3 ways to experience eco-friendly travel

The ability to move through the world with ease and engage with communities and cultures different to our own is increasingly part of our global world. But with that has come a long-term degradation of cultural sites and their surrounding environments as a result of tourism that isn’t sustainable.

This means our ability to travel needs to become linked with the desire to impart long-term positive change, which involves making more conscious decisions in regards to how we travel.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as ‘tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs to visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities’.

A recent report from JWT Intelligence also showed that 80% of their survey respondents (and total travellers) are interested in holidays that promise a sustainable, eco-friendly or regenerative experience.

So it’s becoming evident that people are looking, not only for a new way to experience the wonders the world has to offer, but also for a way to lessen their impact. Here are 3 examples of this in action around the globe today.

Making sustainability a norm

Making sustainability the norm

Neste, a Finnish renewable diesel producer, recently developed the Nolle Cabin, which is a zero-impact hut that guests can book to stay in for a holiday through Airbnb. From there, the company created Zerobnb, which highlights other sustainable options for accommodation. The goal here is to eventually integrate this as a regular part of the Airbnb structure.

Once you’ve figured out where to stay, it’s time to find somewhere to eat. One way is to sift through review websites, but what if you wanted to ensure that where you were going was a place that valued eco-friendliness and community-led production? Enter Kynder. The platform only features recommendations for hospitality establishments that focus on caring for their staff, community and the planet.

The people behind these platforms are part of a clever movement that builds greater consciousness into the things that we do all the time. Making us more aware of our actions, perhaps without even realising it.

A report from JWT Intelligence showed that 80% of their survey respondents are interested in holidays that promise a sustainable, eco-friendly or regenerative experience.

Combing good will with travel

Combining charity and accommodation

When it comes to travelling sustainably, it’s important to ensure that we’re doing so in a way that is respectful of the greater culture and communities. Organisations like Kind Traveller are trying to bridge this gap in order to help local organisations in the long-term.

In order to combine the good will of charity and sustainable accommodation options, Kind Traveller provides the opportunity for travellers around the world to contribute to the betterment of the health and wellbeing of individuals, animals and the environment.

As a ‘give + get’ hotel booking platform, travellers ‘give’ a $10 nightly donation to a local charity, and as a ‘get’, they’re given an exclusive offer to book directly with curated hotels and unique properties that might not be available through traditional booking platforms.

Hotels are becoming more sustainable

Hip hotels with a heart

There are more and more platforms available that highlight new and unique ways to get the hotel experience while minimising the environmental impact of tourism.

Taking a different approach to accommodation options, Bouteco is a social enterprise that celebrates eco-friendly travel options by supporting hotels that emphasise their sustainability measures with style.

When we think of ‘eco-friendly’ accomodation we might not necessarily think of cool, design-led architecture that brings a real experience to the traveller, but rather just a place to sleep. Bouteco aims to change that. Connecting luxurious and stylish accommodation options, the platform is one example of how we’re redefining the luxury experience to be more inclusive of environmental concerns.

Tree Hotel in Sweden is another example, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Unique treehouse ‘hotel’ designs that emphasise ecological values, comfort and modern design for the ultimate nature getaway.

As global citizens, we’re always looking for a new way to experience and thrive within the world around us. And with this comes the opportunity to create positive change that can help bring us closer together under a united goal of preserving, and improving the world for the future. 

This article was created by BBC StoryWorks, the BBC’s global commercial content division, on behalf of OFX.

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