How to be a sustainable tourist this World Tourism Day

Posted on 27 September 2019

World Tourism Day celebrates the contribution the tourism industry makes to the global economy. This years theme is “Tourism and Jobs- a better future for all” and focuses on tourism’s role in job creation, especially how sustainable tourism can ensure employment into the future.

Sustainable tourism means that tourism that is aware of it’s social, environmental impact and contributes to enhancing and sustaining these rather than abusing or destroying them. This includes countries considering how they create their own tourism infrastructure as well as travelers acknowledging how their travel effects the local people, environment and cultures.

So to celebrate this day, here are some sustainable tourism tips to keep in mind for your next trip.

1. Research tour operators 

When deciding to book with a tour company, be it for the entire trip or just some small part, go the extra mile and find out a bit more about their practices. This could include how they are trying to reduce the tours impact on the environment, or if the company is run by locals and so you would be contributing to the country’s economy. A bonus would be if they actively involve themselves in positive change in their sector, but always focus on harm reduction first.

2. Know where you’re going

It’s never great to be the obnoxious tourists who trample over a communities cultures and traditions. By researching where you’re going, you know how to avoid making the local people uncomfortable, as they will often bend to accommodate you no matter how rude you’re being. This includes taking photos- always ask.

3. Leave no trace

While you may be a super recycler at home, these habits may be forgotten when on a busy holiday without the comfort of your eco-cup. Try your best to keep up environmental practices while on your adventure including using as little plastic as possible and by not altering any places you go to. This  includes picking or taking anything from any natural environment or buying illegal animal products.

4.Buy local

Next to big tourist sites there will often be people selling generic tourist tchotchkes. These are often, though not always, mass produced imports which are not made locally. Rather spend a bit more money and find a local artisan who can make you something you really like and will keep forever. This way you won’t just put it on a shelf and forget about it and you will be positively contributing to the local economy.

5. Consider ‘slow’ travel

You may have flown to the country on a plane, but if possible when moving from place to place opt for a slower form of transport. If the country has a functioning train or bus system, this would decrease your carbon footprint and allow you to take in more of the country along the way.

Image source: Unsplash

yoast-primary - 1004431
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 - Travel news
tcat2_slug - travel-news
tcat_final -