With the overwhelming interest in ecological tourism and increased demand for more sustainable travel, the tourism industry has an opportunity to promote and encourage responsible tourism. This is timely and positive news for travel operators worldwide as tourism spend from responsible travel is on the rise.
The shift in conscious travel is reflected through visitors seeking assurance that destinations are backed by a commitment to best practice environmental, social and cultural sustainability; minimising the negative impacts of conventional tourism on destinations. With Millennials expected to account for 50% of travel spend by 2026, a generation of connected travellers has emerged and they are eager to embrace sustainable travel.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
EarthCheck CEO and founder, Stewart Moore says the sheer size and reach of the tourism and travel sector now gives it a substantial voice.
“IN THIS ERA OF ON-LINE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, DESTINATIONS ARE INCREASINGLY AWARE OF THEIR SOCIAL AND SUSTAINABLE RESPONSIBILITIES,” MR MOORE SAID. “FROM CORPORATE CLIENTS, TO GOVERNMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE GUESTS, TOURISM BRANDS ARE GROWING IN SENSITIVITY TO BEST PRACTICE AND THE COMMERCIAL IMPACT OF THEIR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENTS.”
In light of the rapidly growing visitor numbers worldwide, destinations have a significant role to play to tackle challenges such as climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. By adopting a holistic destination management approach to tourism, EarthCheck’s sustainable destinations are able to measure and monitor their environmental footprint and social impact.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
The following destinations are dedicated EarthCheck members that have taken an all-inclusive approach to long-term sustainability.
1. Teton County, Wyoming, USA
2. Nopoló, Loreto, Baja California
3. Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico
4. Ixtapa, Guerrero, Mexico
5. Huatulco, Mexico
6. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
7. Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
8. Westfjords, Iceland
9. Järvsö, Sweden
10. Municipio de Baião, Portugal
11. Região Autónoma dos Açores, Portugal
12. Rottnest Island, Australia
13. Bass Coast, Australia
14. Kosciuszko Thredbo, Australia
15. Kaikoura , New Zealand
“IMPORTANTLY, ONE OF THE KEY OUTCOMES OF A SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION IS A STRONG RESILIENT TOURISM INDUSTRY WITH DYNAMIC PRODUCT AND EXPERIENCE OFFERINGS THAT ADAPT TO THE NEEDS OF THE CONSCIOUS TRAVELLER AND THE COMMUNITY AS THE DESTINATION EVOLVES,” MR MOORE SAID.
Kosciuszko Thredbo, Australia
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Program is a worldwide network of destinations that aim to achieve world-leading sustainability outcomes. Supported by the EarthCheck benchmarking, certification and performance improvement system, the program uses EarthCheck science to tackle environmental and social problems such as climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management.
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program helps destinations measure and monitor their environmental and social impact, and prepare and track that performance against their own targets and the performance of other communities.
Read more via a case study on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland