Creating a world where sustainable tourism is the default way to experience travel is an industry-wide responsibility.
Destinations need to prioritize and empower local people, appropriately promote social enterprises as tourism opportunities, and use responsible messaging to engage the right travelers. Service providers need to act as environmental and cultural ambassadors, using their front-line interaction with travelers to have hard but honest conversations about universal challenges. And content creators need to understand how to navigate their perspective and built-in bias, and choose their words and imagery wisely. With the power of persuasion and influence comes incredible responsibility.
As a whole, the tourism industry needs to set aside the sanitized stories and destructive practices it embraced in the past. Travelers need to be made aware of the privilege that comes from visiting someone else's home, and it's possible to do this in a way that is equitable and empowering for everyone.
Tourism industry professionals can integrate meaningful experiences into community sustainable development goals. Together, they can turn passive travelers into engaged global citizens.
This list of resources is ongoing and influx. It is carefully curated to make sure you have the very best, most comprehensive information at your fingertips, regardless of your role.
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Resources by Industry
For Content Creators
Unlock the potential of your critical role in the travel industry and responsibly use your influence.
For Travel Service Providers & Destinations
Identify opportunities to support communities' sustainable development goals and turn passive travelers into powerful word-of-mouth ambassadors.
For Students & New Professionals
Learn how to navigate tourism's ability to support sustainable development and embrace responsible communication, regardless of your role in the industry.
Additional sustainable tourism information and insight for travelers
- Uncornered Market - A wealth of resources for anyone who wants to be a more sustainable traveler. A few top picks include these articles on top sustainable travel tips, voluntourism, and how social media influencers can use their power for good.
- Leave No Trace - According to Leave No Trace, 90% of people don't realize the environmental footprint of their actions. This website is a wealth of information on sustainable environmental practices primarily focused on its seven principles.
- What Travelers Can Do to Save the Planet - Published by AFAR in the wake of COVID-19, this article suggests habit changes and how to positively create impact related to carbon emissions, plastic waste, supporting local communities, and other issues.
- The Thoughtful Traveller - A basic guidebook created by World Expeditions outlining basic tenets for ethical travel. It was developed several years ago, but the information is still solid.