The World Tourism Organization describes sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”
But to Misty Foster (aka the Green Suitcase Traveler), sustainable travel is more than making “eco-friendly” choices. “It’s about preserving the culture, people, and resources of a place; for present and future generations,” she explains on her website. “Having the most authentic experience you can, while also being mindful in the way you move through the world.”
This means that tourism is not only ethical in intention but also environmentally responsible—something to take into account as we look forward to traveling in the days after COVID. According to Foster, taking action towards a more sustainable living can be as small as carrying a water bottle instead of buying one. It can also mean selecting tour operators who protect wildlife.
Her website will help you select activities that suit your personality and leave a lasting impression—anything from pre-planned itineraries to self-guided exploration. “God knows what our future adventures will look like,” wrote Foster in a recent Instagram post, candidly, “but I have some ideas and I know several other thought leaders in the travel space do too.”
The first step: being conscious that our interactions can influence the environment and the people we connect with. Follow the Green Suitcase Traveler for more insight.