Ecotourism is a set of practices in which people travel while preserving nature and avoiding its degradation by any means.
Wikipedia defines the criteria for Ecotourism as follows:
Ecotourism is tourism which is conducted responsibly to conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of local people. It…
- Builds environmental awareness
- Provides direct financial benefits for conservation
- Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- Respects local culture
- Supports human rights and democratic movement such as:
- conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection
- promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations
- sharing of all socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous peoples by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises
- tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern.
- minimization of tourism’s own environmental impact
- affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
- local culture, flora, and fauna being the main attractions
- local people, who benefit from this form of tourism economically, and often more than mass tourism
So let us see how hotels can adopt ecotourism practices.
1. Follow the 3Rs
Hotels produce 289,700 tonnes of waste each year, including 79,000 tonnes of food waste.
This is an issue that we need to address.
We all know about the 3Rs i.e. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. For an ecofriendly hotel, we have to follow these 3 Rs of waste management.
As hoteliers, we face this issue a lot as we are the hosts. We cannot say much to guests. We have to motivate them in such a way that it does not look rude.
Have banners and paintings in your property showing environmental threats. Once you set up such an environment in your hotel, guests will also come aboard.
And the waste you are generating will ultimately reduce.
2. Green Buildings
Now, we come to the property itself.
Conventional buildings release greenhouse gases that elevate environmental degradation. Hence, there is a constant need for upgrading our hotel buildings.
We can start by upgrading the walls and glasses. Walls and glasses that can reflect the heat from outside will keep the building cooler naturally.
In this process, a Daylight-controlled lighting system can also come very handy. It senses the amount of light and switches off the lights automatically.
Furthermore, ban the use of plastics in your hotel.
There are many eco-friendly alternatives to plastic utilities present in the market that we can use.
3. Save Water and Energy
The revelation of the importance of Energy and Water Conservation was done a long time ago. But we are still very ignorant of them.
There is a myth that water and energy conservation is more cost incurring. But as a matter of fact, it will save your money also.
So when we come to the practices we can embrace, the list is long.
We can use the dual flush toilets that are affordable and saves 20 $ a year with 20% of water.
Then we can improve our laundry techniques. Washing the clothes in cold water will save approx 90% of the electricity. Further for drying the clothes natural air techniques are very helpful.
At last, we can use a powerstrip which conserves electricity.
4. Install Energy Saving Technology
Have you not seen that coming? Obviously, without technology, things are difficult to do. And in this era, not installing the cutting edge technology is preposterous.
Technology is changing our way of living, working and traveling on the fundamental level. And it has the potential to protect our environment on its own.
But this a bit subjective as small hotels cannot afford the latest tech.
One of the latest trends in the tech world is IoT. IoT which stands for the Internet of Things is a way to bring your physical devices on the network.
This will give you better control over your hotel which can lead to environment conservation depending on your intentions.
5. Encourage Guests and spread the Awareness
The hotel industry is growing. And it has a great impact on the lives of travelers. In 2018, the industry noticed 1.4 billion arrivals worldwide.
Just think, how many lives we touch. If we want then how gigantic change we can make.
Hence, we should take the onus and spread awareness amongst our guests. By adopting green practices in our hotel we can prove our guests that living luxurious is possible with ecofriendly means.
If we can do it in a commercial place then guests can do it in their residential places.
Our planet is the most precious thing we have. We just can’t afford to lose it.
This was my attempt to bring some light on the topic. And to list some ways we can attain ecotourism.
Hope you liked it. Your suggestions are really important, please drop ’em in the comment box below.
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