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The Rivera Group has said that the eco-tourism market is the fastest-growing sector of the tourism industry, expanding at the rate of 5 to 50 per cent.

Did you know that the wealthiest Romans took trips around the globe that stretched for around two years? As the times are growing people are planning holidays that are greener and environment friendly. Hence, people are looking for stays that are eco-friendly hotels. So with the current trends of veganism, flexitarianism and many other lifestyle choices. This kind of holiday has always caught the attention of the crowd, especially in recent months. Hence, the coming years will see the future generations become concerned and aware of their environmental choices.

 

According to a survey, 87% Nowadays travellers want trips that aren’t damaging to the environment. Hence, companies that serve the hospitality and travel industry are said to be the biggest beneficiaries of this trend. Though it is said that this kind of sustainable travel is subject to a person’s environmental standpoint. This statement is quite true by a major per cent. The same report has also revealed that 46% of people believe that sustainable travel is staying in eco-friendly or green accommodation. 

Around 40% have stated that they have always wanted to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to the surrounding by taking positive measures.  On the other hand, 34% were recorded saying that this was just to have a locally relatable experience. Some 33% of people said they only choose eco-friendly accommodations because they wanted to feel good about where they rested.

60% of the surveyed people said that this idea actually struck them while they were amidst experiencing the natural sights of their previous trips such as coral and rain forests. Also, 54% were recorded saying that they had noticed the visible impact tourism had on places that they themselves had visited. While 47% went on to say that their decision for choosing eco-friendly accommodation was after they saw the positive impact sustainable tourism had on local communities. Rest, 32% of the people said that they felt guilty about how their holidays impact the environment around them.

 

Are sustainable holidays easy on the pocket?

As these trips tend to require fine planning and research, they could potentially be if you are planning to go on a sustainable and eco-friendly vacation then a lot of planning and research awaits you. This kinda travelling is actually not of the same budget as your normal travel vacations.  However, 67% of the travellers in the survey said that they were prepared to spend up to around 5% more on their travel to ensure that it had a low impact on the environment.

 

Sustainable Holidays

 

Are people finding it difficult to find eco-friendly holidays? 

Data accumulated from the same survey stated that around four people from the ten people said that the booking sites do not have any eco-friendly specific offers and should specify such offers for a convenient trip. Many people are certainly not taking this step out of which some of these sites have started adding pages to represent these trips and advertise them publicly. The rest 32% of people have called out for an international standard that can identify eco-friendly accommodation.

 

Difficult to find eco-friendly holidays

 

What are sustainable eco-friendly hotels?

Sustainable hotels are those businesses that significantly plan to reduce their environmental impact through imbibing green best practices in all aspects such as maintenance, services, logistics, products, and supplies. The important aspects of the business revolve around reducing waste, saving energy, and cutting down on the usage of water.

Cost more than profits

In the year $1.6 trillion, the travel industry bookings reached around  $1.6 trillion. This made it one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the world. But despite all its profits, the industry has been bearing numerous costs. The industry contributes to more than 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, helping to fuel dangerous climate change. Numerous years have led to the construction of hotels, resorts which in return have left a negative impact on our local wildlife and the fleeting away of locals from their habitat. The growing amount of tourists have led to creating an enlarged amount of toxic waste and pressure on our resources. Humans are obviously not aware that a fun holiday may be leaving some form of damage to our environment. Due to such awareness and impact from our surroundings, a new trend has taken place. A recent yet revolutionizing trend of ecotourism has been aiming to turn around the negative impact of tourism and offer tourists a comfortable yet eco-friendly stay. After a careful study of the travel industry, leading firms have concluded the fact that the number of travellers who are aware of such sustainable travel issues has certainly increased. Even the willingness of these travellers to spend on environmentally-friendly travel has increased by a third in the last ten years.

Experts have also confirmed the fact that as the number of business travellers has increased over the years, their requirement for accommodations that keep the green initiative in their mind has become a matter of utmost importance. Such a change has been welcomed by the hotel industry who plan to undertake green initiatives whose sustainability will act as a defining issue for the hospitality industry.  Hotel and even tour operators around the world have been positively responding to this new interest. They have further enhanced their operations by appointing senior management positions to oversee sustainability practices in their business operations. The eco-friendly tourism trend has been especially liked and appreciated by millennials. GlobalData has also stated that 41% of them are interested in booking an ecotourism holiday. This trend has not just favoured big hotel chains or fancy destinations it lays a positive impact on the entire world.

