Sustainability is an increasingly popular topic in many industries and travel is no exception. It has ecotour adventures, volunteer vacations with sustainable missions, and organizations such as the Tourism & Hospitality Institute for Sustainable Development in Switzerland dedicated to driving long-term sustainable solutions. Here's a snippet from their site:
- Educators argue that it may be impossible to bring larger groups of visitors to any destination without impacting on its physical or cultural or social environment. People as visitors demand such services as attractions, accommodations, food and beverage, entertainment, infrastructure for transportation, public utilities and other public services found at home, along with friendly locals and authentic heritage. Given the many examples of destinations who have suffered from the growth of mass tourism, or even unsuccessful eco-tourism, it is easy to understand the disbelief associated with the concepts of both tourism and sustainability. If you want to learn more about a group of tourism and hospitality professionals who believe that 'moving the agenda forward' will be hard, will have little support, and will take a long time, read more about us.
I'm for this green Swiss conglomerate of travel professionals. In thinking about group travel, it seems important to plan trips with friends, family, clubs or teams that take into consideration the impact of travel on the environs. Vacations are breaks from responsibility. We all need that, which is why we have high expectations of service and entertainment when traveling. But if any association member responsible for organizing group trips, leader of group tours on a regular or semi-regular basis, or individual traveler is interested in studying green travel, this organization seems like a good reference.