Nature-Positive Tourism: Redesigning Travel for a Sustainable Future
In a world where travel has become more accessible than ever before, the impact of tourism on our planet has gained increasing attention. Nature Positive Tourism (NPT) is emerging as a promising approach to make travel not only a pleasurable experience for tourists, but also a resource for nature protection. This concept revolves around the idea of visiting a destination and leaving it better then found – perhaps promoting biodiversity conservation and supporting local communities’ customs and traditions. But why is NPT so crucial for the future of the tourism industry?
NPT seeks to strike a balance between the wanderlust of tourists and the preservation of natural ecosystems. It encourages travelers to discover the world sustainably while minimizing their environmental impact. Key principles of NPT comply with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed by the UN, and they include environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
First, travelers and businesses must carefully integrate natural resources in tourism while safeguarding local ecosystems and preserving destinations' natural heritage. For example, responsible wildlife viewing involves observing animals in their natural habitats without disturbing them or altering their behaviour. Tourists are encouraged to maintain a respectful distance, avoid excessive noise, and refrain from feeding wild animals. Like this, many more are the cases where visitors can minimize stress on wildlife populations and promote eco-systems conservation.
Second, travels must celebrate the traditions, values, and identity of host communities. By doing so, tourists can foster cultural appreciation, promote tolerance, and safeguard destinations' genuine authenticity. Tourists are encouraged to buy local products in small markets and support local craftsmen, join educational tours to learn about local challenges, and empower local communities by involving small businesses in their travels.
Third, tourism systems must secure long-term viability of the local economic systems. To do so, benefits should equally be distributed among stakeholders while stable jobs and fair incomes should be secured. By contributing to the local economy, tourists play a pivotal role in fostering a stable level of tourists tolerance by locals.
In conclusion, NPT represents a vital shift in the way we approach travel. As we move forward, this is a key concept in ensuring a harmonious coexistence between travelers and the environment, preserving our planet for future generations to explore and appreciate.
This is part 1 of Alice Giancaterino's blogs for MOYO on Nature Positive Tourism. Stay tuned for more!