Vacation in contact with nature, uncontaminated landscapes, green areas; but who said that to take an eco-friendly holiday, the attention should be focused only on the place where you go on vacation? Let’s focus on the tourist, the true protagonist of the trip. We as tourists, are responsible for a series of actions anywhere in the world we decide to go and have the ability to generate an impact on the environment; it is up to us whether to make it positive or negative.
So, how to be a sustainable tourist promoter in a big metropolis?
We start by rewarding facilities with an ecological label, demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental management and guaranteeing quality service.
This type of structure offers the possibility, to those who are staying there, to contribute in reducing the series of negative aspects that can arise from the management of a hotel.
A Green Key certified hotel, for example, is characterized by generating awareness to those who decide to stay there. Many hotel chains, such as Starwood, offer the “Make a green choice” service (http://starwoodworldwide.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/268/~/make-a-green-choice) through which the tourist has the right to choose the frequency of washing sheets and towels.
Another important aspect not to be overlooked is the customer / energy relationship. If we really want to make a difference, our contribution in this regard is fundamental. Some good practices to follow are: light off when you are not in the room, no air conditioning with open windows, pay attention not to keep the television turned on unnecessarily or the minibar door opened, keep the curtains closed in the summer to reduce heat in the room and implementing the reverse procedure during the winter months.
Complementary to the customer/energy ratio, there is the customer/water one: to avoid waste for personal hygiene and to prefer the use of the shower to the bathtub.
No less important are the impacts arising from travel to visit the city and other tourist attractions. The tourist promoting sustainability prefers the use of public transport and the daily rent of bicycles.
What is the real impact of energy on the environment and why it is good to limit its consumption? The production of electricity, through the use of fossil fuels, involves the formation of greenhouse gases and harmful gases for our body. Correct behavior favors not only our well-being but also those around us.
The tourism industry has an average annual growth rate of 4% and plays a key role in the current economic scenario. A recent study promoted by ENEA (Entity for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment) registered more than 1.4 billion tourist arrivals worldwide in 2015.
To conclude, let’s try to imagine all the tourists who are on holiday at this precise moment and the difference that together they could do at a global level if these simple “good practices” of behavior were used.