Sustainable tourism is all about finding a balance between the environment, the culture and the economic aspects of travelling! Leaving a smaller footprint will mean that you minimise the impact of your travelling on the environment and local cultures, and in some cases, your wallet!
Sustainable tourism is on the rise with over 53% of people wanting to travel more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint. This area of the tourism industry is getting bigger and bigger because travellers like you are becoming more aware of their impact on the communities and environment.
By travelling sustainably, we can benefit the people and communities we are travelling to, as well as reduce our negative impact on the environment. You will create a more mutually beneficial ‘give and take’ relationship with the places you explore. As citizens of the world, it is also our responsibility to make sure future generations can enjoy the best travel experiences through more sustainable tourism.
Switching and changing up your habits to more planet and people-friendly ways of travel can be a lot of fun! It encourages us to explore different destinations and experience new adventures.
One of the best ways to travel sustainably is to travel slowly! This means staying in one place for longer and changing up your mindset. Try focusing on the quality of your experiences instead of the quantity of them and embrace your destination. Check out BeKiwi’s guide to slow travel here.
Instead of doing the big touristy attractions, pick local experiences and eat at locally-owned restaurants that give back to communities. Homestays, local guides, buying local craft souvenirs and shopping at local markets are great ways to make sure your money is being put back into the local economy.
If you are planning on renting a car try out hiring an electric or hybrid car, these are getting more and more common and will reduce your carbon emissions. When you’re visiting a city make sure to walk everywhere or if things are spread out take the bus or train or even rent an e-scooter!
Give back and get involved in the community through volunteering. Not only is this a great way to balance your travel by helping out the locals but you will also meet some awesome people and get some great experiences.
BeKiwi has a hub of meaningful and sustainable experiences around New Zealand from volunteering opportunities to wind-powered go karts! Start small with sustainable travel and try it out on a roadie around NZ in an electric car picking experiences that leave a lighter footprint.