Travel has the power to introduce people to new cultures and experiences. According to UN World Tourism Organization, 1.8 billion people are expected to travel internationally by the year 2030. The growth in tourism needs to be balanced with the needs of the environment and local citizens.
Keeping that in mind, Trip the Life Fantastic (TLF) magazine organized a panel on Sustainability and Responsible Tourism in association with Visit Monaco
It hosted Suhavani Singh, Founder – India Cultural Hub, Tamseel Hussain, CEO – People Like Us Create, Ashwani Goela, General Manager – Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport, Ruma Gupta, Manager Press Relations Monaco Government, and Rajan Sehgal, Co Chairman Tourism Committee PHDCCI. The discussion was moderated by Rupali Dean, a Travel and Lifestyle Columnist.
Tourism is sustainable when it respects the environment, cultural heritage, society and the economy.
Sustainable tourism is not just a buzzword. It’s the only way the future of tourism will be possible. People today are open and excited about the opportunities to travel more responsibly. Data from a booking.com survey states 71% of global travelers said they want the choice of more sustainable travel options and 68% of people think it’s important the money they spend on trips reaches local communities.
When the world is facing environmental challenges of enormous scope and scale, any giant shift to tackle them needs awareness generation and behaviour change at all levels. The panelists discuss what this means for the tourism industry.
The 2nd smallest country in the world, Monaco is leading the conversation on responsible tourism. They in fact have an ongoing global campaign ‘Green is the new Glam’ that combines the concept of luxury and sustainability for dream holidays.
Explaining Monaco’s initiatives Ruma Gupta, Manager Press Relations Monaco Government said – “the principality has an electric bike sharing scheme ‘MONABIKE’, ecological vegetable gardens on the rooftops, responsibly procured seafood, and water regeneration schemes.”
“Luxury isn’t just about hi-life but also about giving back to nature and caring for the existing resources. All our green initiatives are focused on this goal.” – she added further.
Responsible tourism is a journey that needs to fasten up, we’re living in the middle of a global climate crisis and tourism can play a major role to solve that. But how do you institutionalize these responsible habits among consumers and businesses alike?
Answering this Tamseel Hussain, Founder of People Like Us Create mentioned:
”We have seen when people share their travel stories, they have a ripple effect for larger behaviour change. Swetlana, one of the #PlucCreators started her show called Trash Tourism to document trash at different tourist spots. It led to even locals responding with their own Trash Tourism stories. Now we’re collecting stories from tourist hotspots across Asia, and we can’t wait to see the collective action they enable.”
Hospitality industry plays a huge role in promoting sustainability in tourism. From efforts like serving paper straws and using glass bottles to installing water saving technology, Radisson Blu has been working towards being a more sustainable property.
Ashwani Goela, General Manager – Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport explained:
“We believe the travel and hospitality industry and other partners together can be a force for good. Radisson Blu has been working towards reducing, reusing and recycling while also making our guests aware about the same.”
Natascha Shah, Editor, TLF Magazine added “More than award functions, we need such discussions to generate awareness towards being eco-conscious. Even in TLF’s latest issue we have talked about sustainability and people who’re doing great stuff for the planet.”
It’s important that all stakeholders in the travel ecosystem, from companies to consumers and communities, come together for collective action on responsible tourism. This discussion was certainly a start towards that goal.