London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies

Benefits of sustainable tourism on environment & beyond

Climate changing is real and so are our anxiety and concerns. Awareness, careful choices, continuous education, supporting the right NGOs have never been more important. Just like understanding well the benefits of sustainable tourism, including nature, wildlife and supporting local communities.

Benefits sustainable travel - Alila Ubud

Alila Ubud – iconic infinity pool (2011). 56 rooms and 8 villas – natural materials and local craftmanship, energy saving initiatives and recycling water.

In 2020 I steered to a pescatarian diet, joined Greenpeace, continued recycling, offsetting flights and questioning again the way we travel. We own an eco-travel book guide for over 15 years thanks to friends and used it whenever we had the chance. Sustainable travel helps hugely and it’s the way to go about the right way, wildlife, environment and local communities. In 2018, tourism & travel was an $8.8 TRILLION dollar contributor to the global economy. Tourism has created over 300 million jobs and was beyond the growth of the GDP for the eighth consecutive year. Sustainable tourism generates more local jobs, improves the quality of work, provides entrepreneurial opportunities and a positive buzz inside its community. It protects, preserves and strengthen local culture, heritage and traditions.

What are the differences between ecotourism and sustainable tourism? Industry consensus agrees ecotourism is more focused on ecological conservation and educating travellers on local environments and natural surroundings, whereas sustainable tourism focuses on travel that has minimal impact on the environment and local communities.

How to travel responsibly? Pick the right hotels and experiences. Alila Jabal Akhdar trekking

How to travel responsibly? Pick the right hotels and experiences. Alila Jabal Akhdar trekking

One of the benefits of sustainable tourism is that opting for companies that give back to the local community, you are supporting the locals.  One of our favourite examples would be Alila Jabal in Oman; using only local materials in the style of the local buildings, mostly run by local people, and all the food cooked in their kitchen uses only local produce.

This means that not only employees see the benefit of having this hotel in this remote stunning area, but also small producers and business owners. Plus as a traveler, one has awesome opportunities to meet wonderful people and educate oneself about their lives, society and traditions.

Alila Jabal Akhdar - benefits of sustainable tourism

Alila Jabal Akhdar, 2018 : EarthCheck operating standards, integrating the natural, physical and cultural elements of their environments.

Wildlife conservation – most of the diving centres we’ve explored with in the last 16 years are all educating us all on the fragility of the underworld. The damage suffered by the warming of the seas is easily noticeable to divers like us (qualified since 2005), including coral blanching, extinction and reefs no longer that vibrant.

Looking after the turtles and protecting their hatching grounds goes a very long way thankfully for few resorts like Banyan Tree Seychelles or Four Seasons Nevis . One doesn’t have to sacrifice the pampering or luxuries in here but being a mindful traveler will bring authentic experiences and fun. Ras Al Jinz in Oman is another unique much needed retreat and sanctuary for green turtles nesting and hatching and one superb lifetime experience to witness both.

Banyan Tree Seychelles tortoises at conservation centre

Banyan Tree Seychelles tortoises at conservation centre (2020). Own garden and vegetables also next door to the Conservation centre, plus sugar cane for their own rum and beehives for honey

Cultural preservation – take UNESCO World Heritage that will make special delineations for places and cultures, make biospheres, buildings or beaches historically highlighted and protected. National Trust and English Heritage would be other examples along those lines, and for the regular followers you know we explore and rave about on regular basis.

Lohas ? This is one acronym that’s been around for a while. Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability means most of us in this crowd are for sustainable destinations where our travels have a positive impact. We may be willing to pay a higher price for this, we prioritize local products and supporting the local community, looking for authenticity. We love to see conservation works and marine centres, farms where vegetables are produced, animals growing up. There’s lots of resilience in our common quest for “The good life with a conscience”.

Benefits of sustainable tourism - Diving Seychelles helps awareness and protection

Marine conservation Seychelles. And Yes, diving in Seychelles Mahe is bliss

The duality of having it all with a passion for fairness, equality, sustainable development and travels. The good news is that for over a decade the LOHAS market has grown continuously, worldwide there are more than 100 Million people who belong to this group. Sweden is the most impressive, with over 40% of population in this group; Europe about 20% big while in the US it reaches 30%. Also positive is that LOHAS movement is growing year by year and sustainable tourism is expected to grow 5% p.a. – great but is that good enough?

Can sustainable tourism be achieved in every country of the world? We believe so, awareness campaigns on the dangers of mass tourism and avoiding cities suffering from over tourism. Have a long-term vision for travelling and choose consciously.

Sustainable choices while and being responsible traveller? Our favourites include eating sourced local and fresh, supporting local communities, thinking green and skipping the over-touristic destinations depleting the nature and culture as well as the mass tourism.

How to travel responsibly? Pick the right resorts

How to travel responsibly? Pick the right resorts. Angsana Velavaru, 2017

Young kids? Starting them young and raising them as global citizens, multi-lingual and exposed to eclectic environments, getting them to be open minded and culturally aware, understanding the natural habitats and how they can contribute to their protections, inspiring them to be ultimately good conservation ambassadors we believe is the way forward. Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum quote rings often in my head : ‘In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.’

Any other benefits of sustainable travel that we missed in here? We’d love to hear about!

14 comments on “Benefits of sustainable tourism on environment & beyond

  1. Passport Overused
    March 8, 2020

    Great post 😁

    • Zen Babytravel
      March 10, 2020

      Thank you! I felt it’s a good positive reminder in the current environment where flight shaming and corona anxities seem to take over most of conversations

  2. oregongirlaroundtheworld
    March 9, 2020

    I also truly believe we can make sustainable travel choices that can have positive impacts on us as the travelers AND the communities we visit. Great post. #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      March 10, 2020

      Great to hear from you as always on such a topical matter. X

  3. Lydia C. Lee
    March 9, 2020

    I really loved Siem Reap because every business had a charity arm lifting a village or women out of poverty and abuse. It was fabulous. And those environmental measures are so important now! #Culturedkids

    • Zen Babytravel
      March 10, 2020

      Absolutely! Great to hear about Siem Rep initiatives!

  4. grandadventurestory
    March 10, 2020

    Really great post with useful definitions of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism. It’s so important to consider our impact not only on the environment but also on communities when we travel. #culturedkids

  5. Shelley (Wander & Luxe)
    March 10, 2020

    This is a really interesting post and something I have been thinking about a lot recently. I am definitely keen to learn more and also teach my daughter how to travel the world in a sustainable manner #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      March 10, 2020

      Great to hear Shelley! Yes we will all make a difference with the right choices!

  6. Kids of the Wild
    March 10, 2020

    This is an interesting read and great to hear it from someone such as yourself who has travelled so widely. I confess to not having heard of LOHAS before ☹️, and am inspired by your ideas for bringing up ‘sustainable’ and environmentally aware children. The world needs more like you #CulturedKids

  7. Scots2travel
    March 11, 2020

    Lots of good ideas, and going pescatarian will make a difference.
    Not flying is probably the biggest travel change I couldsco make in terms of ecotourism

  8. I love this post! We’ve made changes too – we take trains where we can instead of flying, and also try to travel with cups / straws / cutlery so as not to add to plastic waste. #culturedkids

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