11 Nov Sustainable tourism, the future of the planet is in our hands.
Sustainable and responsible tourism seeks to develop its activity generating a minimum impact on the environment. The main key is that the exploitation of a resource is below its renewal limit. In other words, the aim is to promote tourism that respects the ecosystem, with a minimum impact on the environment and local culture.As a result, all this is one of the maxims of our company Naturalimits. In addition, the economic aspect seeks to generate employment and income for the local population.
Biodiversity protection and natural resources
The World Tourism Organization (WTO), an international organization linked to the United Nations since 1976, considers that one of the fundamental elements to develop tourism is “to make optimal use of environmental resources”. Therefore, this requires maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve biodiversity and natural resources.
There are three keys established by this organization to ensure that tourism can be sustainable:
1. Optimize environmental resources. In other words, without an ecosystem there is no tourism, so it is important to take care of the natural environment. Only by conserving natural resources and taking care of biological diversity can there be tourism.
2. The authenticity of the local culture. Secondly, a fundamental factor in understanding a place is its people, the traditional values of the host community, its culture, architecture… Without respect for culture, tourism cannot be sustainable.
3. Wealth distribution. The economy is another of the fundamental factors within tourism, on the other hand, to guarantee economic activities that last over time and that there is a balance in the distribution of socioeconomic benefits. In conclusion, one of its objectives is to generate stable employment opportunities, obtain income and social services, and reduce poverty in local communities.
How to be a sustainable tourist
Our attitude of traveling without generating great impact on our destination, must begin at the moment we plan a trip.
1.Discover the culture of the area. If you can, choose an unusual destination on tourist routes and look for information to familiarize yourself with its history, culture, traditions, etc.
2.If you go to a large tourist center, look for alternative routes and places such as museums, parks or monuments that are less frequented (always taking care of your safety) and go for eco-friendly businesses.
3.Use resources sparingly, not wasting energy is a small gesture that we can all easily carry out.Above all the planet will thank you.
4.Eat local, eat in local restaurants instead of chains, or have a snack on the terrace of a small bar, is a sustainable action very easy to include in our daily lives during the vacations. By doing so, we generate jobs and help the local economy in a very positive way.
5.Move in a sustainable way, whenever you have a local, collective or sustainable transport alternative, choose it to move around. Avoid using a private vehicle to move around during your vacations and these will be a little more sustainable.
6.Take care of natural environments, being able to visit green environments is a privilege. However, we must take care of it together. Try to visit these areas in small groups so as not to disturb the animals, and always respect the biodiversity and beauty of the place. Tourists are its greatest admirers, and being sustainable, we are also its greatest protectors.
7.Reduce your impact, consuming products while on vacation is inevitable, so that, it is not a bad thing. However, as a sustainable tourist you should generate as little waste as possible and make sure that it can be recycled. Therefore try to ensure that the containers, packaging and materials you use are biodegradable, made of paper or cardboard, and always take them to a green dot!
Where to stay in a sustainable way?
There are several sustainable tourism certifications that agencies, tour operators and hotels can adhere to. This means that companies support respect for the natural environment, the social rights of the community and encourage local economy and cultural exchange. However, sometimes they can mean an increase in the budget, but eco-friendly does not always mean an extra expense.
1.Check the type of accommodation
If you go to a city, book a hotel that is outside the tourist center. Regardless of their classification, category or location, these hotels orient their business model towards respect for the population in which they are integrated (such as employing local people in the business) and the environment in areas such as water use, energy and food waste.
2.Check their websites before choosing. “Check if they are attached to any sustainable certification or have a decalogue or code of good practices.”
3.Familiarize yourself with platforms that promote sustainable rentals. You can find it in cities like Venice, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Valencia or Bologna. It is a cooperative tourism platform that is committed to fair rentals, neighborhood care and neighborhood coexistence. By choosing it, guests support the area economically, since part of the price will be invested in social projects such as cultural centers or community gardens.
4.Opt for an ecohotel or eco resort. After that, these are proposals that preserve the environment in which they are located. They comply with requirements such as construction with sustainable materials, including furniture, are managed with renewable energies (solar, wind, etc.) and offer ecological food. On the other hand, they also prioritize the use of glass containers and the sheets and towels they use must be made of natural fibers.
Sustainable tourism in Spain’s Agenda 2030
The Government of Spain, through the Secretary of State for Tourism, is developing the Spain 2030 Sustainable Tourism Strategy, a national tourism agenda to address the challenges of the sector in the medium and long term, promoting the three pillars of sustainability: socioeconomic, environmental and territorial.
Upcoming sustainable development goals
The year 2015 was a decisive year for global development, with governments having approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ambitious agenda sets a global framework through 2030 to end extreme poverty, combat inequality and injustice, and solve climate change. Building on the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with 169 associated targets, is people-centered, transformative and universal, and works as an integrated whole.
1.End of poverty
3.Health and welfare
6.Clean water and sanitation
7.Affordable and clean energy
8.Decent work and economic growth
9.Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11.Sustainable cities and communities
12.Responsible production and consumption
15.Life of terrestrial ecosystems
16.Peace, justice and strong institutions
17.Partnership to achieve the goals
Tourism is a horizontal and interconnected sector; our success depends on collaboration, i.e. shaking hands with each other, sharing intelligence and sharing experiences.
Naturalimits, is committed to tourism that takes full account of current and future economic, social and environmental impacts to meet the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.
“We are all on this planet as tourists. No one of us can live forever.” Dalai Lama