Throughout the world, sustainability is a growing trend. Consumers are beginning to recognize their contribution to climate change and habitat destruction, and a sense of social responsibility is growing. The tourism industry is no exception. Tourism is responsible for about eight percent of global carbon emissions. A single person flying from New York City to Paris generates 1,812.5 pounds of carbon dioxide according to Sustainable Travel International. So, let’s look at how people are changing their travel habits and how it’s affecting businesses around the world.
According to Forbes, sustainability is topping travel trends for 2020. From vegan and eco-friendly hotels to avoiding flights in favor of other methods of transportation (and offsetting the carbon footprint of a flight if one is necessary,) tourists are beginning to favor ethical and responsible travel now more than ever.
Europe is providing travelers with a resource for sustainable travel with EDEN, or European Destinations of Excellence described as the “largest European network of destinations approved by Europe for the quality of their tourist offers and their respect for the environment.” The list includes locations such as Mostvierel, Austria and Durbuy, Belgium, which appear to be hidden gems that tourists can enjoy while funneling money into the tourism industry in these cities.
New business endeavors also arise as sustainability becomes a trend. Eco-friendly hotels are one type of opportunity in the business of sustainable travel. The Song Saa hotel in Cambodia is one example of a trailblazer in eco-friendly hospitality. The hotel engages in initiatives such as social and community development, founding a marine reserve, and supporting rainforest restoration programs.
As we can see, sustainable travel is a trend that promises environmental benefits as well as ample business growth. Just as the search for sustainable energy alternatives has created economic opportunity, travel is an industry that is sure to do the same. New possibilities, such as emissions-free electric planes, are already on the horizon, proving this industry has an exciting future.