Sustainable travel has grown steadily in popularity over the last several years, and as big advocates of the practice, we are thrilled. Some of our favorite companies to work with are the best of the best in the world of sustainable travel. We were very excited to see that a new study by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Trip.com Group and Deloitte found that 69% of travelers are actively seeking sustainable trips. About 75% of travelers are considering traveling more sustainably in the future, and 60% have chosen sustainable options for their travel in the last couple of years.
As the travel industry continues to bounce back from its COVID lull, sustainability has been a major focus of its conscious comeback. Popular destinations had the chance to reimagine their tourism offerings in a way that balances the interests of locals and visitors and provides enriching, meaningful experiences for all. Emerging destinations have taken the opportunity to plan for how to grow their economies without diminishing the qualities that make them places worth visiting.
“Once the pandemic took away our ability to travel, we saw tens of thousands of people become impoverished and an alarming rise in poaching,” Big Five Tours & Expeditions president Ashish Sanghrajka said. “Sustainable travel represents the single biggest resistance to these issues. Employment opportunities created by tourism give locals a vital seat at the table. This is still the best way for travel dollars to directly reach Indigenous communities.”
Sustainable travel is about preserving the natural environment, yes, but it’s also about preserving cultural heritage and supporting local communities within destinations. It’s about preserving what makes these places so special in the first place and about providing immersive experiences.
The dolce far niente attitude that attracts so many of us to Italy and the easy-living vibes that draw us to islands the world over are worth preserving. The connection with nature that takes on safari, to the Galapagos or to polar regions are too. As our world continues to emerge from the pandemic, striking a sustainable balance is important for the places we love and our own enjoyment of them. We can save the world even as we savor it.