Chasing The Sun: Tips on Sustainable Tourism

As we enter the depths of winter, one thing which many people find themselves dreaming about is their summer holiday. That moment of bliss where the heat of the sun hits your body as you step off the plane. This article, however, asks, is it possible to travel to your favorite summer destinations whilst also being sustainable?

To answer this question frankly, air travel currently is not environmentally sustainable, so no. Around 2.4% of global CO2 emissions come from aviation. Together with other gases and the water vapor trails produced by aircraft, the industry is responsible for around 5% of global warming. Although, it's not all bad news! There are definitely ways to mitigate and slow down the damage to the environment when we travel. Sustainable travel is an emerging phenomenon that means meeting the current needs of tourists whilst minimizing the negative impacts on the local environment, and ideally benefitting the local people. Here are some ways to reduce the environmental damage whilst traveling:

  • Consider Your Mode of Transport- Whilst this may not be possible for all travelers, it’s surely worth considering if there are any other methods of transport to your destination. This could include ferries, coaches, and trains. This may also be a major way of saving money too.

  • Consider How You Fly – If other modes of transport are not realistic, then how you fly can impact your carbon emissions. Packing lighter is the first way in which emissions can be minimized on an individual scale, and if everyone adopted this mindset, it could have a great impact. Also, taking the most direct flight and having fewer layovers is an easy way to reduce carbon emissions whilst traveling.

  • Consider Where You Stay – Large, all-inclusive holiday resorts have not only a catastrophic impact on the local biodiversity, but can also have devastating impacts on the locals. All-inclusive resorts often arise from foreign direct investment, so the money from the tourists is not put back into the local area. In addition, tourist attractions are out-priced, which puts local people at a great disadvantage. Instead, try homestays and locally owned accommodation, this can give you a more authentic experience of your destination and can be a great benefit to local people.


Celia Aspden