Is the Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development reason to celebrate?

Carol Patterson
Feb 14, 2017 · 2 min read

2017 is the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Yeah, me! After all I wrote the book on sustainable tourism development (Sustainable Tourism: Development, Operations, and Management released by Human Kinetics 2015) so I should be clicking my heels over the United Nations declaration.

But not so fast. Air travel is a large source of carbon emissions and travel by plane is growing faster than improvements in emission reductions. So the more we travel, the more greenhouse gases are created.

So what to do? Stay home as some conservationists have suggested? I think many people love to travel or need to travel to see family and friends so this option isn’t likely to work.

I think as travellers we need to harness our spending on travel for the greater good. After all, more than a billion people are now travelling. The money they spend generates jobs and development done properly can lift people out of poverty.

When I plan trip activities I look for small, well-run businesses often through personal recommendations or through an association (two of my favorites are Adventure Travel Trade Association http://www.adventuretravel.biz/about/atta-members/ and The International Ecotourism Society http://www.ecotourism.org ).

Where possible I pick destinations closer to home so I’m not flying as far or at all. Some of my best trips in recent years were ones where I drove or took a bus. The sharing economy doesn’t just reduce costs it reduces emissions!

And it may be boring, but I read the rules for the parks I visit. If a billion of us are roaming around, it behooves us to act appropriately and if you’re new in town, you don’t always realize what is appropriate. I have a birdfeeder at home but when I visit a national park, it’s not okay to feed the birds.

So will the year of sustainable tourism for development cause you to travel differently?

Save money, uplift your spirits by adding a retreat to your travel plans

Have you ever thought of adding a retreat to a trip to save money while upping your emotional return?

Religious retreat centers may not be in the hospitality business but they know about service and many welcome visitors looking for a different kind of getaway.

I recently made a day trip to the Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane, Alberta for an artists’ retreat and discovered that a retreat can stretch your vacation dollars while offering renewal. Read more.

Happy Valentines Day!

Sending love and light your way.

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Originally published at Carol Patterson.

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