LEAD­ERS IN SUS­TAIN­ABLE TRAVEL: WHY ITS VI­TAL NOW MORE THAN EVER

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - SAFE JOURNEY - BY JEANETTE CEJA

An in­creased de­vel­op­ment to­wards sus­tain­able tourism con­tin­ues to gain mo­men­tum. As a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers in travel are mak­ing sus­tain­able tourism aware­ness a top pri­or­ity. Now, the good news for trav­el­ers who are seek­ing to give back but don’t know how. There are nu­mer­ous travel com­pa­nies that are mak­ing sus­tain­able tourism a part of the daily busi­ness model.

Why is sus­tain­able travel more im­por­tant now that ever? And what ex­actly is sus­tain­able travel? Let’s find out di­rectly from the trail blaz­ers in sus­tain­able travel to­day.

Take Im­pact Travel Im­mer­sion, a global travel con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by the non­profit and global com­mu­nity Im­pact Travel Al­liance. Where over 30 speak­ers rang­ing from Na­tional Geographic to W Ho­tels are ex­pected to speak and give ses­sions to en­trepreneurs to­wards sus­tain­able tourism. Sev­eral of the courses in­clude Sus­tain­able Tourism for the Masses: Con­vert­ing the Main­stream to Ur­ban Sus­tain­abil­ity & Re­shap­ing the Nar­ra­tive of Sus­tain­able Tourism.

One of the speak­ers, Ey­tan El­ter­man, Co-Founder for the book­ing plat­form Lokal Travel, shares that the tourism in­dus­try is at a tip­ping point. “It’s the big­gest in­dus­try in the world and as trav­el­ers we have the power to do great good or great harm in how we de­cide to va­ca­tion.”

And the con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ues with Kel­ley Louise, Founder of Im­pact Travel Al­liance. Louise shares that it only takes a quick scroll through Face­book to be­come dis­cour­aged about the news that seems to be con­stantly pil­ing up around us.

“But sus­tain­able tourism – travel that has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, cul­ture and econ­omy of a des­ti­na­tion – has the po­ten­tial to im­prove our world through some­thing that’s uni­ver­sally ap­peal­ing.”

“Sus­tain­able tourism is more im­por­tant now than ever be­cause we fi­nally have an in­creased amount of ac­cess to bet­ter, more im­pact­ful, im­mer­sive and all around epic travel ex­pe­ri­ences,” shares Louise. “Trav­el­ers care about the ex­pe­ri­ences they’re book­ing, find­ing the best op­por­tu­ni­ties and book­ing the most unique (and au­then­tic) ways to ex­plore a des­ti­na­tion – and the in­dus­try is re­spond­ing. By con­tin­u­ing to vote with our dol­lars, we can build upon this move­ment

– and change the world through travel,” says Louise.

The ho­tel in­dus­try keeps tak­ing no­tice. For ex­am­ple, take the Ter­ranea Re­sort. Not only does the re­sort have their own sea salt con­ser­va­tory and a Chef’s gar­den. But they in­cor­po­rated sus­tain­abil­ity roles in the staff. Meet Lau­ren Ber­gloff, the Sus­tain­abil­ity Leader & Nat­u­ral­ist for Ter­ranea Re­sort who shares “The only thing bet­ter than vot­ing for what you be­lieve in, is to buy what you be­lieve in. When you pur­chase a sus­tain­able prod­uct, or choose to stay at a ho­tel that has the same morals as you, you are cast­ing your vote in the fu­ture! The more peo­ple choose sus­tain­able tourism, the more tourism will need to sway in that di­rec­tion. Choose to travel sus­tain­ably and see what the fu­ture holds.”

The Ter­ranea Re­sort also works with Kind Trav­eler, a so­cially con­scious ‘Give + Get Ho­tel Book­ing Plat­form that do­nates to the non-profit hos­pi­tal Marine Mam­mal Care Cen­ter Los An­ge­les. As a Kind­ness Am­bas­sador, I got to ex­pe­ri­ence first-hand what it feels like to be a sus­tain­able trav­eler. And it feels re­ally good.

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