WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM?
According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities”. In other words, this practice is a way for tourists as well as industry professionals, to discover new places sustainably, taking everyone into account and limiting harm to the environment.
Sustainable tourism is often separated into 3 sub-categories:
- Responsible tourism: Tourism that minimizes environmental damage and carbon footprint
- Solidarity tourism: Tourism that aims to develop territories and help local communities
- Fair tourism: Tourism based on the principle of fair trade
THE 3 MAIN PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Just like sustainable development, sustainable tourism is based on 3 main principles: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and economic sustainability.
As its name suggests, environmental sustainability aims to reduce damage to the environment and protect it sustainably. Here are some examples of how you could do this while on vacation:
- Rethink your mode of travel: rather than flying, choosing to travel by bike or by public transport is great for reducing your carbon footprint.
- Waste management: it may seem obvious to some but knowing how to manage your waste while on vacation is important. Always take a small garbage can with you and buy sustainable or recycled products.
- Respect the animals: it is essential to know how to observe them without upsetting or disturbing them, and how to respect their natural habitat!
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
Social sustainability is a major focus point of sustainable tourism. It is often linked to economic sustainability. Here are some examples of how to be socially and economically responsible tourists:
- Support local businesses during your stay: Finding local accommodation rather than a chain hotel is the best way to stimulate the growth of the region and travel responsibly
- Eat locally: Eating out close to our estate not only helps you discover the local cuisine but also limits your carbon footprint. It further gives something back to our local businesses.
- Respect the locals and their customs: In order not to disrupt the lives of people in the region you are visiting, respecting the locals and their way of life is an essential part of good sustainable tourism.