Whether it is a chic, zero-emission hotel in Milan where toiletries are 99% biodegradable, or Gaansbai in South Africa, where conservation of native flora and fauna is a community-wide priority, sustainable tourism is growing fast across the globe.
It is a tribute to the myriad entrepreneurs, companies, creative individuals and communities that the United Nations is marking 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
This means that, throughout 2017, activities and initiatives across the spectrum of those involved in tourism will celebrate its transformational power on our global efforts to create a world that is cleaner and greener, more equal and more inclusive.
It is a celebration for each and every one of us: those who work and have interest in the sector and its sustainability, and also those consumers who travel to discover, to experience, and to give something back in return.
Research shows that a rising number of travellers want to tread lightly. The modern tourist wants to give back to the countries and communities they visit and reduce their impact on the environment. The campaign “Travel.Enjoy.Respect” that is linked to the International Year aims at precisely underlining the role of the traveller in amplifying the potential of tourism while avoiding damage on the environment, traditions, culture, heritage and local communities.
But what are the options for the would-be green traveller? How much of an impact can one person have?
Click here to read the original article from Bangkok Post.
By Taleb Rifai, Erik Solheim & Patricia Espinosa.
Taleb Rifai is Director-General of the World Tourism Organisation. Erik Solheim is Head of UN Environment. Patricia Espinosa is Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.