A shift towards eco-tourism, an upward trend and awareness in local community and environment

Tourism is undeniably become a major source for economic growth which contributes around 10 percent of the world’s economy. While the “common” type of how people do their vacation - a visit for selfie, splurge in a notable hotel-chain - is still dominating the market, more and more people are actually seek for over mere experience.

As more people are aware of the environment and its impact caused by tourism, some locations are becoming more eco-friendly where blending into local culture is preferred over mass tourism. Hundreds of business from resorts to plumbing companies work together to make the site more eco-friendly, including the infrastructure, waste management, and many other things.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council outlines a list of criteria in order for a destination to be certified as sustainable; from supporting local businesses, taking part in conservation activity of natural resources, and encouraging visitors to participate in the community.

Projects based on global conservation are being promoted and marketed in several tourism destinations. As a result, people have started to respect the area and culture more. Sustainable tourism creates job opportunities for the locals, generates income to the communities as well as preserving the cultures.

In northern Sichuan, Walden Farm has adopting the eco-retreat concept where visitors can enjoy fresh air, the serenity of nature, and learn more about farming. The accommodations are constructed using sustainable materials such as wood, bamboo, and straw and built with respect to the laws of nature. Together with the local communities, Walden Farm strives to build a better natural environment for upcoming generations.

Some destinations are not aiming to attract large numbers of tourists, instead, a specific group of travelers with the objective of escaping threats to the ecosystem. Irresponsible travelers could bring negative impact, that’s why some major tourist destinations are struggling.

Activists and organizations are working on community-based tourist model that facilitates experiences, volunteer services, and projects that give directly back to locals. Not only focusing no nature conservation, but also human rights and sustainable development. Hopefully tourists and communities benefit each other in a long term.