Thanks to advancements in technology and increasing globalisation, travelling the world has never been easier. With budget flights and cheaper options for travel and accommodation more readily available, more people than ever before are choosing to jet off to pastures new.
Of course, travelling is a wonderful thing – you get to see the world, take in awe-inspiring sights and immerse yourself in a culture that is different to your own. Travel can be eye-opening, exhilarating, and incredibly addictive!
However, what impact does this have on the places we are visiting?
With increasing numbers of tourists and travellers, delicate ecosystems can sustain damage that is sometimes irreversible. Just look at the effect that tourism has had on Australia’s infamous Great Barrier Reef, and you may find yourself shocked by the negative impact that tourism can bring.
Of course, though, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is an extreme example and often, tourists can prove highly beneficial. From helping the local economy and sustaining independent restaurants and businesses right through to providing increased opportunities for local people, the positive impact of tourism is wide-reaching.
For these reasons, it’s more important than ever before to practice sustainable tourism. Ecotourism may not appeal to everyone, but even small changes can make a big impact on the environment and the people who live in the area you are visiting. Travelling conscientiously is a wonderful way to see the world while leaving a positive impact in your wake; the ultimate goal for the tourism of the future.
Become More Aware
Many local authorities and tourism companies want tourists to simply see what’s on the surface of a place, rather than digging deeper. That’s why a lot of resorts have specific areas dedicated to tourists, meaning that few travellers stray away from the bright lights into the places the locals call home. However, by becoming more aware of your surroundings, not only do you become a more conscientious traveller, but you also get to experience the real atmosphere of a place. See it like the locals – good and bad – and you will not be taken in by the usual tourist traps.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Travelling the world and visiting far-flung destinations is understandably appealing, but there are ways to see all corners of the world in a more sustainable fashion. You can make sensible choices to reduce your carbon footprint and travel in an eco-friendlier manner – this includes everything from taking public transport where possible to avoiding single-use plastic bags and straws. They may seem like small changes, but they really can add up.
This may be a holiday for you, but for the locals, it is their home. Avoid falling into the stereotype of the rude, rowdy and disruptive tourist and instead, embrace the local culture and lifestyle. Be considerate of their faith, beliefs and traditions – respect and consideration can get you a long way when you are travelling. Just simple things like avoiding making excess noise late at night and cleaning up after yourself can make a real difference to the quality of life for the local people, and they will thank you for it. It’s also worth remembering that some landmarks and attractions also bear cultural or religious significance, like many important destinations in the Middle East. Treat them with respect and consideration, and you won’t go far wrong.
At the end of the day, travelling should be fun, enjoyable and a worthwhile experience. Make the most of every trip and do what you can to maximise the rewards of your travels.