We call sustainable tourism to all those tourist activities that respect the natural, cultural and social environment, and with the values of a community, which allow to enjoy a positive exchange of experiences between residents and visitors, a Sustainable Vacation.
Some tips to enjoy a more sustainable tourism:
Use public transport for your trips.
82.8% of the more than 150 million trips that were made in 2009 within Spain were by car. Imagine the negative impact that this has and the amount of pollution it generates. Don’t you prefer to use a means of public transport, like the train?
Another possibility is that you get on the bike. You dare? Just train a little and you can do wonderful routes like the Camino de Santiago, enjoying the landscape.
If you are definitely going to travel by car, you can make the most of this means of transport. It is not necessary that each of your friends, or your pairs of friends, go in a different car. If you plan to do the same trip together, get in the same car: the more vehicles we avoid on the road, the better.
Choose sustainable destinations.
1. Nature and sustainability.
If you are not going to go outside of Spain, you can choose some beautiful places that are protected areas due to their geographical diversity or their fauna and flora, in which sustainable tourism is also encouraged. The Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone in the pre-Pyrenean Catalan region of La Garrotxa (Girona), the Doñana Natural Area, or the Sierra Nevada National Park and Natural Park, both in Andalusia, are some of them, but in the guide of Ecotourism in Spain you can find other destinations with incredible appeal to spend a relaxed vacation.
2. Cities count too.
If your thing is not nature but the city, you can take into account when making a decision about your holidays that the cities you visit are equipped with a powerful tram and metro network, to be able to move around in means of transport that pollute less, as well as choosing the bike to move around the city. Amsterdam or Berlin are the pioneers: through them you can ride a bicycle without any difficulty, and enjoy the city breathing the fresh air. You just have to rent it according to the days you are going to be there.
Help preserve the environment.
Think that others will not like to find remains of your visit and take care of the environments you go to. If you don’t like that your children have to build sand castles crowned by cigarette butts, do not generate waste on the beaches, or collect them. It costs nothing to put them in the plastic of the cigar pack, or to carry a garbage bag in case you are going to have a beach picnic.
Also take care of the mountains and the natural environments that you visit, the following tourists will thank you.
Buy fair trade products and gifts.
We know that you take advantage of the holidays to bring some detail to the people you remember, and also to shop for typical products in the destination places.
But you have to know that, on many occasions, some of these products do not respect basic trade standards such as transparency and respect for the communities in which they have been made. For this, we propose fair trade as an alternative, especially if you travel to the so-called countries of the South, or developing countries.
Keep recycling even when you’re on vacation.
Even if you’re on vacation you have to keep recycling: that’s the only thing you shouldn’t rest on! Although it is difficult for you to look for the containers and understand them (because in other countries they are of different colors), remember that you have time, you are on vacation and the rush can be put aside to continue helping to improve the environment.
Sign up for “slow tourism”.
Perhaps you have heard of slow-food, a movement that opposes the values and trends of fast-food to enjoy a balanced diet that is not carried out in a hurry, but taking care of the details and working to guarantee tradition, naturalness, safety and, above all, the quality of the food.
What you may not have heard of is slow tourism, a “branch” of slow food that aims to make tourism a true leisure activity. It is about enjoying your vacation with full awareness of time, stopping in the places that you like the most something more than planned, talking with the people around you in the new environment, caring for the environment and truly knowing the cultures and traditions .
This new type of tourism has emerged in recent years, in which the rush, new technologies or high-speed means of transport, somehow confuse us how we live real time. Thus, we can travel thousands of kilometers in just a few hours, communicate without any problem with people who live on the other side of the planet, or find out what is happening far from your home at the same time it is happening.
It is about not knowing in detail everything you are going to visit, but about finding out about the place carefully so that from there you can learn about the reality and culture of the destination country. Enjoying the music, or the literature of the place can be as important as knowing all its museums and cathedrals.