As the world prepares for its emergence from the long lockdown, both the travel industry and its consumers are asking the same questions. This time around, how can we make travel more meaningful and better while doing less harm?
Or, to take it a few steps further, how can our expeditions around the world improve the communities and environments we visit?
This is where regenerative travel comes into play. This concept echoes agricultural practices meant to not only slow down climate change but reverse it altogether.
If sustainable tourism (the concept that intends to counterbalance the environmental and social impacts associated with travel) was regarded as the ambitious outer limit of green travel prior to the Covid pandemic, then regenerative travel must be the new frontier.
As Jonathon Day, an associate professor at Purdue University focused on sustainable tourism, put it, “Sustainable tourism is sort of the low bar. At the end of the day, it’s just not making a mess of the place one visits. Regenerative tourism, on the other hand, says, let us make it better for future generations.”
Defining Regeneration as it relates to travel
The term regenerative travel’s roots can be traced to regenerative development and design. This includes constructions that meet the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design or LEED standards.
This concept boasts applications across a wide array of fields, including but not limited to regenerative agriculture, which intends to sequester carbon and restore soils.
If you extrapolate this explanation, regenerative practices in the travel industry will aim to improve entire ecosystems while at the same time benefiting the communities of individuals inhabiting the land. This further implies that a great regenerative hotel would hire its staff members from the nearby towns or villages, offer tours or workshops to visitors and promote local livelihood or crafts, be located in areas that are not already burdened by over-tourism, and even indulge in agricultural practices that restore the soil.
A step ahead of sustainable travel, regenerative travel awards most importance to the planet and its people and intends to bring back the focus on experiential holidays. After all, travel in the past was a cultural exchange.
People traveled to discover new places by interacting with the locals, but unfortunately, the travel sector has now disconnected itself from the people and, at times, even the destinations. Regenerative travel will allow us to build a framework that reignites that core experience.
Now that you understand what Regenerative travel is, let’s skip to the next section and take a look at several firms that have already adopted this revolutionary practice.
Firms Already at the Forefront of Regenerative Travel
At the moment, regenerative travel is definitely the new buzz. So far, six different non-profit organizations, including but not limited to Sustainable Travel International and Center for Responsible Travel, have come together to create the Future of tourism coalition. The coalition’s mission is to “build a better tomorrow” by promoting regenerative travel practices.
Better yet, hundreds of businesses and organizations, including organizations like the Adventure Travel Trade Association, destination marketers such as the Slovenian Tourist Board, and tour operators like G Adventures have signed on to the coalition’s 13 guiding principles, including “choose quality over quantity” and “demand fair income distribution.”
Tourism New Zealand, the nation’s tourism organization, is also starting to measure the industry’s success not just in economic terms but also against the nation’s well-being, considering community identities, human health, and nature.
Do you need more proof that regenerative travel is already in action? I got you.
Our mission here at Triwey is to nurture a network that’ll thrive on the sort of tourism that respects Mother Nature, the economy, and even local communities. To turn this mission into a reality, we’ve created a service that’ll help you find eco-hotels that take care of the environment, social balance, and even your health.
All you need to do is head over to Triwey, type in your next travel destination, dates you expect to stay at your destination, and hit search. A few seconds later, a list showcasing the best hotels and sustainable hotels at your destination will pop up on your screen.
Ways You Can Contribute To the Regenerative Travel Movement
1. Support Responsible Operators
Find out about all the responsible actors and operators at your travel destination. This includes community-led ecotourism ventures and homestays instead of tour operators and big hotels. You should have a wide array of options to pick from if your travel destination is a renowned tourism spot.
2. Commute Carefully
Watch the way you move around in your travel destination. For instance, if the option to cycle or use walk paths is available and practical, always pick that instead of taking a car. After all, this will allow you to have an even more enriching experience as you won’t miss out on the possibility of unscripted interactions with the locals.
3. Spread the Word
Try to make the people around you aware of these issues. This includes new travelers who are not aware of the harm their actions might be causing to the environment or the locals they interact with. So, I suggest that you write down your experiences and promote responsible visitations wherever you go.
4. Understand Your Destinations
Always try your best and learn everything about the local communities of the destination you’re visiting, their culture, and their environment. What’s more? When you’re there, dive even deeper into those details. As a regenerative traveler, you ought to understand that participating in the experience is undeniably the most important aspect. Develop a relationship with the host destination.