Since the wonderful invention of the World Wide Web, the planet has become more accessible and we are travelling further and more often than ever before.
No longer satisfied with a fortnight on the Costa Brava, travellers of today are looking for new experiences, new adventures, and tailor-made tours to exotic destinations, and as a result, those holidays that were once only available to the rich and famous, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking Macchu Picchu or sailing the South Pacific are now with everyone’s reach.
But… is the planet suffering as result, and are we doing enough to ensure the footsteps we leave behind are those in the sand, and not the carbon variety that are so damaging to the environment?
Responsible and Sustainable Tourism is a relatively new ‘concept’ and something many of us had never heard of until recent years, but the fact is, if we do not start practicing both in a global effort, those breathtaking destinations we dream of visiting may soon be gone for good.
Responsible Tourism and Sustainable Tourism are not be the same thing, but if we work at combining the two into our travels we can improve our own lives and those of the local residents and business owners in the countries we visit.
For me, responsible and sustainable tourism is all about making the right decisions when we book/plan our holidays, and by identifying the issues faced in the countries we visit, and doing our utmost to ensure our visit is beneficial rather than detrimental to the local economy and the environment, we can make a difference.
Simple things such as reducing water and energy consumption, staying within boundaries when visiting National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites, supporting local businesses rather than large International conglomerates, and offsetting our carbon emissions are all good places to start… baby-steps towards being a ‘Responsible Traveller.’
The world is a very beautiful place, and if we are to leave it in any kind of condition for our children and grandchildren to enjoy, we need educate ourselves on tourism and child protection, wildlife tourism, volunteer tourism, and the effects of carbon emissions. By doing so we can make the better places for people to live in, and better holiday destinations for the rest of us to visit!