Just like everything else, achieving sustainable tourism and recreation requires consideration of social, economic and environmental factors.
From a social perspective, travel is a great way to connect with other people. Learning about the history and culture of the areas that you visit can provide you with new perspectives. You can make friends with the people you meet. Telling stories about the places that you’ve been is a great way to socialize with family and friends. All of these activities promote expanded understanding of global diversity and the value of preserving it.
From an economic perspective, the tourism industry provides good jobs. In many areas, tourism has replaced industries displaced through automation or globalization. One great thing about tourism is that it can support the preservation of local crafts and culinary traditions. So, when you travel sustainably, buy and try local goods. Skip the cheap imported souvenirs.
The biggest environmental impacts from tourism result from transportation and food. Consider your carbon footprint and offsets. Taking one trip for two weeks could involve a lot less travel than two trips for one week each. To reduce your impacts when eating out, consider the same things you should at home: pick restaurants that source locally, serve reasonable portions, recycle, and minimize food waste. Eliminating tourism isn’t economically or socially sustainable. So, do travel! Just do it responsibly.
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