More people have embraced travel in recent years. And rather than stick to the tried and tested vacation destinations, tourists have embarked on lesser-known regions, eager to see what they offer. This open-mindedness has boosted tourism across the world. However, it has also prompted debates regarding the effects of travel and what tourists can do to ensure they leave destinations better than they found them. We look into what sustainable travel entails, regions that support this travel style, and how you can also be a conscious tourist.

What Counts as Sustainable Travel?

For anything to be sustainable, measures must be in place to ensure that people can continue using that resource without depleting it or affecting its availability adversely. For example, sustainable farming practices ensure that we can continue producing adequate food without harming animals, land, and all other resources used in the production.

How does this work when it comes to travel? It’s pretty much the same. This kind of travel considers the economic, social, and environmental effects of tourism and details measures that tourists, the tourism industry, and locals can pursue to ensure that travel is safe and beneficial to everyone. What does this look like? Let’s consider examples:

      • The Economy: When tourists eat at local restaurants, they inject money into the local communities and thus make travel beneficial to the locals.
      • The Environment: Tourists can engage in environmental conservation by recycling and reusing their litter. They can also opt for train travel instead of planes for short distances.
      • The Society: Preserving local customs is essential for the continuity of tourism. Tourists should respect local communities by following the norms, e.g., dress codes.

These are but some examples of sustainable travel. You can learn more by following sustainable travel communities and learning how you can be part of this incredible movement.

Which Destinations Have Embraced Sustainable Travel?

Sustainable travel has gained traction, with more governments doing their best to ensure that tourism grows without harming their social, economic, and environmental progress. And when traveling through the following destinations, this investment in the future will be evident:

1. Iceland

Anyone who has been to this country can attest to its cleanliness. From the minute you land in Reykjavik, you can tell that the local community cares a great deal about the environment. Everything is pristine, from the baths to the roads to the glaciers to the hills. You can get lost in nature and reconnect with Mother Earth quite easily when everything falls into place so much. As an added perk, the country invests a lot in renewable energy and has the highest green energy per capita production in the world.

2. Costa Rica

The diversity in this tropical destination calls many travelers. After all, you can immerse yourself in nature by enjoying rafting, zip lining, hiking and other adrenaline-filled activities in its jungles and rivers. But how does the country ensure travel sustainability? Besides its tourism policies, which protect its biodiversity, it relies on renewable sources to generate >90% of its electricity. Moreover, the tourism sector encourages travelers to embrace cycling and other low-emission activities. To get in on all this fun, you should have a valid passport that meets the entry criteria and is in good condition. Fortunately, obtaining a passport quickly is simple through expedited passport renewal services, enabling you to acquire your passport within a matter of days!

3. New Zealand

The breathtaking natural beauty of New Zealand is truly unparalleled, offering travelers an extensive array of choices that span from lush vineyards to majestic glaciers and towering mountains. This diverse landscape not only captivates the senses but also serves as a testament to the remarkable productivity and ecological diversity of the land.

Yet, New Zealand’s allure extends beyond its stunning backdrops. The country is at the forefront of progressive green energy initiatives, proudly generating a substantial 20% of its energy from geothermal sources. This commitment to sustainable practices reflects a harmonious coexistence between modernity and environmental consciousness.

Moreover, New Zealand’s tourism policies exemplify a dedication to responsible travel. These policies extend a protective umbrella over the pristine landscapes, ensuring that tour operators, visitors, locals, and various stakeholders collectively contribute to conservation efforts. This united front aims to safeguard the delicate ecosystems, preventing any inadvertent harm and preserving the remarkable beauty that draws travelers from around the globe.

In essence, a journey through New Zealand is not merely a visual feast for the eyes but a holistic experience that celebrates the delicate balance between human exploration and environmental preservation. The country’s commitment to green energy and sustainable tourism underscores its dedication to maintaining the natural splendor that makes it a haven for those seeking an unforgettable and environmentally conscious travel experience.

Slovenia, Bhutan, Botswana, Peru, and Vietnam are also great options for eco-friendly travel.

What to Consider Before Your Next Eco-Friendly Adventure

Embracing sustainable travel might sound challenging, but it is pretty easy to implement. It comes down to the following decisions:

a. Where to visit: Start by listing eco-friendly destinations and choosing one among them. Examples include Iceland and New Zealand.

b. How to travel: Find sustainable travel means, e.g., using public transport instead of hiring a car or taxi, walking/ cycling where possible, and opting for trains instead of planes.

c. Where to spend money: Focus more on local tours, restaurants, accommodation, travel options, and products.

d. How to behave: Learn about local customs before traveling and follow them, e.g., not taking photos in prohibited areas.

Also, conserve water and energy as you move by avoiding unnecessary energy consumption, such as leaving the AC on all night.

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