As climate change issues increase our awareness of the way we live, more people are thinking about the way they travel.
The growth in interest in holidays under the “responsible tourism” banner is significant. What’s even more significant though is the fact that the travel industry as a whole is putting responsible tourism high on its agenda.
In November 2008, World Travel Market (one of the travel industry’s largest exhibitions) held its second World Responsible Tourism Day. Held in association with the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) and backed by all the leading industry organisations, the day was designed to be ‘a collective day of global action on responsible tourism’.
Independent travellers have unconsciously made the ‘responsible’ or ethical choice for years and whilst there are consumers increasingly demanding a more responsible, caring travel industry, for most people, travel choices are much more driven by cost than environmental concerns.
Mass tourism will never go away, but if hotels, airlines and operators start integrating better environmental approaches throughout their businesses, the impact would be huge. The environmental choice would then already be part of the ‘package’ and our planet would definitely be better for it.
The World Responsible Tourism Day is a welcome step in the right direction.