Eco tourism has become common practice in Spain in recent years.
True ecotourism is a viable option for conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of towns, which at the same time encourages the idea of sustainable economic development.
The sustainability of tourism can be altered by various factors. One of them is the transport method used. Another factor is how and where we stay. And the third factor that can affect the sustainability of tourism are the leisure activities carried out at the destination.
In this article, we'll tell you about aspects that are useful to reduce environmental impact, according to your tourism destination, in order to choose environmentally friendly lodgings and the best way to get around. We'll also discover some original ideas set into motion in some areas of the world.
How to reduce environmental and cultural impact, according to your destination?
Without meaning to, as tourists we produce an impact on the economic, social, environmental and cultural sustainability of the place we visit. It can seem as though our actions have barely any impact, but the footprint of a large number of tourists on surroundings can be negative in environmental and cultural terms. It is thus important to carry out responsible tourism based upon respect for the native place and culture.
Go to local businesses to eat or shop while on vacation. In addition to propelling the place's economy, you will contribute to preserving the native cultural aspects and traditions. We thus recommend that you use a local guide service, which constitutes the best option to fully immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine and traditions.
Take care of natural environments, such as beaches or natural enclaves in the mountains, by taking the trash you create with you, whether it's plastics, cans or organic residue, to be disposed of in an appropriate place. Don't forget to respect the area's flora and fauna, above all during mating season.
Make your accommodations eco-lodgings.
Accommodations represent the second most important factor in sustainable tourism. 21% of CO2 emissions
result from accommodations. That's why it's important that you choose efficient hotels when possible. There are classifications online, such as Energy Star
or Green Globe
that can serve as a guide for choosing the most efficient lodgings from an energy point of view.
Use water responsibly. Many exotic countries have limited water reserves. Before taking a showing or turning on the tap as you would normally do in your country, think that maybe you ought to use this scarce resource in moderation.
When you're not in the hotel, turn off the lights, air conditioning or heating. If you're in a warm location, you can lower the blinds during the middle of the day in order cool the room.
Alternatives to get around your destination better
One of ways that is healthiest and fun for the whole family is the bike. Whenever possible, rent a bike to enjoy your destination's streets, or a route in nature. You won't regret it.
Another option is public transportation, which in addition to helping you save on your vacation budget, will help to reduce CO2 emissions.
Original ideas set in motion in some parts of the world.
Playa de Palma reinvents sustainable tourism:
The urban consortium of Playa de Palma designed an Integral Action Plan that brings together actions and changes that will be carried out in the municipalities of Palma and Llucmajor during the next ten years. Said plan seeks to reinvent the urban and landscape spaces in the Mediterranean style. It will also adapt the urban design to the effect that can be caused by climate change.
To facilitate mobility, a functional reconsideration of streets will be begun, according to the new public space model. As regards the environment, solutions will be adopted that allow for contaminating emissions to be diminished and noise to be reduced, conserving biodiversity. Buildings will also be restored to improve their tourism and residential value.
The Colombian Caribbean seeks to create tourism which is more ecological.
Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and 19 nearby municipalities have joined forces to create the Corredor Verde Turístico del Caribe (Caribbean Green Tourism Corridor), a large tourism area that promotes eco tourism. The objective is the touristic, economic and social integration of this regional axis, to create unique experiences within a green tourism area known worldwide.
The project consists of carrying out adventure activities on the beach and in natural parks. Extreme sports related to fishing and seamanship are practised in these places throughout the year. The richness and touristic offering of these cities is so vast that it even includes archaeological, ethnographic, anthropological and ethnic relics.
Awards for sustainable tourism in Colombia
In Colombia, green businesses that are respectful of the environment and that make strong efforts in the area of sustainable tourism have a prize. In support of the bid for sustainable, environmentally responsible tourism, the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has given the National Sustainable Tourism Award to 12 Colombian businesses, in different categories.
All of these businesses have developed sustainable tourism techniques based upon environmentally friendly procedures, upon supporting conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and upon providing social and economic benefits to local populations.