Over tourism: Can Eco, responsible travel be the cure?

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It was estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that in 2018, the world saw approximately 1.4 billion international arrivals worldwide compared to only 25 million in 1950. This number is projected to reach 3 billion by 2050, meanwhile the size of sights and places remain the same.

Martha Honey from Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) points out the potential for opportunities that spring from over tourism, including… “more travelers who care about sustainability, want more unique vacations, and seeking to be immersed in local cultures and explore unspoiled environments”.

Responsible tourism works to curtail the negative impacts of tourism while also promoting the positive contributions it can have. Here are some ideas of ways being a ‘responsible’ tourism focused business could minimize the impacts of over tourism and benefit everyone.

  1. Upscale Travelers – Many businesses thrive because travelers are willing to pay more for an exclusive, immersive and sustainable experience. Tourists will be coming, be conscious about who you attract.
  2. Involve local communities – Consider running workshops, lectures or demonstrations of local practices and turn it into an exciting experience for both tourists and locals. You must recognize the value in a community and celebrate the visitors as well as the locals.
  3. Invest in infrastructure – Invest in solid infrastructures that will improve and support a local community. Tourists are likely to support businesses with ethical practices.
  4. Authentic experiences – Create immersive experiences. Removing the divide between foreign and local cultures changes the way that people interact in a mutually beneficial way.

Tourism isn’t slowing down, it is important to create trans formative experiences that align with both sustaining but regenerating our ecosystem through tourism as numbers continues to grow. Read more here.