Tourism industry is valued at over USD 1.1 trillion worldwide. 10.4% of the global GDP is generated by tourism. It brings in significant monetary benefits which are used for economic development and social upgrading of the countries. Tourism is responsible for 7% of the total world exports.
It is thus not a surprise how important tourism industry is to every country. Everyone welcomes tourism and travellers. However, a growing recognition is apparent among the public about the role it plays on a country, its environment, and people.
Despite the opportunities and benefits it creates, the effect it has on the environment and lives of people is significant. It is the responsibility of all parties relevant to consider these effects and ensure the relationship has a positive reinforcement. This is the emergence of sustainable travel or responsible travel.
Sustainable travel/ responsible travel is defined as the practice of conducting any and all tourism activities in a manner that they meet the present needs of the parties, while protecting and enhancing the opportunities of future travel and tourism. It is envisioned as a principal to manage all the resources in a way that social, economic, and aesthetic needs are fulfilled, at the same time ensuring ecological processes, cultural integrity, biological diversity, and livelihoods of people are secured today and tomorrow.
Responsible travel also known as sustainable travel in Sri Lanka is designed to make better places to visit and improved places for people to live in. Its stakeholders include the governments, tour operators, hoteliers, locals and, of course, the travelers. Each one of these parties is required to take responsibility to be innovative, alter practices, and reinvent tourism to make it more sustainable.
Some major factors that are included in sustainable travel/ responsible travel are, conservation of natural and cultural life, safe tourism with an understanding of the local culture, minimising impact on the environment by initiatives such as reducing the carbon footprint, reducing the impact on locals and wildlife as well as negative economic impact on the destination, and ensure equality and respect to the locals in involving them in making important decisions.
As an experienced destination management company in Sri Lanka, we pay special attention to all these factors, during planning and executing our travels to ensure our commitment to operate as a sustainable, responsible travel company in Sri Lanka.