To celebrate World Earth Day on April 22, we wanted to take stock of where sustainable travel is at in 2018; what are the some great achievements of the travel industry? What work do we still have to do? And who’s leading the way in great sustainable travel initiatives?
To answer these questions we spoke to sustainable travel experts Green Pearls® and Ecobnb, who provide sustainable travel solutions for travellers who want to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint.
Do you think that the travel industry is catching on quickly enough to travellers’ demands to be eco-conscious?
Ecobnb: I think the travel industry is catching on quickly enough to eco-travellers’ demands, but not quickly enough to planet’s demand of sustainability. Responsible travel is still a niche, but we need to find a more sustainable way of travelling for all the people.
The problem is not so much about catching up with the demands, it is more about transporting the information, communicating it to a wide audience, so that the traveller knows about it.
– Green Pearls
Green Pearls: There are a lot of green businesses in the tourism industry, a lot of green locations. The problem is not so much about catching up with the demands, it is more about transporting the information, communicating it to a wide audience, so that the traveller knows about it. This is an issue most of the travellers criticize.
What are the areas you think still need transforming to be more eco-conscious?
Ecobnb: In most areas there is still much to do for more sustainable tourism. Perhaps it would be easier to say which areas have already done so much, such as Slovenia, which has focused on green tourism.
Green Pearls: Of course still a lot of things can be improved especially when it comes to social criteria, but primarily the travellers have to change. As consumers they can support hotels and destinations by choosing those having a green philosophy.
When will you feel that you have reached your sustainable goals?
Green Pearls: We will never reach a goal, because the goal is constant development and improvement. It is an area where things change daily and the challenge is to meet these changes and implement those whenever possible.
Ecobnb: In the last 3 years we have achieved some small goals for a more sustainable tourism: more than 500,000 trees saved by choosing eco-sustainable B&Bs compared to traditional hotels, over three thousand green accommodations involved and an important award received by the UNWTO World Tourism Organization in 2017, right in the year of sustainable tourism for development (Read more here).
But there are so many things yet to be done that it’s really hard for us to answer this question!