Creating a world where sustainable tourism is the norm is everyone's responsibility.
Community-based organizations need a platform for their social impact work, and a place to learn from others working on sustainable travel initiatives.
Destinations need to put local people and resources first. And service providers need to act as environmental and cultural ambassadors.
Content creators need to choose their words and imagery wisely. With the power of persuasion comes incredible responsibility.
Finally, travelers need to check their egos and recognize the privilege that comes from visiting someone else's home.
This list of resources is ongoing and influx. It is carefully curated to make sure you have the very best, most comprehensive information at your fingertips, regardless of your role.
Resources on community-focused travel initiatives:
- Tourism for SDGs - A platform developed by the UNWTO packed with resources and recommendations for integrating the sustainable development goals into tourism initiatives.
Resources for travel service providers and destination representatives:
- Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism - This report details the unrealized burdens travelers place on destinations (such as waste management and increased cost of living) along with tools and systems to address them. It was commissioned by the Travel Foundation and co-published with Cornell University’s Centre for Sustainable Global Enterprise and EplerWood International.
- DestiMED Ecotourism Footprint Calculator - A detailed questionnaire destinations can use to determine their ecological footprint. This was built upon Global Footprint Network's data; you can read more about that organization here.
- MEET Manual - A guide for developing ecotourism activities that incorporates the ecological calculator.
- Resilient Destinations - Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these resources can be used by industry professionals to mitigate crisis conditions at any time.
- Fostering Sustainable Partnerships with Community-Based Tourism Initiatives in Bolivia - Guidelines that serve as a gateway for providers interested in establishing meaningful and appropriate relationships with local communities anywhere in the world.
- Hiking Iceland’s Glaciers: An Opportunity to Talk About Climate Change’s Effects - Suggestions from an Iceland-based tour guide on how to engage travelers in climate-related conversations — in Iceland and beyond.
Resources for writers:
- Solutions Journalism Network - Educational resources and support for solutions journalism.
- Cultural Appropriation for the Worried Writer: Some Practical Advice - What to know about appropriation and writing outside your identity.
- A Primer on Responsible Travel Writing - Advice on avoiding stereotypes, cliches, and inappropriate characterization in commercial travel writing.
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World — and Why Things are Better Than You Think - Journalism often thrives on extremes. This book uses data to highlight some of the misconceptions the media (and society in general) perpetuate. It also offer strategies for recognizing and thinking beyond those misconceptions.
Resources for travelers:
- Uncornered Market - A wealth of resources for anyone who wants to be a more sustainable traveler. A few top picks include these articles on top sustainable travel tips, voluntourism, and how social media influencers can use their power for good.
- Leave No Trace - According to Leave No Trace, 90% of people don't realize the environmental footprint of their actions. This website is a wealth of information on sustainable environmental practices primarily focused on its seven principles.
- What Travelers Can Do to Save the Planet - Published by AFAR in the wake of COVID-19, this article suggests habit changes and how to positively create impact related to carbon emissions, plastic waste, supporting local communities, and other issues.
- The Thoughtful Traveller - A basic guidebook created by World Expeditions outlining basic tenets for ethical travel. It was developed several years ago, but the information is still solid.