No matter how hard we try, there’s no getting away from the fact that some of the best travel destinations in the world might require us to fly or travel long distances to reach them.
But here at Not In The Guidebooks, we’re of the belief that if we’re going to travel and see the world, then we need to travel in the most eco-friendly way possible.
As travellers, we have a responsibility to the local environments we choose to visit, to the people that live there, and to future generations of travellers who deserve the same opportunities to experience what the world has to offer.
Should We Travel at All?
The first question you might throw up when you consider the environmental impacts of travelling, is whether we should really travel anywhere at all, particularly on flights. You can’t argue that flying anywhere in the world uses up a huge amount of fossil fuel and emits massive amounts of carbon, but to focus solely on this impact is to ignore the huge benefits that travel can provide.
First, you need to bear in mind that – no matter how you change your habits – people will still be going on holiday. Mass tourism can result in environmental damage on a huge scale, but it’s unrealistic, and actually undesirable, to simply tell people to stop travelling.
By visiting places of incredible natural beauty, such as the coasts of Cambodia or the cloud forests of Costa Rica, tourism and travel done the right way can actually bring about enormous benefits for the local ecosystem.
When money is spent in the right places, tourism can provide a huge financial boost to groups whose aim is to preserve the natural ecosystem in the area. It’s a self-perpetuating system, whereby keeping the very thing that attracts tourists to an area intact, they can reap the rewards of continuing to attract new visitors.
Protecting tourist hotspots and preserving natural environments that attract tourists is the job of the tourist industry. Companies like Not In The Guidebooks, who rely on beautiful, unique ecosystems and sights that attract visitors, should be aiming to keep them that way. Which brings us to our first tip on how to travel in an eco-friendly way.