Green, eco and ethical is in vogue. But what do they really stand for? We are taking a deep dive into what these terms mean for travel and how they apply to our travel choices and decisions.
Travel is a truly inspiring and enriching experience. As travellers, it brings us closer to nature’s wonders and diverse cultures and traditions. It also makes us increasingly aware and conscious of the fragile beauty of eco-systems and emerging social issue. We may feel strongly about wildlife protection, plastic waste, fair pay and child rights, to mention but a few. But how do we ensure our travel choices make a positive difference to the environment and the communities we visit?
Positive Travel was created out of this very need of travellers to have reliable and easily accessible knowledge and tools on the environmental and social impact of travel. Knowledge and tools which allow us, as travellers, to take informed decisions and choices on where we stay and eat, on how we move and what we do and see. This is how the 12 +principles were born. Each one of them is linked to an environmental (PLANET), social (PEOPLE) or economic (POTENTIAL) concern we may have as travellers. Further, each principle is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They provide a simple and common understanding and a more tangible application of the SDGs to both travellers and travel companies of the essential elements than impact the environment and communities as we travel. This enable us, as travellers to choose experiences and destinations that are aligned with our own environmental and social values.
Where do you stand on the impact travel chart?
Terms such as eco-tourism, ethical, responsible and sustainable travel are used loosely to describe different aspect of the same thing: the impact of our travels on economies, society and the environment. Some terms, such as green and eco-travel address predominately environmental issues such as biodiversity, water, climate and more recently waste. Other, like community travel and social impact travel aim to address social issues such as poverty, education and equal opportunities.
Depending on the type of travel experience you choose your travel impact will vary, mass tourism having the highest negative impact on the environmental and local communities. As you apply the 12 principles each linked to a variety of SDGs you will realise you are moving up the impact travel chart. As you become more selective about the travel experiences you have. Not only will you impact become neutral, it will have an increasingly positive effect on the environment and communities.