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Hordes of tourists at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Credit: TTG Asia

There are more tourists now than ever before, thanks to the explosive growth of the Chinese outbound market and the ever-growing middle class worldwide. International tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable seven per cent in 2017 to reach 1.3 billion, according to UNWTO, and is projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.

For too long, long-term planning and development was sorely lacking in many destinations as governments were caught up in the aggressive pursuit of tourism growth and numbers, pointed out Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

“A major trend in tourism has been that every government, every country in the world has been focused on demand and promotion. Tourism worldwide is mostly promotion, promotion, promotion, and in some cases nothing else,” Durband remarked.

Read the full article here.

By Xinyi Liang-Pholsena for TTG Asia.

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Credit: Mode Green on sustainablebrands.com

Technology has been quickly evolving into many markets such as clothing, food, health and home, and hotels are certainly no exception.

Many hotels are adopting technology that enables more engaging, customized and immersive guest experience; these systems have become a Trojan Horse for the hotel industry to embrace higher-tech sustainability practices.

Conservation is being increasingly embraced in hospitality, and it’s proving to be important to guests; a survey by Bouteco shows that “the youngest and oldest among us care most about sustainability when choosing a hotel.”

New technology is constantly enabling hotels to further reduce and manage their consumption while also engaging guests to be active participants. Previously, hotels would have to choose between sustainability or guest amenity initiatives with regards to technology, because the systems had separate function, cost, implementation and ROI.

Read the full article here.

By Bill Lally for Sustainable Brands

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To see or not to see – the impact of indigenous tourism

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Credit: Travindy

For travelers interested in a meaningful interaction with other cultures, these tours can be very rewarding. However, with volumes of visitors increasing rapidly, issues have been raised about whether it’s ethical to visit the tribes and what consequences it bears for the preservation of the native lifestyles and traditions.

Ideally, the villagers should be able to assert some degree of control over their engagement with tourism and should secure clear economical benefits from this. Unfortunately, in practice often very little of the tourism dollars remain in the villages. There has been growing evidence that the tribes are being exploited by those so-called tour operators looking for quick and easy profit.

Read the full article on the impact of indigenous tourism here.

By  for Travindy.

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Vancouver approves ban on plastic straws, foam cups and containers

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Credit: Shutterstock

After much debate and consultation over the past two years, Vancouver City Council today voted to approve a ban on plastic straws and polystyrene foam cups and take-out containers.

The ban on the distribution of these materials within city limits goes into effect on June 1, 2019, which is six months earlier than initially proposed.

“Cities around the world recognize the detrimental impacts of plastic waste on our environment and are taking bold steps to cut down or eliminate waste through bans and innovative reusable programs,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.

Read the full article here.

By Kenneth Chan for Daily Hive.

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National Geographic launches long-term campaign on plastics

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© National Geographic

There can be little doubt that Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II had a transformative impact on the debate around plastics in the UK. But, while popular, I’m not sure this ‘national treasure’ has the same clout abroad.

We’re going to need other icons to step up and speak out.

Luckily, National Geographic is doing just that with the launch of its Plastic or Planet initiative.

Read the full article here.

By  for treehugger.

 

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Standing room only: Tourists walk along Matsubara-dori street approaching the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. Credit: BLOOMBERG

More than 28 million tourists from abroad visited Japan last year, and it seems for sure that the stated goal of reaching 40 million tourists a year by 2020 will be achieved if not surpassed, with or without legalized casino gambling, which is part of the official tourism plan.

That said, a downside has emerged — something the media is calling “kankō kōgai,” or “tourism pollution.” However effective the tourism promotion scheme has been, it didn’t take into account the numbers that actually materialized, nor the fact that many places, even those ostensibly set up for tourism, are not capable of handling the amount of traffic they’ve seen.

Read the full article here.

By Philip Brasor for the japan times.

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Australia announces $379 million funding for Great Barrier Reef

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Credit: Shutterstock

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will receive A$500 million ($379.10 million) in new funding to restore water quality and protect the coral from starfish attacks, government ministers announced on Sunday.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a televised interview that some of the money would go directly to farmers to modify their practices “to ensure that the reef doesn’t get the large amounts of sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off which is so damaging to coral and which helps breed this crown-of-thorns starfish.”

Read the full article here.

By Alison Bevege for Reuters.

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Credit: “Instant Vacation: 2018’s best travel photos” on cnn.com – In this aerial photo taken on April 1, 2018, a group of children join a learning tour to experience tea-picking in Meitan County of Zunyi, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin) (lmm)

Some gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, trap heat in the atmosphere, producing a “greenhouse effect,” and so make the planet warmer. The amount of greenhouse gases released by a particular activity is referred to as its “carbon footprint.”
The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to University of Sydney researchers.
Their paper was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Overall, the US tops the carbon footprint ranking, followed by China, Germany and India, Malik and her colleagues estimate. Domestic travel, which includes business travel, makes up a majority of the carbon footprints for each of these countries.
Read the full article here.
By Susan Scutti for CNN.
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Hawaii Passes Bill Banning Sunscreen That Can Harm Coral Reefs

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Recent studies have led to a global push for more reef-safe sunscreens. Credit: Chip Litherland for The New York Times

On May 1, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill banning the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.

The legislation prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have foundcontributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The Hawaii sunscreen bill now awaits the signature of the governor. The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

 

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Mr Pololikashvili presenting at a conference in Asturias, Spain / Credit: Green Matters

On January 1, 2018, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili took over as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

GM: Many tourism professionals see sustainable tourism as necessary for the survival of the planet. Can sustainable tourism really make a difference?

ZP: While tourism brings socioeconomic development and inclusive growth to millions of people worldwide, its mismanaged expansion can put fragile environments at risk, deplete natural resources, and disrupt the social structures and cultural values of host communities – the very elements that tourism greatly depends on.

Sustainability is therefore tourism’s fundamental challenge and should be regarded as a comprehensive condition of the sector as a whole. This entails meeting the rising demands of today’s tourists while safeguarding the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of destinations and communities worldwide.

Read the full interview with Zurab Pololikashvili here.

By Ethan Gelber for Green Matters

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