The world is changing. Tourism is adapting for good, and it’s time we did. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the world doesn’t come to a standstill if we did—in fact, the world is at its prime now, healthier and wholesome. As travellers let’s pledge to travel sustainably, protect wildlife, and give back to the local communities by supporting local products. The best part? It’s easier and more fun than we think.
Reduce air travel and cruise ships as much as possible. You can’t post about sustainable tourism on Instagram on your long flight or cruise journey and call it a win. Sweden’s flygskam or flight-shaming movement started in 2017 and many people shifted towards train and bus travel. Naturally, reducing the single biggest contributor to pollution led to reduced climate impact.
We can’t wait for such a massive communal movement to change our travel habits—even a small change within our scope of action makes a difference. But in reality, you can’t hop on a train from New York to Spain. If you need to fly, fly. But take a direct flight if it’s an option.
Go for animal experiences in their natural habitat. Straight up boycott anything else. “Don’t let a crisis go to waste”, said someone and the world is beautifully abiding by this. People have learnt the power and importance of coexistence and at this rate, no animal cruelty or environmental harm in the name of tourism will stand a chance in the future.
Want to go on a safari? Choose protected reserves and government operations. Elephant safaris or tiger temples? Say no without a thought. The change starts with us refraining ourselves from paying for those experiences. Focus your spending on protected reserves and experiences which will only make the world a beautiful place to live in for the animals and other living beings.
Always go for reusable, recyclable travel material. When hiking, hike with collapsible travel bottles. When camping or going on a long drive, take a non-plastic trash bag with you. If you are on a long vacation, pack things like wooden brushes and paper bags which even if you trash, won’t impact the environment. It ensures that the colourful earth stays as stunning it is.
There are revolutionary eco-friendly businesses like Lush, Patagonia and Nimble which not only are eco-friendly but also don’t involve any kind of animal products.