Did you know that tourism has positioned itself as one of the most polluting industries?
Tourism is one of the main world economic activities but, in turn, generates a great impact on the ecosystem.
It produces 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is estimated that, if habits are not changed, the impact will grow to 40% in 2025.
Luckily, more and more people are aware and who choose to enjoy tourism responsibly and sustainably: rural tourism, hiking, cycling, etc.
But what is sustainable tourism?
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) refers to sustainable tourism as “Tourism that fully takes into account current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, to meet the needs of visitors, industry, the environment and the host communities.”
Now that you know what responsible tourism is, I suppose you are wondering how to be a responsible tourist.
How to be a responsible tourist?
To be a responsible tourist, and minimize the negative impacts on the natural and socio-cultural environment, we must be aware of the impact we generate and reduce the environmental footprint that we cause when we visit a territory:
– Choosing a sustainable destination
– Hiring agencies, accommodation and other services to conscious sustainable companies.
– Prioritizing local businesses over large multinationals.
– Supporting the economy of the place, betting on local crafts that avoid polluting emissions and incentivize the economy of the place
– Not abusing the consumption of water or wasting food and also contribute to recycling.
– Saying NO to plastics
In 1971 Unesco started the Program on Man and the Biosphere to reconcile the mentality and use of natural resources, outlining the concept of sustainable development. As part of this project, representative geographical locations of the different habitats of the planet would be selected, giving rise to the Biosphere Reserves.
Biosphere Reserves are territories whose objective is to harmonize the conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development through the relationship of people with nature.
In 1977 was declared one of the first Biosphere Reserves in Spain, the Ordesa y Viñamala Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the best representations of the mountain ecosystems of the Pyrenees, with plant and animal species of singular value and formations of erosion and glaciers.
Now, imagine waking up in a town in the Pyrenees, and from the window of your room contemplating the high peaks of the mountain, just listening to the birds, the sound of the river, and from time to time a cowbell of the cows that are grazing in the field. Discover natural corners where man has not yet left his mark. Taste local products, artisan cheeses made by the shepherd, wines whose grapes have been grown in these lands, vegetables and vegetables from those same orchards that you see through the window. Know the stories of life in the Pyrenees told directly by the locals themselves.
Sustainable tourism offers to know a country in-depth, discover nature, its culture, gastronomy while contributing to local development.
You long to travel and you would like to find yourself in one of these wonderful places, but I suppose that from now on, your vision of tourism will have changed and although you feel the need to travel and discover new cultures, you have become a new responsible tourist.
I propose a trip to know the most natural Spain, hosted in the same Ordesa y Viñamala Biosphere Reserve, where you will know first-hand what life is like in the Pyrenean mountains.