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Preserving the environment and working towards a more sustainable future have become increasingly important agenda items in the world today. Tourism has a significant impact on the world economy, local communities, and the environment. As a result, businesses and individuals are now thinking in more sustainable ways.

People concerned about being a responsible traveller act as a driving force behind this global effort towards sustainability, with their own actions and choices. Therefore, it is beneficial to be informed about the local practices and the sustainability efforts that are being made by the destination you are planning to visit.

Here are some ways you can stay informed and become a sustainable traveller:

  • Minimise waste by using only what you need. Say no to plastic, as it is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution.
  • Conserve the natural resources of the place you are visiting.
  • Support the local economy by shopping at local stores and vendors.
  • Make sure your actions are not adversely affecting the wildlife of the destination.
  • Make better decisions on where to stay via Bookdifferent, a hotel booking site that shows you the eco-label of various destinations and hotels.
  • Visit Verdict to stay on top of the latest news about travel destinations that are working on sustainable tourism.

Business travellers can also check out our responsible business travel guidelines to be better informed for your next trip.

Travelling is the best way to discover the world and fall in love with it. However, it is just as important that we work to develop a responsible and sustainable tourism industry to make sure what we love is preserved for future generations.


Don’t let a picture book become the only memory of our Heritage

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3 September 2015: CEO Blog – By the time you have read this article I will have added Slovenia to my list of countries visited. This will be my 66th country visited towards my goal of 100+.

One of my greatest pleasures when travelling is to visit heritage and cultural sites. Even when I travel for business to a new destination, I always try my best to squeeze in some time to go explore and find little treasures that will create ever-lasting memories in my mind.

I find myself very fortunate for all the wonders that I have seen and hope that my children and future generations will be as privileged as I have been. This is why every time I read about a heritage site being destroyed by radicals, a force of nature, or voluntarily by governments or the private sector to create space for modern structures, it deeply saddens me. I believe we all have a duty to protect and preserve our heritage so that our past can be remembered and shared with the world.

To the developing countries that have colonial heritage sites and to those who have ancient towns or relics, I pray that you take the necessary steps to preserve what travellers may have not yet seen or enjoyed. I pray you recognise the value of these historical assets that your ancestors have left. I pray that you have the wisdom to see that these may offer you an opportunity to build a tourism economy that would sustain communities and preserve peace.

To those who purposely destroy our heritage for financial gain, hate or any other reasons, I have pity on you for not recognising how much you are hurting your country and communities.

I have an old picture book representing English colonial “Maison Bourgeoise” from my hometown of Montreal that I cherish very much. The book features houses that were for most part destroyed to make space for shopping malls and office towers. I know that many fellow residents of Montreal now regret not having preserved them. They now realise that they could have converted them into museums, hotels, restaurants, luxury shops, etc., which would have helped increase the attractiveness of the city and increase tourism.

There are many destinations around the world that have experienced the same thing and so many that are currently facing the very same dilemma. I hope that governments and private sector organisations involved in tourism recognise the historical assets they hold and that together they are able to protect them for future generations to enjoy.

We at PATA are prepared to help in any way we can and offer the full backing of the organisation where and when necessary.

Let us preserve our past and ensure that dusty picture books do not become the only memory we leave to our future generations.


Till next time,


Mario Hardy

Chief Executive Officer

Pacific Asia Travel Association