“Adding a positive impact to the local community and environment.”
“Its successful implementation requires a shift in mindset about what going on holiday really means in today’s changing society.”
In the summer the town council was very keen to push ‘sustainable/responsible/green tourism’: Promoting green tourism in East Devon – Vision Group for Sidmouth
And last month the Sidmouth town council met up with other councils in East Devon to push the same ideas and policies: East Devon’s Coast Meets Country Sustainable Tourism Project – Sidmouth Town Council
East Devon’s MP is also very keen: Future of tourism in East Devon | Simon Jupp MP
This is certainly all very welcome – and has broad support.
The problem, however, is that any sort of ‘tourism’ can bring with it a lot of problems – some of which are not ‘sustainable’.
Whether the sheer number of people impacting on the environment and infrastructure: Overtourism in the West Country – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Or proposals for ‘development’ increasing noise/traffic/pollution and threatening wildlife: Unsustainable tourism in the Sid Valley: caravan park rejected – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Or the over-reliance on one industry to the detriment of others: The overwhelming impact of tourism – Vision Group for Sidmouth
We have to be careful of ‘green washing’ tourism – and awareness of the ‘superficiality’ of such measures is growing in every part of the world:
A luxury lodge filling its plunge pool from a water-distressed community is the height of irresponsibility. And being an eco-tour operator is so much more than offering wildlife viewing — the safari experience value chain needs better accountability to ensure biodiversity protection and longevity. Tackling Africa’s ‘Superficial’ Safari Problem
Perhaps, then, we can add some further dimensions:
Regenerative Tourism – A holiday mind shift beyond sustainability
Going beyond the concept of ‘sustainable tourism’ which focuses on neutralizing tourism’s negative impact on the planet, ‘regenerative tourism’ is based on adding a positive impact to the local community and environment. Its successful implementation requires a shift in mindset about what going on holiday really means in today’s changing society...
Global Family Travels, an American travel agency, offers authentic tours following their mission framework: Learn, Serve and Immerse. Their aim is to unite humanity whilst “fostering cross-cultural understanding, destination stewardship and better global citizen”. One of their destinations to Canada’s Bay of Fundy, for example, the traveler will learn about water pathways and their connection to the community, the shaping of the landscape of the region, and the preservation efforts of the wild spaces. On the serve side, the traveler will choose to participate in two giving-back programs: shoreline tree planting with the Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) or a beach cleanup with the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Region. Finally, on the immerse aspect, the traveler will receive a unique opportunity to experience the natural history of the location in a tangible way, by connecting with the locals, eating the food and discovering the natural spaces.
Possible for the Sid Valley and East Devon?