For those approaching the world of sustainable tourism, it is not easy to orient oneself and recognise the truly sustainable offers. Green tourism is in vogue and many hotels, air carriers and destinations boast of offering eco-holidays. How can you be sure that the green offer you found keeps its promises and allows you to enjoy a truly sustainable holiday? We compared the recommendations of several travel portals and magazines dedicated to sustainable tourism and selected 3 signs to watch out for in order not to be dazzled by false green offers.
1) Check the trustworthiness of certificates
A common practice of greenwashing in tourism is the presence of fake certificates. Putting a green logo on one's Internet page without any real meaning costs nothing. It certainly costs much less effort and resources than the processes to acquire (inter)nationally recognised certificates.
A guide to the main sustainable tourism certificates has been published by Tourism Watch
2) Beware of vague claims
Let's dispel a myth:
- Asking passengers for a small fee as compensation for CO2 emissions does not make airlines sustainable
- A hotel is not sustainable just because it asks its guests to give up their daily towel change
Truly sustainable tourism providers are those who tackle the problem head-on and are not reticent to give you as much information as possible to prove that a holiday with them is indeed environmentally friendly.
Be wary of those who only provide vague information or boast of a single gesture.
3) Sustainable tourism is not only about environment, it is about people
A fundamental aspect of sustainable tourism is respect for local communities.
When organising a holiday, ask yourself:
- Who owns the accommodation where you are staying?
- Are the staff of your accommodation and the activities you undertake local people? Do they have fair working conditions?
- To whom does most of the revenue of your holiday go? A truly sustainable holiday is one where most of the financial resources stay within local communities.
- Does the food you consume come from the local area? Do you promote the local economy with your holiday?
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