During the first lockdown, the world seemed to hold its breath and pause. Planes were grounded and travel was limited. We all watched as photos of nature recovering from the impact of humans emerged – and at that moment we all had the time to sit back and think of both the long term and short term effects of COVID-19 and how this will change the future of travel forever. One of the leading themes was sustainable Tourism.
This blog will explore sustainable Tourism as a travel trend and offer you some top tips on how to be an eco-friendly tourist.
The Sustainable Tourism Trend and the Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic
Emissions are projected to be 8% less in 2020 than they were in 2019, due to the effects of the pandemic. While this is great news for the environment, this decrease is only temporary – with the new COVID-19 vaccine in place, travel in 2021 is set to resume and rebuild. There is, however, and an increasing demand for travel to more sustainably managed.
Huge companies seem to be taking note of this demand, and in October 2020 Microsoft signed a partnership with Alaska Airlines to reduce carbon emissions with flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel in key routes. This is truly a leap forward into a new sustainable era for business travel and it is expected that commercial travel will soon follow.
What sustainable Changes Can Travel Expect to See in 2021
While travel has already changed to align with COVID-19 safety measures – we are expecting to see further changes in 2021.
- Paperless boarding pass and itinerary solutions
- Digital Fit to Travel Certificates
- Shopping in local boutiques and restaurants
- Refillable toiletries and reusable travel accessories
- Digital Travel corridor will become mainstream with daily status updates
Top 5 Tips on How to be a More Eco-friendly Tourist
No matter where you’re travelling, there are always ways in which you can help to reduce your carbon footprint. It is possible to be more environmentally friendly and still enjoy a holiday of a lifetime. Here are our top 5 tips.
- Use public transport where possible. Aside from foot, which obviously isn’t a practical or possible way of travelling long-distance – public transport is the most eco-friendly way of travelling.
- Be a responsible Tourist – when travelling, whether it be abroad or within the UK, a few simple steps to help look after the environment can make all the difference. For example, you should never litter. Additionally, you should stick to footpaths and leave plants and animals where you found them, don’t pick them up or move them.
- Recycle and Reuse. Avoid disposable cutlery plates and cups where possible, if you do need to use them – recycle after use. Invest in anything reusable such as tupperware and refillable travel containers and bottles.
- Stay Mindful of Your Energy Use. While on holiday you may not be paying the bills in the same way as you do at home but you should still stay mindful of your energy use while away. So, switch off those lights and only use the air conditioning while you’re in the room.
- Consider Which Operators You Use. Some tour operators invest heavily back into the environment – this is a great way for you to both enjoy the activities you have planned and help reduce any long term negative effects.
Lockdown Resources for When Travel is Limited
We’ve put together some travel-related resources to help keep you entertained and inspired:
- Vote for Your 2021 Dream Destination
- Travel Crosswords to Keep You Entertained in Lockdown
- COVID-19 Lockdown and Your Mental Health
- Top 10 Games for Over 50s to Play at Home