The travel or tourism industry is the idea of people travelling to different locations either locally or internationally. The industry that takes complete care of all the businesses related to the tour including the activities is the tourism industry.
The industry not only limits itself to this. It encompasses various other factors like the inclusion of the hotel industry, transportation and local guides. Even the economies of several nations are dependent on tourism.
Environmental impact of the tourism industry:
The tourism industry is one of the biggest in the service sector. The tourism industry heavily impacts the environment. With an increasing number of visitors and added pressure is built upon the natural resources of that region. More resources are being used up as compared to the original inhabitants. There is an exploitation of critical resources like water, food, energy and others.
Tourism can lead to several kinds of pollution like air emissions through air travel, noise pollution from vehicles, etc. Sewage, solid waste and littering are the biggest negative impacts of the industry. Waste disposal can be a major problem and tourists end up littering the place without any consideration. Heavy sewage discharge can be a threat to humans as well as wildlife.
Exotic locations often have ecologically fragile ecosystems. Pollution can be a severe threat to these regions leading to depletion or extreme adverse effects in these regions. 72 percent of tourism’s CO2 emissions come from transportation, 24 percent from accommodations, and 4 percent from local activities.
Switch to sustainable tourism:
Sustainable tourism is an umbrella concept that focuses on all three aspects of sustainability. These aspects include economic, social and environmental issues. To control the adverse effects of tourism there is a deeper approval for tourism to be sustainable. Proper planning and priority to protecting indigenous locations can help achieve sustainable tourism.
Role of stakeholders:
The government, non-governmental organizations, local communities and some international organizations
Government organizations can play the biggest role in attaining sustainability in tourism. Formulate rules that take into consideration both sustainability and economically healthy tourism for the country. By assessing ecologically sensitive regions they can help uplift the region.
NGOs both associated with the government or independent can help in sustainable tourism. They can help research and incorporate sustainable practices.
Local communities are the ones most affected by the travel or tourism of others. Sustainable tourism can create jobs for the local people, support their business and help preserve their culture at the same time.
International organizations like the Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC) and United Nations specialized agencies like the World Tourism Organization are actively promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism across the globe.
Responsible tourism or travel relating to the natural regions, the environment and the communities is ecotourism. It also looks after further interpretation and environmental awareness. Unlike conventional tourism, the environment and cultural integrity of a region is given more importance. Integral factors of ecotourism include promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation and creation of economic opportunities for the locals.
Conserving nature: Main focus is on conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity to help and protect the cultural heritage of the planet.
Helping communities: Through ecotourism, employment opportunities can be increased to help empower the local communities.
Interpretation and awareness: Promoting better understanding and knowledge of nature, local, society and culture.
5 platforms on the web that promote sustainable tourism:
Kynder a ‘kind travel platform’ is developed with points like raising independent, eco-conscious and kind hospitality spots around the world. They cater to the whole travel experience right from finding accommodation, eateries, coffee houses, ice creameries, sweet shops and they just added on tour experiences too. A one of the kind eco-conscious travel platform that spotlights sustainable and fair establishments for travelers. Kynder criteria are humane practices, fair labour, quality comfort and community love.
- Undiscovered mountains:
With their main destination in the French Alps, a sustainable tourism company is committed to the protection and preservation of the mountain habitat. Supporting local conservation and well-being of the habitats around the French Alps, Himalayas and the Norwegian mountains. Guardian newspaper also voted the company in the top 10 most ethical travel companies.
- India Untravelled:
India Untravelled is a travel company that helps people discover inexperienced India. They promote small sustainable homestays and discerning vacationers seeking authentic experiences within India. Their main aim is to increase community engagement while carrying out socially responsible tourism.
- Evolve Back:
Evolve Back is one of the pioneers of sustainable tourism in India while being extremely expensive. It includes a chain of eco-luxury hotels Hampi, Coorg and Kabini. Their goals include restoring the natural ecological balance of the destination and minimizing the negative impact on the environment while being waste-conscious.
- Green People:
Green People (The Goat Villages & Bakri Chhap) is an integrated, for-profit impact organization, working towards holistic rural development & reverse-migration of marginalized Himalayan farmers by providing them ecologically sustainable & long-term engagements through rural tourism, agriculture & related pursuits, and bridging the socio-cultural & economic gap between rural and urban. They are working to develop the regions socially, ecologically and environmentally.
With the help of ecotourism sustainable economic, ecological and social practices are getting better worldwide, especially in developed nations. It can be seen as a highly effective tool for sustainable development. Ecotourism or sustainable tourism promotes factors like developing economic systems that run with little or no net consumption of natural resources. The social development of communities is a priority. With sustainable tourism or ecotourism, we are on the path to achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read about this booking site that works only with sustainable hotels, here.