What Is Sustainable Tourism?

Path to the sea

What does the term “sustainable tourism” mean to you?

For some, it might conjure up images of eco-friendly resorts that use solar energy and recycle their water. For others, it might bring to mind voluntourism projects that help preserve local cultures and natural habitats.

Simply put, sustainable tourism refers to travel that does not have a negative impact on the environment or the people who live there. It is about being mindful of the resources we use and the impact our travels have on the planet and its people.

In this post, we’ll explore what sustainable tourism is and isn’t, and look at some ways you can make your next trip more sustainable.

What Is Sustainable Tourism?

Sustainable tourism is all about preserving the environment while still allowing people to enjoy the natural beauty of a destination. It’s about striking a balance between the needs of tourists and the needs of the local community.

So what does sustainable tourism look like in practice? Well, it can involve things like using public transport instead of renting a car, or staying in locally owned and operated accommodation. It can also mean supporting small businesses and buying souvenirs from local artisans.

The key is to be conscious of your impact on the destination and to try to minimize it as much as possible. That way, everyone can benefit from tourism—local residents and visitors alike.

The Three Pillars of Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism is all about being mindful of the environment and the people you’re interacting with.

There are three main pillars of sustainable tourism: environmental, social, and economic. That might sound a little daunting, but it’s really not that difficult to be a responsible traveller. It just takes a bit of planning and some common sense.

Let’s start with the environmental pillar. This is all about being conscious of the resources you’re using and how your activities might be impacting the local community. Maybe you’re going on a nature walk and you need to take care of the trails so they’re not damaged. Or maybe you’re staying in an eco-lodge and making sure you’re not wasting energy.

The social pillar is about respecting the culture of the place you’re visiting. This includes things like learning about the local customs and not imposing your values on the people you meet. It’s also about giving back to the community by hiring local guides, buying souvenirs from local artisans, and so on.

And finally, there’s the economic pillar, which is basically about ensuring that tourism benefits the local community instead of just enriching a few big companies. This can be done by spending money supporting small local businesses.

Sustainable Tourism Practices

Sustainability is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. We need to be thinking about the future of our planet and the generations that will come after us. So it’s no surprise that sustainable tourism is on the rise.

But what is sustainable tourism, exactly? Simply put, it’s tourism that doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment or the local community. It’s about being responsible with the resources we use and ensuring that we’re not exploiting the people or the land.

There are a lot of different ways to achieve this, and it can vary from destination to destination. But some key practices include using renewable energy, waste reduction, and supporting local businesses.

How You Can Get Involved in Sustainable Tourism

You might be wondering how you can get involved in sustainable tourism. It’s actually pretty simple.

You can start by becoming a more conscientious traveller. When you’re planning your trip, think about how you can reduce your environmental impact. Can you take public transportation instead of renting a car? Can you stay in eco-friendly accommodations?

You can also get involved by supporting local businesses and organizations that are working to promote sustainable tourism. By doing this, you’re not only helping to create a more sustainable future, but you’re also strengthening the local community.


Sustainable tourism does not have a negative impact on the environment or the societies where it took place. It is about minimizing waste, emissions and water use.

You can be part of sustainable tourism by choosing the right destination, being a responsible tourist and contributing to the conservation of natural areas.