What is your dream tourist destination? What kinds of things are important to you when planning your holiday abroad?
I recent trip from a bitterly cold Toronto to a balmy Orlando, Florida really got me thinking…what are the impacts of tourism and travel on the environment and on communities living in tourist destinations? Known as the theme-park capital of the world, Orlando is visited by millions of tourists from around the world each year. What I was surprised to learn, however, is that the city’s largest employers, Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld are committed to sustainable travel and actively encourage eco-friendly practices, including “green” certified hotels, recycling, energy-efficient innovations, waste-reduction, and animal conservation.
With the dramatic economic and environmental changes that have occurred in the last decade, the need for sustainable tourism is greater than ever. Our world is unraveling as climate change, environmental pollution, and the collapse of biodiversity threaten the very foundation of life on which we depend…It’s time for a change. But how can we minimize the negative consequences of travel while at the same time maximizing the positive?
How about becoming an eco-tourist or just a more environmentally conscientious traveller? Here are some excellent resources to help you learn more about sustainable tourism:
Let me know: What are some of your ideas for best practices and tips for eco-friendly travel? What do you think needs to change in the travel/ tourism industry?