The current trends in travel and tourism are likely to rest on three pillars, namely sustainable development namely, economic, social and environmental as defined by the United Nations. Therefore, sustainable tourism trends in 2019 are marked by a change of attitude. ‘Responsible tourism’ and ‘reducing carbon footprint’ would be the two buzzwords this year.
Following this change of attitude, tourist revenue would be spent on local growth. Avenues covering infrastructure, social, cultural and economic vibes would be trending this year.
Global outlook for sustainable tourism trends 2019:
The ecological approach is not a handicap in the tourism business but is reward-earning. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism and Development. Therefore, trends in sustainability are highly discussed topics across the tourism and hospitality industry.
According to UNWTO estimates, 5% of global CO2 emissions can be attributed to tourism and 20% of emissions to accommodation, which include water and energy consumption and waste management. Sustainable tourism is vital for the survival of the global tourism industry, one of the highly employable sectors.
Eco-Tourism is mainstream now
A report from Booking.com reveals 87% of global travelers are eager for sustainable travel. Almost 4 out of 10 travelers admit that they manage to travel sustainably. In 2018, 68% of travelers intend to book eco-accommodations, up by 3% last year. The percentage of travelers unaware of eco-friendly stays is also declining steadily since the last couple of years.
The recent GlobalData survey indicates a higher likelihood of ecotourism with the rise in household income. In fact, luxury eco-tourism is likely to be one of the sustainable tourism trends 2019.
According to the survey, 16% of US participants with an average income range $20000-$34000 are inclined to book an eco-holiday. The same figure leaped to 25% among those earning $60000-$99000. This is further increased to 57% among the income group earning more than $150,000.
9 – Things Eco-Tourists want in 2019:
- Reduction of plastic waste – It is disgusting for travelers to come across mounds of waste plastic in the tourism sites.
- Eco-friendly practices – Make the travelers feel contributing something good to the environment.
- Wildlife protection – Accepting the existence of wildlife equally valuable as human beings and developing a caring attitude towards them.
- Enjoying local cuisine supporting the local producers – Not only is it a different culinary experience, savoring fresh and uncontaminated products are good for health too.
- Giving back to communities – A unique experience in community development projects
- Respecting culture – Getting acquainted with a different culture is an experience of its own.
- Preferring green accommodations – Pristine ambiance with lesser energy emissions helps in getting the feel of pure nature.
- Preserving nature and historical sites – Realizing its value and extending cooperation in preservation is another interesting tourism activity.
- Sustainable travel helps in a positive trip – Many global travelers admit that sustainable travel adds a lot of positive experience during the trip.
6 – Sustainable tourism trends to watch out for in 2019:
1. Millennials would be the main drivers:
The current travel and tourism trends are largely driven by millennials; thankfully, they are giving lots of importance towards responsible tourism. The 2018 Luxe Report states that millennials are three times more inclined to seek sustainable tourism options than the Gen-X.
2. Luxury eco-tourism on top of the charts:
Sustainability cannot go hand in hand with luxury is a notion of the past. It is one of the key ecotourism trends to watch out for as luxury hotels and resorts are choosing the farm-to-fork route while laying out delicious cuisines using locally grown products. Aimed to reduce carbon- footprints, the farm-to-fork dining has been one of the ruling sustainable tourism trends 2018.
Fuelled by the millennials’ support in green tourism, luxury hotels are implementing paperless checkouts and refill soap dispensers. They are highly valuing pristine environments and open spaces. Prioritizing sustainability is the new objective of the hospitality industry.
For example, sleeping in luxurious pod suites enjoying an immersive Alpine experience as offered by Whitepod Eco resort or luxury eco-lodges of Resurgence in New Zealand are the recent ecotourism trends to watch out for that leave minimal impact on surroundings.
3. Green Certifications:
Experience vacations that concentrate on fun and easy relaxing are giving away to sustainable vacationing. Vail in Colorado, a favorite mountain resort, is the first certified sustainable destination in the USA. The entire neighborhood starting from plush hotels to plumbing companies have worked together to make the place an eco-friendly tourist destination.
4. Designing impact travel:
Impact travel is the tourism of tomorrow, which implies the positive impact of travel on the surrounding environment. Designed impact travel packages have well taken a place among sustainable tourism trends 2018. These packages include tie-ups with eco-friendly hotels worldwide.
A motivating example has been set by Paras Loomba who organizes treks to secluded Himalayan regions to lodge solar microgrids to hamlets. This puts smiles to villagers as light is introduced to their lives and the whole endeavor is applauded with chorus and laughter of joy.
One of the sustainable tourism trends 2019 is the rise of voluntourism, a right mix of volunteering and tourism. The philosophy of volunteering for tourism revolves around the concept of sustainability. After visiting a new destination, the tourists make efforts towards getting fully aware of the social, environmental and cultural makeup of the location. After this assessment, they make plans, and try to contribute in the most greenest way to the location.
6. Emergence of intelligent destinations:
Exploring world has become lot easier. By 2030, an estimated 2 billion people are likely to make overseas travel. Overcrowding of some global hotspots is creating too much strain on local resources and people.
The 4200 square-miles area surrounding the Jackson Hole in Wyoming is likely to become a global leader in sustainable tourism. Supported by Riverwind Foundation, over 300 business units will function in this region targeting long-term socio-environment prosperity than short-term quick gains.
Canada is using Big Data in diverting tourists to under-visited regions promoting cultural and environmental tourism enhancing the holidaying season to 200 days making tourism more sustainable for the place and people.
With key tourism trends being focused on responsible and sustainable tourism, major players of the hospitality industry are doing everything possible to implement sustainable practices. The concept of reducing environmental footprints is attracting the high-income tourist segment. Like last few years, this year too would see a gradual rise in the popularity of sustainability