Tourism is one of the activities that brings the largest profit to economic and cultural sectors in cities all over the world. In Spain alone, tourism generated more than 23 billion euros in 2018, a figure that has not stopped increasing despite the crisis that has been ongoing since 2007.
However, we must ask ourselves to what extent it has been profitable to maintain and increase these figures considering the effects that conventional tourism has on the environment, such as pollution of wildlife preserves, displacement of local people, environmental destruction, overexploitation of water resources, etc. That’s why in this article we want to focus on the importance and benefits of practicing sustainable tourism. Will you join us?
The World Tourism Organization, an international body founded in 1974, defines sustainable tourism as such:
Sustainable tourism is 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.
We would love to convince you and your family to practice sustainable tourism; besides being both fun and conscientious, sustainable tourism also has other benefits both for us and for our planet.
It reduces costs, energy consumption and CO² emissions.
It encourages small local activities.
It promotes both the culture and the products of the local area.
It raises awareness about the needs and issues in our environment.
It makes efficient use of our natural resources.
It promotes the development of new businesses in the tourism sector.
It economically revives rural areas in places where tourism takes place.
Part of the benefits go towards building works of public interest.
It respects the socio-cultural authenticity of the communities.
It improves the quality of life of the local population, both economically and socio-culturally.
Now that you know the benefits of practicing sustainable tourism, take a map, point out the places that you are interested in seeing, and look into the ways that you can visit without increasing your ecological footprint. One good resource is this tool to search for biosphere certified tourism destinations.
If we all practice sustainable tourism, we will benefit local communities and our planet’s natural environment.
Have we convinced you to try your next holiday this way? It’ll be an adventure!
And remember that you can always practice sustainable tourism here at Hostel Centre Esplai, an ecological hostel that offers anyone who wants to visit Barcelona a base camp that fits with a responsible and sustainable way of seeing the world.