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What is sustainable travel ?

Sustainable travel should be the only way we travel. From excessive air travel that causes harmful CO2 emissions to package holiday resorts that are built on natural areas, international travel and tourism are far from sustainable and Our world has finite resources.
There are only so many beautiful, natural, untouched places on our planet and mass tourism threatens their existence. Nature, culture and history are things to be preserved, not com-modified.
Unfortunately, many travellers and travel industry operators remain in denial about how limited our world?s resource s are and how tourism is negatively affecting the environment, local cultures and communities. That?s where sustainable travel comes in.

What is Sustainable Travel?

Sustainable travel means finding a way that tourism can be maintained long-term without harming natural and cultural environments. Sustainable travel should minimise the negative impacts of tourism and ideally be beneficial to the area in which it takes place.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as ?development [which] meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resourc es 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 system.? Sustainable travel is about valuing the environment and looking after our natural resources. Travellers need to be more aware of pollution levels caused by travel and how that affects the environment and local wildlife. They also need to be aware of how tourism affects local people, businesses and native cultures.

Sustainable Travel and the Environment

Tourism relies on burning fossil fuels, which contributes to climate change. It?s predicted that 40% of the world?s carbon emissions will be generated by tourism by 2050. To break this down, right now 72% of tourism?s CO2 emissions come from transportation, a further 24% from accommodation, and 4% from tourism activities. The problem is that while our environmental conscious tells us we should moderate how often and how far we fly, we rarely do. I recently read that many of us are ?binge flying? ? that is flying far more often than is necessary just because we can. We have the time, the money and the desire to travel abroad. Some of us have an almost ?insatiable? appetite for travel ? and us digital nomads are particularly guilty here. I?ve discussed whether air travel can really be sustainable and ways to mitigate the negative impacts of air transport before, but it?s important to remember that the choices we make when we?re at our chosen destination affect the environment too. Many destinations do not have regulations or strategies in place to cope with rapid development and overcapacity which is caused by increased tourism. Quite often foreign investors will come, build and leave chaos that the locals have to tidy up ? including issues with waste, carbon and water.
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