Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:



Sustainable travel and responsible tourism

Sustainable tourism attempts to reduce impact on the environment, communities and cultures, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves – without costing the Earth.

Can any holiday be environmentally friendly?

We are focusing on sustainable tourism here. There are clearly many environmental considerations to travel. That said, sustainable tourism generates considerable income for many poor communities around the world while minimising the impact on the environment and culture.

As a simple starter, one thing you can do is carbon offset your journey. You can do this through companies like ClimateCare. And it’s cheaper than you think. ClimateCare says, “A round-trip from Heathrow to Bangkok airport might be almost 13,000 miles and releases two tonnes of carbon dioxide, but the cost of offsetting it can be as little as £20 per person.”

Who to travel with

You’re unlikely to see a sustainable tourism travel agent on your local high street. They tend to be small, independently-run organisations that make provisions for clients to visit small regions known personally to its workers. Such experiential knowledge makes them best able to provide information about how to travel responsibly without damaging the local equilibrium.

If it’s a luxury, self-catering break in the UK, Ireland, France or Italy you’re after, look no further than cottages4you. With a varied range of properties in some beautifully untouched locations, your break would not only be economically friendly, but environmentally, too. Blue & Green Tomorrow receives a small agent’s commission from every holiday booked which helps fund our intern and researcher programme.

However, if you want to travel further afield, the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) was the first tourism industry association to incorporate into its business charter a commitment to responsible travel and green tourism. Sustainable travel guidelines for its members are based upon five key objectives:

  • To protect the environment – its flora, fauna and landscapes
  • To respect local cultures – traditions, religions and built heritage
  • To benefit local communities – both economically and socially
  • To conserve natural resources – from office to destination
  • To minimise pollution – through noise, waste disposal and congestion

For a full list of AITO members, who offer a whole range of exciting holidays to plenty of interesting destinations, see here.

Meanwhile, ABTA, another travel association at the forefront of the industry, has a useful section on sustainability here.


Blue & Green Marbles

Most Popular Reports 2015

There were five reports published in 2015, but these are the top ten most read in 2015. Some old favourites from the back catalogue and the new reports appear in the top ten in...

Global Goals for Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled ‘Transforming our world’. In it world leaders have committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve three extraordinary...


Car by Pexels

Motorists can Follow these 5 Simple Steps to Keep their Auto Use Eco Friendly

People tend to be more concerned about getting the highest trade-in car value or learning how to keep their cars running smoothly for years to come Unfortunately, the conversation rarely transitions from one of...


The Top Five Greenest Cities

Cities across the globe have embraced all things green, adopting eco-friendly practices to transform urban landscapes for the better and making the image of a vast concrete jungle a thing of the past.  More...


Runway by Joi Ito via flickr

Airport Expansion Decision Delayed Again at Heathrow

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director, Dr Richard Dixon, has commented on reports that a decision will not be made on the expansion of Heathrow Airport until Winter 2017/18 “In a year’s time the...

CHAINED!!! by Vinauth Chandar via flickr

TripAdvisor Stops Ticket Sales For Cruel Wildlife Tourist Entertainment

TripAdvisor, the globally-recognised travel site, declared that they will end their retail of tickets for some of the most brutal wildlife tourist attractions. This decision comes less than six months after World Animal Protection...