The ecotourism movement started in the 1980s. However, it gained more popularity in recent years. Ecotourism has several names, including sustainable tourism, green tourism, mindful travel, and many more. The principles are still the same. This way of traveling highlights the urgency to put the people and planet first and not be selfish as a tourist. One misconception that so many people have is that ecotourism is only focused on protecting animals and the environment at any cost. However, a tourism site or company's tourism development program is not genuinely ecotourism if it does not actively support the locals with tangible financial advantages.
In recent years when sustainability is the primary concern, all sectors are expected to join the movement, including tourism. This is the reason why the term sustainable tourism was born. We are sure that all of us would love to support the movement, reduce our carbon emissions, and support the locals, but where should we start? Here JOOi would give you some tips and tricks on how to be a sustainable traveler.
1. Slow Travel
The slow travel trend gained popularity in the past years since many people realized how much carbon emission was produced by a plane. Taking trains as an alternative should be on your list by now. Besides reducing carbon emissions, taking a long train to travel is also way cheaper than a plane. Moreover, you could enjoy your trip while enjoying the view along the way. Sounds great, isn't it?
2. Give Back to The Local
This one is relatively straight to the point. Your travel destination is a home for some people, and respecting it by keeping the sites clean is a must, but giving back is also an essential part of being a sustainable traveler. This could be done effortlessly. For example, the next time you crave coffee, instead of looking for a famous coffee chain, you might visit one of the local coffee shops around the area and taste their freshly brewed coffee for a new experience.
3. Visit Places that need support.
A great way to spend your hard-earned money is by spending it in places that need it the most. For example Talise beach in Palu, 2018, there was a massive earthquake in Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Even though it's been four years since the tragedy happened, the locals down there are still rebuilding their tourism industry to keep up like before. So it is always a great idea to visit places that need tourists the most.
4. Reusable stuff is a must.
Reducing carbon emissions is a long-term commitment we must make to keep the earth liveable for the next generation. It has to start with us. We can start with a small step, such as using a reusable water bottle, pepper straw, and a reusable bag instead of the plastic one while shopping. This is a straightforward yet effective step that we can do in the long run.
5. Keep the endangered species in the conservatory.
The practice of using wildlife products is getting more and more concerning, from consuming snakes to turning a lutung into a pet. This ignorance is so dangerous for the ecosystem since all wildlife has an essential role in the food chains, impacting the overall ecosystem. Keeping endangered species as a tourist attraction without caring about their well-being is wrong, which is why not visiting places like that could be the next move we can take to be sustainable travelers.
Sustainable development is not a one-time activity. It is a continuing journey and collective movement that we must do together. This year, the World Tourism Day conference that will be held in Bali on September 27th, 2022, carries the theme of "Rethinking Tourism," highlighting the urgency to put the planet and locals first. As well as showing how the tourism industry should move forward to take an active part in sustainable development. JOOi believes that together we can achieve this goal to keep the earth liveable for a long time.