 

Eco-Friendly Tourism

 

Short Term Lodging

The year 2010 saw many changes be introduced in terms of travelling. People were planning where a short term lodging option, the introduction of second cities and the surge of bookings of cheap flights. Similarly, the huge platform of social media has caused us to travel to corners looking for the saw that we got a glimpse of while scrolling. But the posts with the numerous likes that catches your eye or that blog article that tells you to travel to a certain number of places over the weekend or before you turn twenty-five might all just be slightly exhausting. It all seems as if travelling has been changed into a mere competition. The whole purpose of travelling to the place of your interest has all been about exploring. Enjoying and relieving the stress of our daily lives. That is why the idea of slow travel has been introduced. It just doesn’t talk about a much more peaceful time, but also about environmental sustainability.

 

Eco Friendly Tourism

 

Companies acknowledging the change?

A company called Cool effect has proposed that they will release tools in order to help people set off their carbon footprints while being on a cruise vacation. Even airlines such as Easy Jet are planning to remove their entire aeroplane’s emissions. A great example of all this is the Natural Habitats. In 2019 it began shelling out zero-footprint itineraries. The company is now moving forward by offsetting travellers’ entire lives for an entire year if they book one of its Climate Change & Our Wild World trips. What is included in offsetting? The offset calculations are based on the size of the home, electrical bills, monthly expenses, air and driving miles. Companies that are following this pattern include the  Metropolitan Touring and the MSC Cruises.

What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think about cruising?

A large mammoth-sized boat that can accommodate hundreds of passengers without sinking at the end. Well, it might not be the same anymore. 

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection that is going to be launched in the coming period is one of the few companies that is planning to change the entire way of cruising functions. It plans to introduce small ships that act like boutique residences which will make it easier to witness coastal places. Such independent ships strategy is being adopted by another company. 

The HMS Gåssten who is a former Swedish minesweeper has been restored and turned into a luxe base for skiing and biking trips in Norway. They have added new standards that require cruise lines to cut their emissions across the board. John Paolo R. Rivera of the Asian Institute of Management’s Center for Tourism has stated that the travel and tourism industry should not just think of the numbers but also preserve what they have to offer. 

Sustainability in this massive business world is extremely essential to achieve growth and satisfy customers. More importantly, consumers search out environment-friendly businesses and are also willing to pay more for both eco-friendly products and services. One in three consumers prefer sustainable brands, and the travel industry is well aware and making changes. For example, TripAdvisor has developed its GreenLeaders Program that showcases hotels with environmentally-friendly best practices to conscientious travellers, such as hotels going green with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

As the hotel goes green they in return damage the environment less and earn brownie points from the customers.

 

Eco Tourism

 

How can hotels go environment friendly?

There are numerous steps that an accommodation facility like hotels can take to move toward sustainability. Some steps that you can choose to begin with include the following:

  1. Ask your employees to contribute to this initiative. Not only will your employees be good about being part of such an initiative but, they will also contribute to abiding by this practice.
  1. Before going all out and taking bigger steps in turning your hotel into an eco-friendly zone you can start with small steps. One of the most basic and easiest things to start with is to stop the usage of plastic water bottles. Instead, you can offer water to your guest in reusable bottles.
  1. Other small steps through which you introduce this change is by installing additional towel racks in bathrooms. This makes it easy for guests to reuse towels. Apart from this you can replace outdated bins with worn recycling symbols and add bins near elevator banks so that guests notice them frequently. 
  1. A small practice that many companies have started imbibing in the last couple of months is to conduct telephonic interviews. So instead of asking candidates to come down from far away places, especially for an interview, you can choose to conduct a face to face interview with them either on skype or facetime. Through this process, you get to save printing lengthy forms and hard copies of resumes. 
  1. Hotels offering transportation facilities to their guests can consider offering eBike and eScooter rental options to promote sustainable transportation. The option of providing group shuttles or public transit hubs can also serve the purpose as they will help in cutting down on the number of low-occupancy car trips to and from your hotel.
  1. A change in the way a guest room functions through automation is perfect to remind your guest too that it is important to be aware. Some prominent examples of such practice include installing smart showers. These showers help in setting up a preset time that sends an alert to the guest when the time is almost going to get over. More examples include room sensors and thermostats.
  1. A great chance to make your hotel environment is by making smart choices in furnishing guest rooms with natural fibre sheets and furniture made of sustainable materials. You can also add reusable coffee mugs and glasses rather than plasticware, paper, or styrofoam. The bathrooms provide natural and organic free-trade soaps and shampoos from certified green manufacturers in biodegradable packaging.
  1. When a hotel is planning to host events it is important that they take the route where they plan to cut down on the number of trash receptacles at your event venue while simultaneously increasing the number of recycling options. This will force attendees into disposing of their waste mindfully. A simple change can be started by cutting down on the usage of plastic straws, plastic serving-ware, and paper plates. Not only will you save money in lower supply costs and waste management.

 

Eco- Tourism