Traveling is a favorite pastime for people of all ages. From families who want to introduce their young children to the rest of the world to retired couples who want to spend their golden years exploring new destinations, almost everyone finds travel to be an enjoyable and memorable activity. While the number of travelers is increasing among all market segments, these same groups of people are becoming more conscientious of how they travel. Sustainable tourism is becoming more and more relevant for all tourism brands.
Sustainable tourism is the practice of visiting a region and making a conscious effort to minimize the damage to the local environment and the local people. For example, sustainable travel practices should ensure that visitors can explore a new destination without compromising the integrity of the local area’s culture or its environment. Ideally, both travelers and tourism businesses will adopt sustainable travel practices in order to improve the health of the destination for the months and years to come.
Sustainable travel matters to tour operators for a variety of reasons:
There are several steps tour operators can take to increase their commitment to sustainable travel. These efforts include:
Becoming a sustainable tour operator does take time and effort, however, the best way to get there is to start. You don’t have to wait to become a large corporation with plenty of resources to start, the first steps don’t require a large investment of your time or resources. In most cases, all it takes is a few simple adjustments to minimize your ecological footprint and increase your sustainability. The efforts that you make will appeal to travelers across all demographics because sustainability is becoming increasingly important to nearly every market segment.
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Image credit: Noah Buscher