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  • Kristi Denby

Tourism's Sustainable Future’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Survey, described the current global situation as a ‘watershed moment’ for both the industry and travellers, and that same survey in 2022 revealed that travellers are selecting planet-first options and looking to brands for sustainable choices and more purposeful travel. The pandemic has been the tipping point for many travellers to live and travel more mindfully and finally commit to their personal sustainable journey. The 2022 Sustainable Travel Survey of 29,000 travellers from 30 countries revealed that:

  • 81% confirm that sustainable travel is important to them

  • 71% want to make more effort to travel more sustainably in the future

  • 50% say that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices

Managing positive, purposeful change for tourism's sustainable future is complex and multi-faceted. Our collective challenge is to make wise decisions today for future generations. Our actions and choices matter.

Elements of sustainability have to be consciously built into tourism product development, so we can walk a path towards improving our industry not just for visitors, but those who work in tourism and the residents who live in the destinations that travellers visit.

Incorporating sustainable, responsible and/or regenerative practices as part of your visitor experience development is not a 'one and done' effort. It's a purposeful process of continuous improvement with small steps that help you make progress over time.

Here are a few things to think about as you reflect on your operation/destination/experience:

Environmental considerations

  • Build awareness for travellers to take responsibility for their impacts

  • Reduce, reuse and conserve resources

  • Align with like-minded partners who have similar sustainable, responsible, regenerative goals

  • Communicate with guests about what you're doing and what they can do

Socio-cultural considerations

  • Embrace, preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage, traditions, authenticity, and uniqueness of your community

  • Celebrate and share what makes your business and destination different and unique

  • Incorporate ways for visitors to give back to your community in meaningful ways

  • Create a culture of inclusion

  • Make an effort to create experiences that are accessible to persons of all physical abilities

Economic considerations

  • Strive to pay a living wage, provide training, ensure working conditions are fair, safe and offered without discrimination

  • Consider how you can contribute to improved prosperity in your community, keeping revenues and profits within the community

  • Set your prices such that experiences and services offer value while guaranteeing a quality experience and fair wages


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