Considering how we are trying to make everything as sustainable as possible, the one thing that has come a long way is sustainable travel. I am not just talking about the perspective of resorts and travel businesses, but tourists are actually becoming a lot more aware about this as well. They are a lot more concerned about whether the resorts are offering sustainable means of checking in, or how sustainable the location they are visiting is. Needless to say, it has become important for the tourism and travel industry to finally take notice of sustainable traveling, as well as what most of the tourists in need of.
Ramesh Jeenarain, who happens to be a managing director at World Leisure Holidays in South Africa helped answer some of the questions regarding sustainable traveling.
What is The Meaning of “Sustainable Travel”?
Sustainable travel emphasizes on two factors; economic and social. Looking at it from an economic factor, it means that sustainable travel makes sure of the fact that all the money that is spent on the trip remains in the community. Meaning that all the work that has been put in has some sort of positive effect on the environment, as well as the culture, along with the community is not compromised in any way.
There is no doubt that Millennials have more spending power than people before them, but this spending power also comes with an awareness of their effect on the world. That is because the travelers are asking for traveling options that are sustainable, and they are even willing to pay a higher amount if they get to stay at eco-friendly hotels or resorts.
This type of vacationing is being called barefoot luxury, and there is no denying that we are seeing a growth in its popularity. At this point, the people who organize holidays, or the hospitality industry will be making a big mistake if they do not start implementing the sustainable methods into their business.
How Can The Travel Industry Make Sure That It is Playing a Part in Sustainable Travel?
There are multiple ways hotels can make sure that they are reducing the impact on environment. Below are a few examples.
- Eliminating the use of paper while checking in and out.
- Using toiletries that help reduce the use of plastic, as well as waste.
- Donating all the leftover food to the locals who cannot afford rather than throwing the food away.
- Offering an experience that reflects on the place the tourists are visiting rather than having large hotels.
- Taking care of the natural sites, as well as lifestyles that are synonymous with the destination. This is not only good for promoting the place, but also helping the tourists have a better understand of the place.
- Emphasizing on farm to table dining experience rather than going for food that is imported.
- Showing respect towards the locals, as well as the staff.
How Can Tourists Figure Out Whether a Resort Engages in Sustainable Travel?
The resorts need to clearly state that they are offering experiences that are certified eco-friendly. This was not possible before, but now there are many international certificates that a resort can obtain. There is no denying that the drive towards a sustainable experiences is growing for the travelers and rather than opting for traditional hotels, travelers are looking for more sustainable options. Additionally, resorts can start showing that they are actively working on reducing their carbon footprint through the way they accommodate everything.
A Piece of Advice For Sustainable Travel in 2018?
By handling and spreading the efforts for sustainable travel, the resorts have made a place in the minds of the people who are trying to plan their next holiday. The people now looking for places that are good for sustainable travel, and are certainly spreading the word towards others.