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Overtourism and How to Override it
Do you know the meaning of Overtourism? Check out our latest blog post and discover how to be a conscious traveller!
Travel matters. It helps us relax, discover new things about the world and ourselves, grow, and connect. Likewise, it is an important element of the global economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only our travel plans but how we approach the whole tourism industry. But have you ever really wondered about the impact traveling has on our environment? Let’s talk about this!
We are all becoming aware of the importance of being more environmentally conscious in an effort to care for the planet and reduce the effects of global warming. The environmental impact caused by the tourism industry has been highlighted in recent years. That is why we must be aware and informed about the different possibilities we have while traveling, and most importantly avoid overtourism!
The word “overtourism” is so new it does not yet appear in most dictionaries. According to the Oxford Dictionary Shortlist overtourism is “the phenomenon whereby certain places of interest are visited by excessive numbers of tourists, causing undesirable effects for the places visited.” This concept results in damage to the local environment, historical sites and poorer quality of life for local residents.
The industry takes in so many tourists in one place that the locals get driven out of their homes, prices rise to a level where the inhabitants can no longer afford to live in their own home town with local wages. Further, it drives so many tourists to one place at the same time that there is a need to build more hotels to house them all.
What is sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism helps counteract this. But first, let’s define what sustainable tourism is. According to Alandis Travel “sustainable tourism aims to not only reduce or completely eradicate the negative impact of tourism, but to develop its positive impact on an environmental, social, and economic level.”
Also, they mention that sustainable tourism requires effort, it is a commitment from each organization and its management to establish strategies with long-term results. One of the main goals of sustainable travel is to lower the carbon footprint and to take care of the environment, natural resources and local communities.
In the 2019 sustainable travel report by Booking.com, the findings show that 72% of travellers believe that we must act immediately and begin to make sustainable travel choices. Furthermore, of the people surveyed, 73% did not know how to or could not afford measures that improved the sustainability of their travel. This can be seen as evidence that the industry needs to make swift changes in order to meet the demands of its customers.
Travellers need to be aware of the pollution caused by their travel, and the impact it has on the environment and local communities. The main idea is to be more conscious of how we travel taking into account environmental, economical and social components.
What can I do to travel more sustainably?
The tourism industry is adapting to the “new normal” and is more aware of the environment, which allows us to become more eco-conscious travellers. Eco-tourism is on the rise, and it is now easier than ever to discover environmentally friendly retreats and hotels. The important thing to do when deciding your next travel plans is to do your research!
As conscious travellers we will provide you with a following list of things you need to check before your next trip:
- Choose more eco-friendly transportation options; you should try and always take direct flights, use on-ground public transportation and walk or bike when possible!
- Check the environmental policies of airlines and hotels; ensure that they are credible and meet environmental standards.
- If you love water activities try options that don’t require a motorized vehicle, such as snorkelling, surfing, kayaking etc.
- Always carry your flask! Try reducing plastic use as much as possible.
- Book eco-conscious accommodations; A sustainable hotel doesn’t mean the property lacks luxuries. Before you book your next trip, consider how your stay affects the local ecosystem.
- Always leave a place cleaner than it was when you arrived. Create as little waste as possible and dispose of it properly. If you spot trash left by some non-responsible tourist, make sure to pick it up.
- Help to protect wildlife. Say no to activities that involve animals. Never take pictures with wild animals, don’t take any tours to riding camps and instead visit a sanctuary.
- Consume local! Get groceries at local markets to support the community and small businesses.
- Respect the culture and people; Observe and learn, but do not judge. Be open when meeting locals, be open to new ideas, points of view and new experiences.
These are only a few of the things you can do to become a more sustainable traveller. Hopefully, more and more people will see the way they travel in a different way, and have a greater positive impact on the places they travel to in the future.
Let’s travel, meet new people, explore cultures, taste exotic and unknown flavours, have meaningful experiences and recognize the importance of sustainable travel!
“Take only memories, leave only footprints”