A warm hello to all the readers! Ahoy! It’s world tourism day. A day when we can bask in the glory of having served our travelers well and received good reviews. Just a smile goes a long way in serving a stranger in a foreign land well doesn’t it? If we go by the tourism statistics, tourism is still a flourishing industry. People have the power and willingness to spend money and gather experiences and the millennials are supposed to be leading the way.
While we see a spurt of relatively lesser known tourist destinations springing to life and being explored by wanderers and globetrotters, there is another dimension that needs to be explored- the effect on environment.
Carrying capacity- The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment.
If we go by the definition of Carrying capacity, our tourist destinations are soon going to get depleted of their resources like water, electricity, land etc.
Ladakh has picturesque sites in store that are facing the brunt of unsustainable tourist practices
Just imagine you travel to Spain to enjoy a holiday while participating in the La Tomatina festival. You play it with all your heart and soul. Back to your room, tired after running around, teasing each other about the weird antics during the festival, you enter the wash area and there goes the last drop! No more water! As soon as you raise a panic and call up your friend, your phone switches off due to low battery and the next second the light goes off!
Now, imagine, no internet, no wifi, no cellphone, no water and nowhere to hide those tomatoes sticking out of your underpants! Just 15 minutes of this situation and I am sure you’ll have a panic attack!
Precisely, this is what will happen if keep treating Mother Earth without applying our minds. This is the way Earth’s resources will be depleted by the time our future generations will grow up to be our age!
Read our blog on International Biodiversity day: Tips to promote Sustainable Tourism
What can we do about Earth and its resources:
Till now Mother Earth has been kind to us. However, these are tough times to live in. If we go by the increased frequency of climatic changes and extreme weather events, these are really tough times to be on this planet- Glaciers are melting at the rate of 5.5 cm/year and India’s Gangotri glacier is melting at 11 cm/year! Imagine a world without glaciers! In my opinion, that horrific day is not too far off! Imagine the rising ocean water levels and many island countries that we all love to head to for a vacation would be submerged in water soon!
Read our post on World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature
About Hurricane IRMA
Recently, IRMA hurricane was causing havoc in USA east coast and many of my Indian friends have been asked to evacuate their homes! IRMA had some valuable lessons about Mother Nature to share! Did we pay heed?
Is Mother Nature trying to convey something to us?
With the spate of extreme weather events, it seems that Mother Nature has been crying foul at the rate of development of countries, rampant flouting of environmental norms and the rapid depletion of natural resources. In one of her articles, Ms Sunita Narain brought out a strange analogy: In India, while there is a drought in some regions of the country, there are floods in other regions. Strange isn’t it? Well that’s when happens when one is pushed into a corner isn’t it?
The major cause of the depletion is the Industrial revolution and the advent of machines that has led to catastrophic effect on the environment. The history of industrial revolution can be traced to 1700’s in Britain. Read the whole story here: http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution
This post is not supposed to make you feel guilty on World Tourism day. Instead it serves to make a point very clear. As a traveler, can we do something that puts less pressure on the Mother Earth, let the Mother Earth breathe rather than bleed? I am sure we can!
So let’s come to down the basic components of our travel plans?
In my opinion, travel is confined within the above 4 heads. Isn’t it? If we can be soft on the environment on them, I guess we’ll contribute our bit.
Always prefer using a mode of public transport while staying in a new place. There are 3 reasons for this:
- Helps you get acquainted with the local population, mingle with them, have a short crisp conversation. Who knows you might bump into a highly evolved personality who might give you tips on how to make your life sorted. Good suggestions and advice come from anywhere and anytime, don’t they?
- They save you a lot of extra money that you would have spent on fuel or the surge prices of an Uber or Ola.
- It is soft on the environment as the per unit consumption of fuel is optimised and spread across a wider population.
Read our post on Delhi Metro Heritage Line: A convenient way for Delhi sightseeing
Food and Accommodation
Whenever i visit a new place, I am eager to know what the room looks like, who hosts it and whether the toilets are hygienic. When the checklist is ticked off, I am super happy. However, what if the place also offers a nice, warm, well-lit room and has a nice sumptuous breakfast for the next day? Wont’ it be an icing on the cake?
Staying in a Bed and Breakfast is a hit with the ladies as an earlier blog suggests. Celebrating Womanhood: 5 Reasons Women Will Love Staying In A Bed N Breakfast
Recently, I had an amazing experience while staying in a houseboat in Kochi, Kerala. Houseboat was simply amazing for the modern amenities it offered but I liked the hospitality more!
Read my blog on Staying in a houseboat
Both the experiences of staying in a Indian Bed and Breakfast and that of staying in a Houseboat, may be defined as an alternate mode of accommodation. This is the reason you should also opt for a BnB instead of a hotel.
Consumption of resources by Hotels vis-à-vis BnB
A 5-star hotel in New Delhi consumes 15 million litres of water and produces 10 million litres of sewage daily! If you divide the two figures by 86400 seconds in a day, a hotel consumes 173 litres of water per second and produces 115 litres of sewage every second! Phew! I feel guilty already! This is apart from the rapid depletion of land, forest, and other natural resources that are consumed while building such hotels flush with the state-of-the-art luxury! No wonder, mother nature is furious with us.
Here’s a point to ponder: As a traveler, do we really so much attention of the Mother nature! How much will she support us? Thus, we should book a BnB for the following reasons
- Environmental reasons
- Monetary reasons
- Moral reasons
- Home-cooked food
Experiencing the local culture, customs and habits is the main purpose of travel for me. So, I look for immersive experiences while staying in a foreign land. I am sure even you do. Staying in a family-hosted Bed and Breakfast room gives you the added advantage that the host is involved (not interfering) with your health. However, a few curated experiences by BnBNation would be enough to increase the level of happy happiness of traveler.
The ball is in your court: Do you wish to be a mere spectator or do you wish to help Mother Earth by traveling in a sustainable manner?