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An Introduction to Sustainable Tourism

The travel and tourism market is booming, with holidaymakers keener than ever to get away and explore new places. However, with that, comes responsibility in the form of sustainability. Some laugh it off and believe what happens on holiday, stays on holiday. Sadly, this narrow-minded view can cause an array of problems including social dislocation, animal cruelty and ecological degradation.

The increasing awareness around sustainability has created demand of ‘responsible holidays,’ in the shape of nature-based tourism, eco-tourism and cultural tourism. Now, don’t think these holidays aren’t fun. In fact, they’re better than ordinary holidays because they’re authentic. You’ll experience the real deal rather than a fluffed up fake version of reality.

Travelling always offers unsustainable (and often tempting) options, including cheap flights, discounted excursions and opportunities to take the best snaps for Instagram. However, it’s essential that we look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves, is it really worth causing harm?

If we’ve got you intrigued and you want to know more about how you can become a sustainable tourist, look no further. At Alpha, we are all about being sustainable, preserving our precious world together!

What Is Sustainable Tourism?

Put simply, sustainable tourism is a way of travelling and exploring a destination while respecting its environment, culture and people.

You may be thinking, isn’t that just the general definition for travel? Sadly no. Common sense would suggest that this definition has travel summed up. However, when many people go away, their enjoyment takes priority over everything else, no matter the consequence.

Sometimes people simply just aren’t educated enough on what is and isn’t sustainable. Oblivious travellers continue to ride elephants (having been fed a sob story about how they were rescued, when in reality they’re trapped and tortured), ignore local traditions, wear sunscreen that isn’t reef safe- the list goes on and on!

The goal with sustainable tourism is to counteract the negative effect of tourism with positive impacts. The Travel Foundation believes this can be achieved by:

Sustainable tourism is so important; however, many people simply turn a blind eye to it. The reality is, at some point, everyone will have to behave more sustainably. It might be in 5 years, maybe 10, or even 50 years, however, eventually there will be a call for action. The concern is-will that be too late?

We think not! Each and every one of us can work together now, taking small steps towards global sustainable tourism instead of destroying it for the sake of personal enjoyment.

 

How Can I Integrate Sustainability into My Travel?

Every little helps- so by following the basic sustainability etiquette, that’s a great start!

At Alpha we’ve already taken a stand by reviewing our activity packs and removing any activities we feel are harmful to animals. We’ve also partnered with the WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) who are the leading, global charity focused on the conservation and welfare of whales and dolphins.

If you’re passionate about sustainability in tourism, please get in touch! We would love to hear about your travel adventures, ideas and positive impact on our beautiful world. Tweet us @alphatravelins or find us on Instagram at alpha_travel_ins – don’t forget to use #adventureswithalpha!

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