Sustain­able travel: 5 reasons for sustain­able travel

Supporting local economy and cultures and contributing to ressource protection – there are several reasons for sustainable travel. Learn more in the following blog

Travel Guide

The principle of sustainability is also becoming increasingly important in the tourism industry.

Within the last few years a variety of interpretations of the “sustainable tourism” concept have emerged – to date, there is still no clear consensus on a standard definition of the term.

Most approaches are based on the three dimensions known from the sustainability concept: ecology, economy and social affairs.

This also applies to the internationally widely used definition of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO):

“Sustainable tourism meets the needs of present tourists and of the host regions while protecting and promoting opportunities for the future. It is conceived as a way to manage all resources so that they can meet the economic, social and environmental needs while respecting the cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.”

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) has a similar definition of the term ecotourism, which, depending on its source, is seen as a separate form or as a synonym for sustainable tourism:

“Ecotourism is now defined as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”

From the above definitions, certain arguments can be derived for the promotion of sustainable tourism as a reaction to mass tourism. Find five reasons in more detail below.

Strengthening the local economy

Achieving sustainable goals is closely linked to efficient economic action.

Sustainable tourism is therefore based on supporting the economy in the host country so country and population benefit equally.

In particular, regional added value is to be strengthened, for example by selecting local companies as suppliers or partners.

In addition, jobs with fair pay and working conditions for the local population are to be created. This aspect is of particular importance as it can make a significant contribution to the conservation of surrounding natural landscapes. This topic will be discussed in more detail in the following section

Those who travel sustainably thus contribute to the promotion of the local economy.


Conserving resources, supporting conservation

In the tourism sector, the consumption of resources is often extremely high.

The use of land for tourism often results in the destruction of entire landscapes. The CO2 emissions caused by the arrival and departure of guests also represent a high burden on the environment.

Sustainable tourism attempts to counteract this development and thus to conserve resources and natural areas.

Those who opt for sustainable travel contribute to relieving the burden on the environment and protecting habitats by, for example

  • arriving by public transport (instead of own car)
  • reducing the traffic development to the necessary minimum and keeping transfers natural, e.g. on foot, in a boat or on horseback
  • choosing accommodation that uses renewable energy sources, reduces water consumption and waste, uses environmentally friendly materials and favours regional crafts

The objectives supported by this: physical integrity of the landscape, preservation of biodiversity, resource efficiency and reduced pollution.

Job creation for local people also has a positive impact on conservation, as it allows communities to benefit positively from wildlife rather than exploiting it through poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Promoting the preservation of local cultures

The social dimension of sustainable tourism is strongly linked to the economic dimension, as sustainable tourism is intended to fully benefit the local population instead of being exploited or even driven out.

This also includes considering cultural aspects. The aim is to increase the appreciation of the culture visited and thus to preserve and promote it.

Sustainable travel thus strengthens the cultural exchange between tourists and the local population / the integration of tourism into the culture of the host country and thus contributes to maintaining cultural identity.


Expanding knowledge and awareness

In many cases, sustainable tourism offers focus on environmental education.

Experiencing nature at close quarters, learning to understand it, getting to know flora and fauna and dealing with the prevailing conservation problems – corresponding offers for imparting knowledge aim to bring guests even closer to the natural areas visited and increase awareness of their value.

For example, those who go on a guided hiking tour or visit barefoot paths and theme trails will expand their knowledge and strengthen their bond with nature.

Baba Dioum, Senegalese forestry engineer and conservationist, perfectly summarises:

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”

Experiencing nature and culture in an authentic way

If you decide on a sustainable trip, you will experience a country and its people in a more authentic and closer way than a mass tourism trip would be able to offer you.

Anyone who roams nature on foot or on horseback virtually merges with it and discovers so much more.

The aim of sustainable tourism is to enable visitors to experience the unspoilt nature of the region they are visiting with all their senses, both naturally and culturally.

By minimising the impact on the local population, you as a visitor will automatically get an unadulterated impression of the destination.


Sustainable travel with Natucate

Natucate gives you the chance to travel beautiful destinations sustainably. From volunteer work, making an active contribution to conserving species, to safaris and adventurous outdoor trips – just take a look at our travel portfolio and get inspired.

If you are interested in a trip, have questions or would like to learn more about sustainable travel with Natucate, just get in touch with us! We will advise you in detail and help you plan your sustainable travel adventure in some of the most fascinating corners of Planet Earth.


The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

Strasdas, Wolfgang (2011): "Nachhaltiger Tourismus" oder "Ökotourismus" – Licht im Begriffsdschungel. In: Natur und Landschaft, Heft 12/2011. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer

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