The world has once again opened up to travel and with that, the hospitality industry is flourishing. When you are planning your next vacation, you may want to check out this site to find some awesome spots to visit nearby.
If you travel frequently, you may have heard about sustainable tourism but wonder exactly what it means and how hotels play a role. Many hotels have made it their mission to adopt sustainable practices, whether that be through reducing their carbon footprint, using local and sustainable produce, or supporting the communities they are located in.
Read further to find out more about this growing trend and how hotels are working to make a difference.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
The definition of sustainable tourism has many interpretations. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”
In other words, sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for future generations. It is responsible tourism that creates better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.
Some eco-tours are now becoming more popular as people want to learn about the destination they are visiting and how they can help preserve it.
Why Hotels Matter In This Movement
The hospitality industry plays a vital role in sustainable tourism development. Hotels are often the first and last stop for tourists, so they have the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on sustainable tourism initiatives.
There are many ways hotels can adopt sustainable practices, from water conservation to energy-efficient lighting. Many hotel chains have made sustainability a priority in recent years and are working hard to reduce their environmental impact.
Some hotel companies have even made sustainable development a core part of their business model. For example, the Akaryn Hotel Group has become free of “single-use” plastic items.
Many hotels also request that visitors be mindful of towels and sheets to help conserve water. Toiletries are also frequently made available in sustainable, eco-friendly packaging.
The Importance of Local Sourcing
Sustainable tourism also relies on hotels sourcing local produce and products. By supporting local businesses, hotels can help boost the economy and reduce their carbon footprint.
Many hotels are now working with local farmers and producers to source their food and supplies. This not only helps to reduce the hotel’s environmental impact but also supports the local community.
Some hotels have even gone one step further and started growing their own food. Some Hiltons have an on-site organic farm where they grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The produce is then used in the hotel restaurants, ensuring that the food is fresh and locally sourced.
Hotels are also working to reduce their use of single-use plastics. Many hotel chains have switched to reusable toiletry bottles and replaced plastic straws with paper ones.
What You Can Do to Support Sustainable Tourism
There are many ways you can support sustainable tourism initiatives when you travel. One way is to choose hotels that have adopted sustainable practices.
Be mindful of your own actions when you travel. For example, you can reuse towels and sheets, take public transportation, and buy local souvenirs.
You can also offset your carbon footprint by choosing eco-friendly travel options. For example, you can take a train instead of flying. It may take longer, but emissions from trains are significantly lower than those from planes.
A good way to find eco-friendly hotels is to look for hotels that are certified by Green Key, LEED, or another green certification program.
The Future of Sustainable Tourism
The tourism industry is changing, and sustainable tourism will play a big role in its future. Hotels are becoming more sustainable, and travelers are becoming more mindful of their impact on the environment.
When the world shut down due to Covid, research showed how air pollution decreased, and people were seeing the stars at night for the first time in years. Hotels, AirBnbs, and other travel accommodations can continue to play a role in environmental progress.
In conclusion, there are many challenges that the tourism industry faces, but there are also many opportunities.
The hospitality industry can continue to make its mark in sustainability, and travelers can play a part by supporting eco-friendly hotels and initiatives. While we can recycle and be mindful of green living in our homes, we should take that same concern with us on our vacations.