By Arijit Dutta, MD, PEPL & Promoter of Eco Adventure Resorts, Khairabera Purulia & Temi Tea Sikkim
Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. Imagine a wild, mountainous landscape covered in dense forest and home to brown bear, wild boar and wolves. Two thousand years ago that is what the Romans found as they attempted to expand their empire into Scotland. They retreated, defeated by the landscape and declared this land the end of the world.
As part of a shift toward natural resource preservation, some major destinations — and the people who visit them — are becoming more attuned to the environmental impact of tourism.
The shift is disrupting some of the traditions associated with tourist hotspots, and given rise to a trend where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing.
The dynamic is taking place against a backdrop of a very busy market for international tourism, which the World Tourism Organization expects to climb to 1.8 billion by 2030. Since 2000, worldwide destination seeking has jumped by more than 50 percent, the organization notes.
In order for a destination to be certified as sustainable, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council outlines a list of criteria. It ranges from supporting local businesses, to conserving natural resources, and encouraging visitors to participate in the community.
But beyond all these official numbers and facts let us take it on ourselves to create a better tomorrow and the onus lies on the student community to change the landscape of the world and to do so a few tips.
Walking your way to discovery
Put your walking shoes on and discover the little-hidden gems you would otherwise miss hoping on to a car/bus/taxi. With the help of satellite maps today’s walking trails are the easiest way to discover a new land and even better get completely lost to better your adventurous streak within you. You are helping the cause of a better planet by reducing emissions.
Cut down the plastic
Be a zero waste traveler. To cut the trash are keeping a plastic bag on you, not using the mini condiments at breakfast, carrying full-size toiletries instead of using the hotels and drinking coffee in the store, not on the go.
Refill your water
Travel with a refillable water bottle with a filter and get it topped up. It is an amazing experience to know so how many places will fill it up for you.
Grab some trash
Get rid of the “it’s not my job” mindset pick up trash in beaches and mountains and clean up your surroundings wherever you are travelling. Be a role model for others. It is not a “dirty job”. Litter is a killer, especially when it gets into the ocean.
Reduce/ stop using the Air conditioners
Sure, you might not be paying the bill but the amount of electricity that running air-con costs is insane
Compensate your flying
Whenever we fly loads of carbon is set into the air. We can plant a tree to turn this back into healthy air again. With deforestation, this is getting harder, so plant a tree and offset your flighst.
Don’t change the linen
Reduce changing towels and bed sheets and covers every night of your travel.
Stop the use of Chopstick
It is a huge of waste of all those trees so by asking for a fork you are helping cut down on waste of the worlds natural resources.
Promote the local economy by buying local. You will actually find yourself promoting traditional eco-friendly stuff providing job opportunities for the locals.
Be a catalyst for the change in the mindset your baby steps can actually turn into a mass movement.
Make a conversation and help others know what tiny steps they can take to help us keep this beautiful planet clean.