Sustainable Tourism ~ What’s the Future of Sustainable Travel
Sustainable tourism has become one of the biggest trends in tourism. People are looking to minimize their impact, hoping to find places that make for memorable vacations and where they can make a difference and show their respect for local cultures. Fortunately, several places are more than willing to open their doors.
What is sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism is a form of eco-tourism. The point is to leave as small a footprint as possible while at the same time supporting local culture. This is a natural outgrowth of the “pack it in, pack it out” philosophy but carried to another extreme. Here the tourist is actively concerned about his environmental impact. Given the harm that people have done to the environment, it is understandable that people are worried about the environment and their carbon footprint. This is especially relevant in places which are threatened due to global warming and from being so popular with tourists.
Ecotourism Sustainable Travel
In one way, sustainable tourism is a way to see threatened areas where global warming has done the most damage while at the same doing something to possibly protect those same areas. Sustainable tourism and sustainable travel is being mindful of where you choose to travel, how you get there, and all of the choices you make while you are visiting.
What is a LEED hotel?
Tourists have begun choosing hotels that feature Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designs. LEED designs look to inspire builders to make their buildings more ecologically friendly, with designs that reduce power usage as well as utilize local materials in their construction. This can mean anything from simply reducing power usage to finding ways to create their own power, such as through solar panels and wind turbines. LEED is making a positive effect worldwide as architects look for ways to make their buildings eco-friendlier.
As tourists are frequenting LEED hotels, local builders are responding. For tourists, this has meant asking what are some sustainability guidelines for new hotel builds. This means that local materials are used in preference to materials that must be shipped in. Solar panels and wind turbines are used to power the building as is cooling by natural means rather than fans and air conditioning. This also means the building must be designed to create as little pollution as possible, and that any waste must be dealt with as efficiently as possible.
Rather than limiting creativity, LEED standards have inspired architects and builders to really look at the local culture to determine how they can use local materials, employees, and techniques. The goal is to create tourist locations that tourists enjoy and tell their friends and family about, which encourages more tourism to the location. Builders have sometimes found using local materials to be inspiring, especially as it adds those touches of authenticity that tourists love while showing some respect to the local culture. This has created a boom in eco-tourism that has made small out-of-the-way spots immensely popular.
Over-populated tourist destinations
With global warming and over-visited tourist spots, travelers have begun looking for places to visit that may not be around much longer. There are scores of examples of destinations that are being destroyed due to heavy tourism. This creates a catch-22 where even more visitors come to see these places while they still can. “Last chancers” are visiting in mass to places such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Bali, Galápagos, and many more places.
The impact of travel to Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been a favorite for its lush jungles and gorgeous beaches. It has become more famous for the threatened plant and animal species in the area. The influx of tourists has created several other issues due to the age of the local vehicles. As tourists’ swarm to the area, those vehicles see more use. Being they are not up to current emissions standards, this increases pollution levels and further damages the eco-system.
By: Go Green Travel Green