World Tourism day 2017

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

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

Ladakh has picturesque sites in store that are facing the brunt of unsustainable tourist practices
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!

Mahatma Gandhi's quote on serving others rings true for Indian Bed and Breakfast owners
Mahatma Gandhi’s quote on serving others rings true for Indian Bed and Breakfast owners

So let’s come to down the basic components of our travel plans?

  1. Transportation
  2. Accommodation
  3. Food
  4. Recreation

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.

Transportation

Always prefer using a mode of public transport while staying in a new place. There are 3 reasons for this:

  1. 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?
  2. They save you a lot of extra money that you would have spent on fuel or the surge prices of an Uber or Ola.
  3. 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

Guests have great reviews for Tej Abode BnB
Guests have great reviews for Tej Abode BnB
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

Where to stay in India: 3 reasons why BnB is a better option than a hotel

Recreation activities

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.

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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?

40 thoughts on “World Tourism day 2017”

  1. A very interesting and compelling way to raise awareness on world tourism day. We all need to practice responsible tourism. Indeed mother nature is conveying a strong message to us. If we want it’s beauty to be preserved for our future generations, we have got to go the eco and responsible tourism way

  2. That is a well-written post on some social responsibility as travelers. Indeed, you need to be conscious of what you are putting Mother Nature through and try to on your part, reduce this stress. I like the way you have added substantiation by way of facts. It definitely makes one sit up and notice. Cheers

    1. Thank you Ami for your thoughtful comments. I am sure this post will act as a reminder to all travelers like us and would lead to a minor yet substantial contribution to Mother Nature.

  3. You are right there Ambuj. We do travel and treat mother earth recklessly and its a matter of time before its too late for us to revert! I too find the rubbish and pollution and overcrowding at most tourist places depressing. Its the curse of beauty I guess. Much like the Phi Phi islands!

  4. You put quite some thought into this article Ambuj, and I like it a lot. As travellers we always leave a CO2 footprint [http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/] on earth (Some even more than that – as I often encounter trash & debris during my scuba dives). But as you said in your post: Minimize exhaust by using public transportation & rethink certain ways of travel for the sake of sustainability is key to a healthy environment. Some countries started understanding this, minimizing tourism to certain areas, refrain from building huge resports and fuelling nature conservation with tourists money…

    1. Thanks Mario for your words. I am glad i was able to draw attention to the reckless tourism inducing practices. I am glad to learn that some countries have started working towards it but it would be better if all countries contributed their bit. Though it’s off-tangent, Paris Climate change summit was a bit of dampener.

  5. I totally agree with your point of view yet so many people still don’t respect the nature. They take it for granted, they litter, they don’t support local businesses and they are only interested in going somewhere and having careless fun – it bothers me! I wish everyone was more thoughtful!

    1. Yes many travelers are blind to the ill effects of their actions and this post is supposed to wake them up to the same. I just hope the word spreads and people start respecting what little resources we all have got.

  6. You are totally right about it. Usually when we travel, we would only thing about how we can enjoy ourselves, not thinking of the cost we are doing to mother nature. This is very enlightening that should help travellers also think of our environment. Keep up the good work!

  7. This is an interesting and thought-provoking read. I do agree that we are all (travellers or not) responsible for being environmentally conscious and making sure we are not harming the nature in any way. I hate it when I see people litter, it is one of the smallest and easiest things to take care of, isn’t it? Good post, thanks for sharing!

  8. I believe that when we travel we should be responsible as well and make everything we can to protect the environment by not leaving traces of our visits. While I know it’s hard to control the flight pollution and we do need to take flights (how else would be cross the ocean in a reasonable time?) we can be careful with other details like plastic bags or recycling for example.

    1. Joanna, thanks for summing up the post in the least number of words. Sustainable travel just means optimizing the use of resources for the purpose of travel and leisure. Obviously, one has to take a flight to cross continents because that is a time-optimising activity!

  9. Very interesting article! Travelling is so popular now that it is important to raise awareness to certain issues and travel responsibly! Thanks for sharing!

  10. This isn’t merely an awareness about World Tourism day, but also to open and expand others mind about how important is it to be responsible of our own actions, whatever nature threw us whether its good or bad is it a reflection of what we are doing to it. We need to start to move from our own household to others, begin form ourselves and be a good example to mankind.

  11. We have to be more responsible during our travels. Just yesterday I was reading a piece on how Indian Army is being asked to clear the trash left behind by tourists! Great post for the occasion.

  12. I totally agree that we should avoid mass tourism and travel in a way that is conscious about our environmental impact. That should go not only for when we are traveling, but also be applied at home, where we spent most our time and our actions have the deepest impact.

  13. Being a responsible traveler is a must have and actually just a basic requirement of someone. I can also travel and be at somewhere without internet or electricity. I’ve experienced that in my childhood. How about you?

    1. Thanks for your comments and understanding the gist of the post. Coming back to your question, I will struggle without internet and will struggle at least 10x more without electricity but I have the will to manage.

  14. It is really sad that that we are depleting the natural resources rapidly. Today people have started talking about sustainable tourism, but a lot needs to be done in this direction. If all stakeholders do not come together and take joint action, the chilling scenario of the Tomatino festival that you described could well turn into reality.

  15. It is so difficult to get the concept of sustainable tourism across to many people. Sadly it just does not seem to matter. Over the years that I have been travelling I can see the impact that tourism has had in some places and it has not been a positive experience.

  16. Very true, we often take the planet we live in for granted while over burdening it with our wasteful demands and greed. Responsible tourism where every tourist thinks about the destination first and then themselves is the only way forward.

  17. I definitely support your thoughts on environmental conservation and I think this is something that everybody, should take a moment to ponder on. It is easy to ignore things when we don’t get to see the data or when we are not exposed to the hazards. There are even people who deny global warming just because they don’t see it. Denying the truth however, is not doing anybody a favor. It’s important that we start the conversation and work together to figure out a way to save mother nature. You definitely have a shareable content here. I just hope more and more people would take the time to properly inform themselves about this issue because if more people care then there are greater possibilities that a remedy can be done.

  18. In Japan, preserving Mother Earth is always the first priority. From recycling of the wastes to using and conserving water. I have learned a lot also.

  19. You are doing great work to aware a travel community about tourism and to be responsible in saving our mother nature. Very well written post.

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