We have been hearing the S word for a couple of years now and we are all more conscious that we need to do something to save the planet from us.
The spring lockdown has proved how harmful the humans are to the planet earth, so we must really take action.
When it comes to travel, the 2 most sustainable messages are:
- Reuse the towels in your accommodation
- Donate 1 or 2 € to prevent the carbon emission when buying your plane tickets
But we believe we can do much much more
Because an important part of sustainable tourism can be supporting small local businesses, how you spend your money can make or break a destination, community or small town.
When it comes to transportation, unless you are taking a near to home staycation (which will quickly go out of fashion as soon as international travel goes back to being easy) you have no much choice rather than hopping on a plane.
But once you get to the destination you can do a lot for the local small business, by making the right choices and making sure the money you spend there stay there in the destination and doesn’t get lost in huge companies or multinational holdings, leaving nothing for the local people.
When you spend in local business you help local people make money and they will in turn have more money to spend locally making the destination grow and develop.
When you spend in big enterprises (like big hotel chains) the mayority of your spending goes to pay the bonuses of the managers that live far away in big cities and a very small % is left to local people, that are usually paid the bare minimum and in worse working conditions.
HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?
- Do not buy holiday packages, but choose your accommodation toughtfully: a nice holiday rental or a small B&B, these sort of business are locally owned and employ local people.
And most importantly BOOK DIRECT with the accommodation, they will give you the best price, payment plan and conditions. Forget about the various holiday portals like AirBnb or Booking.
- Shop in small shops and local markets, avoid the shopping malls and large supermarkets, you will find unique products: fresh fish, meat, organic fruits and vegetables as well as homemade local products that you can take back as souvenirs (soaps, olive oil, embroided clothes, etc.)
- Rent a car or a scooter from a local firm versus an international enterprise.
- If you need a transfer from the airport or train station, ask your accommodation provider, they will surely recommend a reliable local taxi company.
- The same goes for day trips, experiences, when you want to rent a bike, kayak, bars & restaurant bookings, etc.
Most of the locally owned bars, restaurants and beach clubs use locally sourced products that do not need any transportation, so here we are back to cutting the carbon emissions.
- Ask the local experts, mostly bloggers and influencers, research online prior to arrival and make sure that the majority of your money is spent on local product and with local people.
They are now in need of your support more than ever after this terrible year.
The big international enterprises already have so much and do not need anymore.
Most of them had bonuses even in 2020, when almost all of their staff has been made redundant or is living on state benefits.
You can make such a big difference when going on holiday just by making the right choices.
Let’s all be more conscious and Retravel better.
If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s how connected we are to each other, and to the world around us.
It’s also shown us we have the power to make choices that can have a positive impact on the lives of so many.
Let’s make the world a better place TOGETHER.
This idea got seeded in my mind years ago when at WTM a visionary called Bruce Poon Tip gave us a talk on how they had implemented big changes in the less favourite parts of the world while involving locals in tourist activities.