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It’s hard to believe I’m finishing up another class in grad school.  It’s also hard to believe that by the end of my next class, I will be half way finished with my Master’s of Advanced Study in Sustainable Tourism!  While it has be very involved and very time consuming, so far it has been manageable and enlightening!

I still feel I have a ton to learn and that I’m only beginning to understand how big some of these global issues are.  However, I have learned that if each of us makes small changes or small efforts, they really do add up.  One of my first posts in my Sustainable Sunday series was on 5 Easy Tips for More Sustainable Travels and I still believe in these principles.  I try to follow these easy steps when I travel and even locally when I’m at home too.  I’ve really become more aware of how my actions may impact the world around me.  I don’t believe that, in order to be truly save the environment from the damage traveling does, that one must stop traveling.  But I really do believe we can make better decisions in our travels.  I also believe that while the travel industry is harmful in terms of environmental damage, resources used, waste generated, and the general wear and tear caused by mass tourism, the travel industry also has a lot of positive impacts.  These come in the form of economic development, employment opportunities, conservation/preservation efforts, global and cultural awareness, and many, many more benefits along these lines.

It’s encouraging to see how many people are also becoming more aware of their actions during their travels.  I’ve seen posts and discussion on everything ranging from ethical animal interactions and treatment to efforts cleaning up trash and reducing waste.  Each little step like this has a positive impact and it is great to see this behavior continue to become mainstream.  There’s a great big world out there and it’s wonderful to explore it.  But, we also want to make sure that our actions today minimize harm so the travelers of tomorrow can also experience it.

Keep an eye out for the next Sustainable Sunday post where I will share my experience educating a group of travelers on Sustainable Tourism principles in an exciting location!

What are your thoughts on Sustainable Tourism? Do you follow some of the tips and tricks when you travel?  Or, do you confuse it with Eco-Tourism or Responsible Tourism?  I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments below!

This post is shared on Feet Do Travel’s #FollowMeFriday travel community where bloggers share advice, stories, and pictures!

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21 Comments

  1. Congratulations on almost being halfway done with your Masters degree! That’s a huge accomplishment with a lot of hard work that you’ve put into it. We’re rooting for you! 🙂 Thank you for continuing the discussion on sustainable tourism and sustainable travel. I’ve seen conversations and posts on this as well, but it’s a message that needs stating … continuously! We try to be conscious about our actions, what actions and experiences we support, and where we go while traveling. I hope others do the same, though it’s easy to forget when you’re in the mindset of being “on vacation.” Thanks for sharing!

    1. You hit the nail on the head – most people don’t want to think of things like water conservation or recycling while on vacation! I see continued awareness being spread and believe that, one day, we will get there though! Thanks for the support!!

  2. Wow, halfway through your course already, time has flown by! I remember when you were just about to start, that only seems like yesterday. I feel so proud to know a traveller like you who is mindful of the impact tourisim has on the world and wants to do their best not to just reduce that impact for themselves, but to educate others! There should be more people like you and I love reading your posts with tips on how I can be a better traveller; I feel you are giving us all some of the knowledge from your course so thank you! #feetdotravel

    1. Thanks Angie! I try to share things in a way that are easy to understand and impactful! It’s really hard to believe I’m nearly half way through – I’m not quite sure where time has gone as this time last year I was in the process of submitting my grad school application. Thank you for always being such a great support and inspiration and, of course, my cyber other half!!

  3. I try to leave the place I visit in the same way I found it, or even cleaner if possible. I see traveling as a form of educating myself, and taking care of the environment and supporting local communities are great ways of trying to be better and to do better. Your Sustainable Sunday is such a great idea, I feel like I have a lot to learn from your posts. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this post. It sounds like you are doing a great job of being aware of your actions during your travels. It’s not too hard to do these little things here and there!

  4. I think this is an important topic that very few travel bloggers focus their time and energy on. Living in the city, we are consistently peeved by travelers disrespect for our clean streets and nature. It is imperative to educate people on this topic, and I’m happy that a travel blogger will be out there to help teach people why sustainable tourism matters. Congrats on being halfway done with grad school, I have 1.5 years left and it feels like 100 years. 🙂 You go girl, can’t wait to hear more on Sustainable Sundays.

    1. I totally understand where you are coming from and feel the same way when people disrespect our natural environment! What are you studying? – would love to hear about it!!

  5. Very important topic, Sustainable Tourism and if we all did just a few changes and educated others it would be a start to save our environment. Changes like you have previous mentioned by shopping local, booking local, even wearing a sunscreen that is environment safe. Another is Bug Spray. Congratulations on finishing up another class in grad school and I look forward to learning more on Sustainable Tourism 🙂

  6. Congratulations on your progress – you’ve been working hard and it sounds like you are having fun and learning loads of interesting stuff along the way. You are right in that travel can have so much positive impact on people, places and communities as long as it’s properly managed. Agree with what everyone has been saying – supporting local businesses, reducing waste, investing in communities all can do a lot of good. Look forward to your posts on sustainanle travel!

  7. While I knew you were doing your masters, somehow it never clicked that you were doing it in Sustainable Tourism! No wonder you’re so informed on the topic haha. I think it’s great that you share advice and information on the topic as it is most definitely an important subject, and awareness and discussion is always the first step to addressing a problem.

  8. Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. – Every traveler should read this post because we often forget when we travel to a country that we are only visitors. Thank you for doing your part in sharing awareness!

  9. We were astonished by the plastic problem in Cambodia – a real wake up call for us about the global problem – the trouble is in those developing countries, they’re just trying to survive, keep a roof over their heads and feed their families, and the global environment is the furthest thing from their mind. We saw so many bad habits – throwing rubbish in rivers etc. – it was shocking, and not just the adults, the kids too. It’s going to be generations before change can happen. But as a traveler it’s important to try and set a good example – and do you’re bit to picking up rubbish, or stop buying one time use water bottles – it seems small, but all these little bits of effort make a difference – admittedly not overnight, but we can’t just do nothing.

    1. I was shocked by the rampant use of plastic bags and bottles in Thailand. It was very hard for me to see such a rampant, lackadaisical attitude about it. But, I’ve recently heard they are moving toward a plastic bag ban! Yes, every little bit that people do adds up!

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