I just read an interesting article on luxury travel but keeping it sustainable at the same time. What better way to be conscious, impactful and make a difference in the most superficial way while travelling the world, exploring new cultures, food and drink.
Travelling to countries like Albania and having a great mystery behind not knowing what to expect is an adventure in itself. But what many people don’t realize that behind these “off the beaten path” destinations there is a bustle of work by the local government in placing new-found tariffs, standards, and infrastructure in place. Mega NGO’s hunting after grants for training the locals on how to compete in the tourism industry. Local tour operators attending MEGA travel shows spreading the word about their country and why you should visit. All this preparation and hope for the “big rush” of travellers to come visit; ultimately making these remote locations not so remote anymore.
This is the tourism cycle, exploit unknown destinations to the maximum, damage the environment, raise prices than one day ‘back pedal’ to reduce the amount of visitors and bring back the ‘good old days’.
“The cause of over tourism has been identified as a lack of government understanding about the negative impacts of tourism or planning it well; the growth of the middle classes globally and growth of the Chinese market. All these things are true but they completely miss the real cause of over tourism, which is the collusion between airlines, cruise ships and Governments to create artificially cheap flights and cruises at the expense of the taxpayer and the environment.” Responsible Travel article by Justin Francis https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/blog-post-forty
So during this holiday season and even after, you can travel with luxury, back pack or something in between…keeping it sustainable will go a long way. So here are some tips to keep in mind when you set out the door in any style.
1. Do your destination homework and know where you are headed, but also keeping the local culture in mind.
2. Choose eco-friendly accommodation or a local B&B. Nowadays there are four star B&B’s with all the services and luxury accommodations to come with it….forget the resorts, there nothing but a parked cruise ship.
3. Pack Smart…do you really need a hair dryer and electric shaver? Less is more, plus it will feel more like a vacation.
4. Choose sustainable experiences
5. Go local…..Ask for local beer, food and souvenirs….isn’t that the whole reason you travel to a next place? And yes, don’t forget the local guides….having a foreign company organize your trip….just ask them when was there last time they actually visited there personally. Don’t let deep marketing budget fool you into thinking they know more.
6. Give back….whether that is to your local community or the one you just visited there is always a way to keep it real…even if it’s just chatting about it over a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop (not Starbucks).
Happy Holidays from our home to yours…..
Our Own Expeditions do matter:)