This is a guest post written in partnership with Balboa Travel, Inc., a Green Business Bureau Member.
Green Travel, which began and became popular in the early 1980’s, is known by a variety of names. Some of the more popular examples include green travel, sustainable travel, nature travel, responsible travel, ethical travel, mindful travel, and more. While ecotourism is probably the most common name used today, the multitude of ways to refer to green travel has led to some confusion. Despite this, more and more people want to be immersed and surrounded by local cultures and nature, leading to growth and interest in this type of travel. In fact, this interest has led to green travel increasingly gaining in popularity and showing a tremendous pace of growth.
When thinking of green travel, it is important to understand the central concepts and ideologies that are critical to this type of travel, including:
- Sustainable benefits to local communities;
- Emphasis on conservation;
- Education for both the local community and travelers;
- Traveler responsibility both ecologically and socially;
- Active community participation.
With these concepts in mind, and the knowledge that more and more people are traveling to popular destinations both domestically and internationally, it’s clear that the increased footprint on the environment can have irreversible effects. This most notably impacts leisure travelers, but also can influence travel for meetings, incentive travel, and corporate travel management. Environmentally friendly practices in travel are increasingly being integrated into a great variety of travel experiences, while supporting local communities and cultures. It is communicated through 3 elements:
- Conservation: Showing people the market-linked long-term solutions, the socio-economic incentives available through conservation, and sustaining bio-cultural diversity that protects our natural and cultural heritage globally.
- Communities: By increasing local building and employment opportunities, green ecotourism can provide a means to encourage local communities to achieve sustainable development, while fighting poverty.
- Interpretation: With an emphasis on enriching personal experiences and environmental awareness, green ecotourism promotes greater understanding and appreciation for nature, local society, and culture.
Being able to show locals, travelers and vendors why safeguarding wildlife, the surrounding environment and local cultures is instrumental for future generations is a huge part of what makes green travel so exciting and important. It is crucial that individuals take responsibility by participating in these efforts and become effective and enthusiastic agents of conservation. If we can increase the level of education and activism for sustainable tourism, the end result benefits us all.
Andréa da Rosa
Director Marketing Communications
Balboa Travel, Inc.
Content Marketing Manager
Green Business Bureau