an access for disabled people
Do you want to become a « sustainable traveller » ?
First of all, you have to have the desire to travel sustainably. Depending on your philosophy of life, your personality, your hobbies : your traveling tastes will be different. Whether you are interested in luxury travel, acting responsibly or living your life day by day without any specific goals, your tastes will guide you to travel in the same way that you are.
If you care about sustainable development, you will be interested in sustainable and responsible tourism and being a sustainable traveller starts before your trip.
What you should do for travelling sustainably :
- Choose eco search engine which reforests our planet : Ecosia plants a tree every 7 seconds, and with Lilo you support for free the social and environmental projects and Yaffle helps environmental associations to protect endangered species.
- Check an co-responsible booking platform as Fairbooking, Responsible Travel, Kind Traveler a socially conscious hotel booking platform, or Earthchangers, a online eco-travel booking platform.
- Choose an application as FairTrip which promotes a fair and sustainable tourism and which permits local communities developement and to preserve nature and inheritage, or Trip Connexion, which permits to book directly with local agencies without any commission. You also have BookDifferent.
- Choose sustainable agencies or tour operator.
- Offset your impact on climate with GreenTripper.
How you should see the travel experience :
You have to respect the local communities and adapt yourself to local rules and traditions. Keep in mind that the host populations will welcome you as sweet as possible if you are respectful and kind.
You have to pay attention to your gesture : countries are not similar : colors and words have different meanings according to the situations and the people involved. Be careful if you plan to hitchhike abroad for example : check online the right thumbs up gesture around the world.
As a traveller and an human being, you have a moral duty concerning all the tourist drifts : prostitution, child labor, slavery etc. Travelling doesn’t mean to take advantage to local people : it means to share mutual experiences of life and points of view. Ask if you want to take a picture of someone and respect the local environment : do not take souvenirs from natural and archeological sites. But, if you feel embarrassed by a subject or a situation, do not hesitate to stop the exchange explaining you desagree or to politely leave the place.
Whatever you are planning to do or visit, ask to locals if it’s safe : you could be trapped because of a capricious weather, a dangerous territory, or threatened by wild beasts or desesperate people.
Always check if what you are planning to do is legal, whatever it is : wild camping is strickly forbidden in Croatia for example, and in USA it is illegal to work in exchange of food and roof with the Workaway website. And sometimes a Hiking Permit will be asking to you if you want to do some walking around.
How you should travel sustainably :
- Choose sustainable and ethic destinations : death penalty for children is allowed since 2014 in the Maldives islands for example.
- Educate yourself about the place you are visiting and the people : dress respectively and adhere to the local codes.
- Support the local economy and book local family-run eco-friendly hotel.
- Do not support the illegal drug trade or the sex trade.
- Try to travel by bus, bicycle, camel, horse or by your own feet.
- Try to avoid excessive waste and to reduce energy consumption : bring your own gourd, take shorter showers, unplug electronic equipment etc.
- Do not hurt animals (elephants in Asia are not horses) and do not purchase or eat endangered species (turtle, whales).
- Use only eco-friendly laundry detergent or soap for cleaning your clothes, washing your dishes and your body, a rope and some wooden clothespins instead of using washing machine and dryer.
To continue in the sustainable world…