Sustainable Tourism or Why Should We Be More Eco Friendly When Travelling

If the majority of us decide to practice sustainable tourism this will greatly benefit our beautiful planet’s natural environment. Read here about all of the benefits and the importance of sustainable tourism and plan your next exciting trip with our great tips in mind.

Sustainable tourism has 12 main goals and you’ll see that it’s great not only for nature but also for the society and economy. Sustainable tourism has a huge positive impact on the cultural, social, economic, political and natural development of a destination.

Check out our 5 destinations for travelling that are going to make your sustainable trip so much easier:

  1. Slovenia
  2. Tenerife
  3. Aruba
  4. South Carolina
  5. Kenya

What can you do at these destinations in order to contribute to societies and planet Earth? The answer: Some really fun and enriching stuff. You’ll be inspired!

What is Sustainable Tourism?

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind (…)”
– “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by John Donne (English poet; 1572-1631)

Sustainable tourism takes into account its current and future impact on the economy, society and the environment. It meets the needs of visitors, industry, nature and host communities, which makes it extremely important. Tourism has an exceptional economic contribution and is one of the most important sources of income and jobs.

Tourism can have many different influences and when properly managed can play a truly positive role in the social, economic, cultural, natural and political development of the destination. The need for sustainable planning and management is much needed. So let’s travel responsibly! It’s more fun than you think and it’s not that hard at all.

The 12 main goals of sustainable tourism

Well alright, you’d say, by definition, it sounds really important. But what exactly are the benefits? Here are the 12 main goals of sustainable tourism:

  1. to minimize the use of rare and non-renewable resources
  2. to minimize air, water and land pollution as well as a waste generation by tourism enterprises and visitors
  3. to ensure the profitability and competitiveness of the destinations
  4. to increase the number and quality of local jobs that are maintained by the tourism
  5. to maximize the tourist contribution to the economic well-being of the given destination
  6. to have social justice by seeking a fair distribution of the economic and social benefits of tourism
  7. to ensure a safe, meaningful and non-discriminatory experience for visitors
  8. to involve local communities in the planning and decision-making for the management and development of tourism in the region they inhabit
  9. to help maintain and improve the quality of life in local communities
  10. to respect and preserve the historical heritage, authentic cultures and traditions of the given communities
  11. to support the conservation of natural areas, habitats and wildlife
  12. to maintain the quality of the urban and rural environment while avoiding the material and visual decline of the environment

Easy Ways to Practice Sustainable Tourism

You are already very passionate about the whole idea of sustainable tourism, we can tell. And this is great so here are our 11 tips on how to enjoy sustainable tourism with future generations in mind:

  • Don’t litter
  • If you can get from point A to point B in several ways choose the one that will least pollute the environment
  • Bring your own reusable mugs, forks, spoons, straws
  • Obey the zoning laws for noise pollution
  • Stay at locally owned hotels and guest houses, instead of big chains
  • Shop only from local producers
  • Obey the local rules against photography in certain places and don’t try to trap wildlife for photos
  • Conserve water by taking shorter showers
  • Reduce energy consumption: for example, don’t let the light in your room on all the time
  • Carry your own shopping bag
  • If you like seafood eat the sustainable one – sustainable seafood is fished from stocks with good populations which ensures the long-term health and stability of the species

5 Destination Ideas for Sustainable Tourism

Maybe you can’t wait to travel around but you don’t know where to go or maybe you’ve travelled so much that you need some new ideas (lucky you!). Here are 5 great destinations that are perfect for sustainable tourism. Read more about them and learn what you can do there.

1. Slovenia

About 60 per cent of this gorgeous country in the Balkans is covered in forest. This is the country with the highest percentage of protected territory (more than 50 per cent of the land) in Europe and is mostly known for its mountains, ski resorts and lakes. Tour the country’s largest city and capital Ljubljana, in a fun and eco manner – via electric trams or by bicycle. The historic centre is car-free and the city’s bike-sharing program has more than 500 bikes.

A cape in Slovenia

2. Tenerife

The Pyramids of Güímar on the east coast of Tenerife are built from lava stone and standing at 12 meters tall. The garden around the mysterious pyramids was principally ornamental but during the construction of the ethnographic park, a big amount of endemic and native flora was planted.

The staff working at the museum there decided to team up with the botany department of the University of La Laguna. They created a sustainable eco-garden, expanding the amazing botanical collection considerably. Go there and enjoy the multiple routes around the garden, observe the unique plant species and learn more about the folklore, culture and mysticism of Tenerife.

3. Aruba

Aruba is an island in the mid-south of the Caribbean Sea with a huge amount of its territory being flat. But the natural beauty of the island is world known and the people there are protecting it at all cost. Aruba is dotted with solar panels and wind farms since it aims to rely entirely on renewable energy.

You can’t use plastic shopping bags, cups and other single-use items while on the island. Sunscreens that contain oxybenzone are fully banned as well. This chemical has been shown to bleach coral reefs and is also harmful to your skin. You can buy a locally made, reef-safe sunscreen on the island and then go snorkelling along the protected reef.

4. South Carolina

Located in the Southeastern region of the United States this state has one famous place that is truly concerned about ecological sustainability. The South Carolina Aquarium (SCA) in Charleston is a non-profit organization that is very involved in Sea Turtle rehabilitation and other environmental challenges.

Many of the animals in the SCA are rescued. The SCA teamed up with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and is now running a Sea Turtle Care Center where the reptiles that are found tangled in plastic or injured are rescued, rehabilitated and released back where they belong.

You can visit the care centre and check out the admirable mission of the people there. The price of every entry ticket for the SCA goes to multiple sustainability and educational programs.

5. Kenya

Located in East Africa, Kenya is one of the top eco-friendly tourist destinations. Kenya has about 50 national parks and preserves, and tourists who would like to observe the most wildlife that they can visit between the end of June and October.

Ecotourism Kenya was created by the country’s government in order to protect the native flora and fauna. It has many community outreach projects that help safeguard nature. All of the Kenyan lodges are rated according to their environmental policies, ensuring that the tourists understand exactly how their visit affects the local environment.