The world’s airlines carry over 3 billion passengers in a single year according to the Air Transport Action Group. The International Air Transport Association has the figure at 2.8 billion. Bear in mind that this is only air travel. A significant number of people travel by train and car.
With these figures in play it is easy to understand that the tourism industry has a substantial global impact on the economic, social and cultural areas being travelled to.
Wellness tourism and travelling sustainably go hand in hand for me.
Wellness Tourism is about a continuity of our health as we vacation and Sustainable Travel is about mindfully enjoying our experiences without harming the area’s natural and cultural environment. Our travels should not have a negative impact on the areas we travel to.
The World Tourism Organization specifies sustainable travel as
the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.”
Sustainable travel melds the activities of tourists and travel companies into the local economy making an effort to enhance the local people, their businesses and their culture and traditions.
So as sustainable travellers we need to be aware of the foot print that we leave in the areas that we travel to. Are we raising pollution levels? Are we leaving a positive impact on the local people, their businesses and their native cultures?
Tips for Sustainable Travel
- When packing use reusable containers
- Look for environmentally friendly hotels
- Support locally run businesses including tour operators, restaurants and hotels including guesthouses, Bed &Breakfasts and Airbnbs
- Look for businesses that give back to the community with local projects and fair pay
- When you are looking for souvenirs, seek out local arts or craft makers
Amazing Apps for Sustainable Travel
Finally I want to give you 3 great apps that promote sustainable travel
- Eatwith connects travellers with local people for local unique food experiences
- Pack for a Purpose. “Small space. Little effort. Big impact. You go on the website and select a destination or initiative and it leads you in to a world of good things that you can pack to help out the locals of your destination
- FairTrip The FairTrip app is a free collaborative guide that helps travellers to find and share local and authentic places while having a positive social and economic impact on the visited place.
My Health Hub Podcast with Chris Gonzalez on The Rising Trend of Wellness Tourism