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Ecotourism

Why Travelling in an Ecofriendly Way
can Feel Challenging

This year has been a truly challenging year that was different from usual in many ways due to the influence of Covid-19. From the perspective of traveling abroad, it hasn’t been a possibility for the past year.

On the other hand, utilising Covid-19 as a starting point, the movement of sustainable tourism is further progressing all over the world. As the number of regions and local governments that are focusing on ecotourism initiatives seems to be currently increasing.  As is the case in many countries, some people are beginning to think that it is better to consider the environment when traveling, and some are already interested in eco-friendly travel. 

Looking at the recent climate variability and environmental destruction situation, some people may be interested enough in ecology and sustainable lifestyles to actually take the necessary action. Meanwhile, others who enjoy nature and travel and are also interested in environmental protection tend to fall into the mindset when planning a trip of  “It is difficult to make a sustainable trip.” Of course, this is a story from both before the Covid-19 virus made it impossible to travel, and a story for when it is possible to travel again.

What is meant by this is that it is better to do something environmentally friendly and the concept of eco-friendly travel such as eco-tourism and sustainable tourism is wonderful! Wanting to make the next trip a sustainable one is a good goal. However, when it comes to actually planning and enjoying a trip, one may find that it is not actually a sustainable one.

Why can planning a sustainably friendly trip feel challenging?

The possible reasons are as follows:

1.Unfamiliar with what to do and how to make an eco-friendly trip

2. Inability to find eco-friendly travel information (hotels, tour companies, etc.)

3. There are no hotels or tour companies that are environmentally friendly in the chosen destination

4. Other conditions are prioritised when planning a trip (date, price, etc.)

1. The traveller doesn’t know what to do and how to make a plan for an eco-friendly trip

If one doesn’t know that, then one can’t plan an eco-friendly trip. Read past articles on Ecotourism World. Making an eco-friendly trip is not that difficult.

2. Inability to find eco-friendly travel information (hotels, tour companies, etc.) in the desired area 

This is an event that is commonly faced. Although the number of available options is gradually increasing, it may still be difficult to find an eco-friendly hotel or tour company which specialises and offers information on the desired destination area. Some travel agencies have eco-tour sections, etc., but they do not handle various areas. Or that some greenwashing products are touted as “eco” in a marketing sense. Make sure you are on a tour or with a  company or hotel that has been sustainably certified by a well-certified body.

One of the solutions could be to decide the type eco-tour you want to participate in or the eco-hotel you want to stay in first, and then decide the destination of your trip. Let’s decide by referring to the traveler’s blog and feature articles on sustainable travel in magazines and online media. There are also booking sites that deal only with eco-friendly hotels. There are competitions such as Sustainable Tourism all over the world, making it easier to find an inn that has won awards.

3. There are no hotels or tour companies that are environmentally friendly in the chosen destination

It isn’t solely necessary to be able to find information about hotels and tour companies that promote themselves as eco-tours and eco-hotels. Community-based and locally managed hotels and hostels, as well as locally managed tours, etc. are sustainable in the sense that the profits  are directed back into the local community. One can simply plan a trip to meet the locals by visiting local eating establishments. Some destinations, such as the Finnish countryside, have become commonplace in sustainable living and do not bother to market the “eco” appeal as the lifestyle in itself is quite sustainable.

4. Other conditions are prioritised when planning a trip (date, amount, etc.)

This mindset of trip planning can actually become a troublesome pattern. Look at a common example of prioritised planning:

A holiday time is coming and one would like to spend it travelling

A warm southern island is preferrable

Search options on flight comparison site

Ticket was purchased because there was a cheap flight with easy connections

Find a hotel in the desired city one wants to visit on the hotel booking site

Book with breakfast included, location easy to move from the center, price, etc.

Activities to be determined locally

This is a common flow when planning a trip with a personal reservation.

However, if you take a closer look at this, it does not include any actions which make a sustainable trip.

People who are accustomed to traveling are so familiar with the procedure for planning a trip that they may somehow always plan their trip in the same way as a matter of habit.

There is one cause. They do not collect information solely from the perspective of “environmentally friendly travel.” It is possible to incorporate it into the project later without collecting information first, but it will be much more difficult. Once you discover a wonderful eco-tour or eco-hotel, you may want to change your destination. There is a high possibility that the hotel comparison site that we use all the time lacks information about whether or not the hotel is environmentally friendly, or that it cannot be filtered. There is also a good chance that an accommodation that is doing great work, such as a local inn, may not be included in these listing sites in the first place as the fees are high and many small, locally owned accommodation and tour sites may not be aware of the niche or have the funds for marketing it.

It would be nice if in the near future it would be easier to plan an eco-friendly trip.  For now, even though we have access to more information than ever,  there is a stated lack of information regarding these small and locally owned eco businesses and the information gathering itself can be quite inconvenient. However, if one does look for an “environmentally friendly trip” at the initial stages of planning a trip and at the information gathering stage, one will discover many wonderful inns and tours, so please do give it a try.

Would you like to know more about eco-friendly travel?
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