PATA | Contact

All posts tagged Wellbeing

Stay active and pick up litter

Categories: Green Tips
Comments Off on Stay active and pick up litter

Credit: Shutterstock

Daily life keeps us busy with all kinds of activities – staying healthy and making eco-conscious choices throughout every single day often requires self-discipline, especially in the phase of changing to an environmental friendlier lifestyle. To make life a little easier, we have two fun suggestions that will not only help you be kind to the environment, but also support your very own wellbeing while staying connected to a community of like-minded people.

1. Go ‘plogging’

No, that’s not a typo – ‘plogging’ describes a fitness craze that started in Sweden and has spread across the world over the last month. It is easy, addictive and highly effective! You go jogging and pick up litter on the way. Get your heart pumping and burn extra calories by bending  down to pick up trash! The health of our planet as well as your own body benefit from plogging. The best part is that it can be a social activity and is suitable for both urban and rural locations. Find a group of ploggers via social media or start your own and go for a jog e.g. along the beach, around your neighbourhood, on a trail in a park or forest nearby and pick up litter.  Be inspired by these 10 ploggers sharing what they find in one workout on social media.

2. Let rivers, lakes and the ocean be your playground

Whether you prefer to go under water for a snorkel or dive, or stay above water, e.g. on a paddle board or kayak – bring a litter picker and tie a refuse sack around your wrist or hip to put put away any litter you come across. Join a plastic patrol and help clean up our waters – every single piece of litter matter. Watch the example of kayak tours with the mission to help clean up Hoai river in Hoi An, Vietnam to see how easy it is. Kayak clean ups are also suitable for corporate initiatives or as team building activity.

Make sure to recycle and dispose the trash you pick up during any of the above activities properly. Only then you can ensure that you have helped to provide a cleaner planet for our current and future generation.

Share

I have just read a report titled The Global Wellness Tourism Economy 2013, and it has made me optimistic for the potential growth of responsible tourism. It has made me see that there are many more travelers out there for responsible tourism companies to connect to. And it has given me some insight into how we might go about reaching them.

The wellness tourist is anyone who travels with the desire to improve their physical, emotional and spiritual well being. In other words, it is about much more than just people who go to spas. For example, the report defines what wellness tourists look for as “Healthy Living”. “Rejuvenation and Relaxation” and “Meaning and Connection”. “Authentic Experiences” Which responsible tourism operator doesn’t aspire to offer these?

Screenshot 2014-04-16 13.59.55

The report also gives examples of the sort activities these tourists enjoy: hiking, biking, walking along nature trails, volunteering, connecting to arts, culinary experiences. All the same sorts of activities that many – if not most – responsible tourism companies offer. Now consider that Wellness Tourism is already reckoned to be a $439bn market, worth one in seven of every tourist dollars. And it is forecast to grow to $678bn by 2017. Meanwhile, your typical wellness tourist spends 130 per cent more than the average global tourist while on a trip.

Although the two sectors are in no way synonymous, the one key difference that I see is that responsible tourism talks primarily about the impacts of travel upon those outside of us – the community and the environment, while Wellness focuses on the impacts upon the traveler. The issues that cause these impacts – pollution, overcrowded cities, industrialized agriculture, economic disparities etc – are the same. The report even spells out how interwoven our two sectors are, when it describes “core wellness consumers [are those] who embrace holistic and integrated approaches to health, as well as environmental and sustainability issues, recognizing that personal, social and planetary well being are all interconnected.”

Although the main focus of each sector may be different, the fact that these core consumers are seeking an ‘integrated approach’ suggests there is merit in looking to learn from what one another does well. And where I really think Responsible Tourism can really learn from Wellness Tourism is by studying the way it connects the stories of what it offers with consumers. Because by talking to people where they are – connecting what we offer to their needs, desires and worries about their own lives – we stand the best chance of exciting them about our trips.

At its simplest, compare the way the two sectors might talk to a tourist in their bathroom. Responsible Tourism puts a little card on the basin that asks the traveler to help saving the planet by not washing their towel. Wellness Tourism offers them a natural bath soap created by local artisans using traditional herbs known in the region for their curative properties.

Both of these approaches can impact positively on the world outside the bathroom. But I believe the latter resonates far more richly with most travelers – whether it is deeper meaning they seek, or a deeper bath.

Originally Published as Why the growth of Wellness Tourism is good for the responsible tourism market by

Share