The rise and rise of responsible tourism | To travel
Travel addicts around the world now feel safer to venture out after being fully immunized. While Covid-19 has changed the way we think about travel and culture, it has also given rise to a phenomenon based on sustainability, the preservation of cultural and natural resources – responsible tourism.
“The pandemic has allowed us to disrupt, innovate, adapt sustainable alternatives and use technology to deliver responsible and tangible business solutions. We anticipate that the trend of immersive travel will accelerate in a post-Covid world, with a greater emphasis on sustainability and responsible travel, ”says Neliswa Nkani, manager of the South African Tourism Center.
But responsible tourism is not synonymous with sustainable tourism. “Responsible travel has gone from being a niche category to something intrinsic to all types of travel. The pandemic has made travelers reflect on the impact of their travel plans on the communities and ecosystems with which they interact, while shining the spotlight on giving back to society, ”said Ashish Dhruva, vice-president. senior president, marketing and customer engagement, InterMiles.
Lifestyle influencer Sarah Zarein Raza believes that being a conscious traveler can help uplift regional communities, their culture and their economy. “Staying in local hostels / hotels makes my trip not only responsible, but also sustainable. It also benefits the city or country I visit, ”she adds.
Gaurav Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Savaari Car Rentals, is also responsible for responsible travel. “Offbeat travel not only reduces the carbon footprint in popular tourist spots, but it also ensures the distribution of tourists to lesser-known destinations and helps revive local communities by promoting small businesses – hotels, host families, art, crafts, cafes and restaurants, ”Aggarwal adds.
With the increase in the number of consumers seeking sustainable travel experiences, companies are engaging in various environmental improvement initiatives. Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, for example, signed RE100 (renewable energy) and EP100 (energy productivity), has set targets to operate at 100% renewable energy by 2050 and to double the energy productivity of by 2030. Based Target Initiative, which requires us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius. Our commitment to water security, pursuing missions such as Zero Liquid Landfill, Zero Waste Landfill in addition to biodiversity, helps us to contribute abundantly to responsible travel ”, said Vivek Khanna, COO.
Even the Hong Kong Tourist Board is stepping up its promotion of responsible tourism with the Great Outdoors Hong Kong Campaign, which encourages locals and overseas visitors to explore lush green countryside with serene hiking trails, mountains, meadows, beaches or spectacular harbor views from a ferry to a remote island. “To boost the confidence of visitors when traveling here, they have launched an ‘Epidemic Hygiene Certification Program’ in partnership with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA). As part of this program, more than 2,900 organizations from the tourism industry and related sectors will follow a standardized hygiene protocol to ensure visitors have a safe and healthy stay, ”said Puneet Kumar, Director of the Office of the tourism from South Asia and the Middle East to Hong Kong.
Promote the local community
Responsible tourism contributes to job creation in local communities. “Travelers can opt for local guides or workers from neighboring villages or towns,” suggests Nkani. In addition, tourists can have a more rewarding experience by making meaningful connections with locals to understand the cultural, social and environmental issues prevalent in the region in question. It is certainly a win-win situation.
Preservation of the environment
Start with simple steps like walking instead of driving and carrying reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles. “Renting bikes or using local transport is another great way to reduce the carbon footprint,” says Nkani. To promote responsible travel, it is also imperative that mobility companies switch to CNG cars. They are not only environmentally friendly; they are also more profitable.
Concerned about future generations
Responsible tourism helps promote sustainable tourism in a way by realizing that one day our children will be going to the same places, and therefore should be properly maintained at this very stage. “By teaching our children the importance of responsible tourism, we can continue to improve travel for future generations,” says Raza.