Is it possible to be a “sustainable tourist”? 12 ways to make your trip better |

Tourism has many positive aspects. About two billion people travel annually for tourism purposes. Travel and tourism bring people together and bring the world closer through experience sharing, cultural awareness and community building. It provides jobs, stimulates regional development and is a key factor in social and economic progress.

However, there is often a downside; Many popular destinations are under threat due to rising pollution, environmental hazards, damage to heritage sites and overuse of resources. And that’s without taking into account the pollution caused by travel to and from these places.

So, with that in mind, here are some tips to help you enjoy your trip and leave with the confidence that your favorite travel destination won’t be damaged by your presence when you get home.

1. Avoid single-use plastic

Disposable plastic items that are often used in less than 15 minutes take over 1,000 years to decompose. Many of us are moving towards sustainable options in our daily lives, and we can follow the same approach when we are on the road. By choosing reusable bottles and bags wherever you go, you will help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the ocean and other habitats.

2. Be “wise in the water”

In general, tourists consume much more water than local residents. With an increasing number of places experiencing water shortages, the choices you make can help ensure that people have adequate access to water in the future. By skipping the daily change of bed linen and towels while staying at a hotel, we can save millions of liters of water every year.

3. Buy local

When you buy local goods, you help stimulate the local economy, benefit local communities, and help reduce the destination’s carbon footprint from transporting goods. The same is true at mealtimes, so enjoy fresh local produce whenever you can.

4. Use an ethical operator

Tourism operations involve people, logistics, suppliers, transport, and more. Each link in the chain can influence the environment – positively or negatively. If you’d rather outsource planning to someone else, be sure to choose an operator that prioritizes the environment, uses resources efficiently, and respects local culture.

5. “Please don’t feed the animals”

Sharing food with or approaching wild animals increases the chance of transmission of diseases such as colds, flu and pneumonia from humans to animals. In addition, when animals become accustomed to receiving food from humans, their natural behavior changes and their survival becomes dependent on humans. In some cases, this can also lead to conflict between the human and the animal.

6. And don’t eat them!

By creating demand, the consumption of endangered or exotic animals leads to an increase in poaching, trade and exploitation of animals. In addition to harming the individual animal on your plate, irresponsible eating can contribute to the extinction of species already threatened by climate change and habitat loss. Keep this in mind when shopping for souvenirs and stay away from products made from endangered wildlife.

7. Share your ride

Transport is the main source of the carbon footprint from tourism. Instead of private taxis, use public transport such as trains, buses, and taxis. You can also ride a bike, which offers a convenient and cheap way to explore and learn about the place.

8. Consider Homestay

Staying with a local or family is a nature-friendly option that allows you to get up close and personal with the local culture and customs. Staying with local families can lift the spirits of the community, providing income as well as allowing you to glimpse into different lifestyles.

Dig into the local cuisine.  You will delight your taste buds and support the local economy...

9. Do your homework

Find out where you are going before you travel. This will allow you to better immerse yourself in local traditions and customs and appreciate things that might otherwise go unnoticed. With the right information, you can explore your destination more closely and surprise yourself with new adventures and discoveries.

10. Visit national parks and reserves

Exploring nature and wildlife in national parks is a personal way to learn about animals and their ecosystems first hand. In some cases, your admission ticket supports efforts to preserve views and landscapes and preserve these natural spaces for future visitors.

11. Leave no trace

You can leave a mark without leaving a trace at your holiday destination. Put the garbage in place so that there is no garbage, and do not remove or change anything without permission. Let’s take care to leave only soft marks, not environmental ones.

12. Tell your friends

Now that you’re ready to travel in sustainable style, it’s time to tell everyone! Let fellow travelers, friends and family know how sustainable tourism benefits local people by improving their livelihoods and well-being and helps us all by protecting our beautiful environment.

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