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As the coronavirus continues to affect our everyday lives, travelers with a United States passport remain at home. Travelers like us all over the world who are itching to get on an international flight will have to wait. But, how long is still unknown. What we know is that essential pillars of global travel including open borders, visa-free travel, and open destinations won’t return in the short term.

So, what does this mean for the future of travel? Despite some turbulence, experts are seeing blue skies in the future. Bruce Tip, the founder of the travel company G Adventures and the author of Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still says that not only will we travel again, but we will do it even better. Tip believes that this pause will give us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously.

Here’s how we hope travelers will navigate a new commitment to sustainable tourism and invent creative ways to globetrot away from home.

What is so wrong with travel now? Well, transportation, the single thing that allows us to travel, as a whole is an issue because transportation is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gasses. In countries like the U.S. and the UK, the transportation sector is responsible for emitting more greenhouse gasses than any other, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Traveling by car or taxi emits far more carbon than making a journey by bus or train. (Credit: BEIS Conversion factors 2019/Javier Hirschfeld)

This is just one example of how we hope travel will change for the better in the future.


Learn more:

BBC: How Our Daily Travel Harms The Planet

The New Travel

Sustainability will be prioritized

Want one silver lining of the pandemic? Sustainability will be a driving force. Elizabeth Becker, the author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism , predicts that travelers will take on the role of concerned citizens who demand responsible travel policies.

Before the pandemic, many didn’t worry about travel’s negative effects on the environment. If you ask any person if they care about the environment then the answer will be simple: yes. However, if you asked them to conserve energy for a month, then you will get a blank stare. Here are some real facts.

The typical American’s impact:

The United States makes up 4% of the world’s population, but produces 25% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

With the current capacity of the world, the Earth can absorb about 2.2 metric tons of CO2 per person. The U.S. emits 10 times that per person.

Travel by car is the leading polluter for the average American: 11,000 lbs. Of CO2 per year.

The U.S. consumes more than 20 millions barrels of oil per day: ¼ of the Earth’s consumption.

Sources: Evo, Energy Information Administration

The travel industry will respond with active measures to prioritize a healthy world over concerns about profits. So, don’t be surprised if some countries mandate ‘fly-free days’ to cut back on CO2 emissions.

As a traveler, there are ways you can take action as well. To reduce your carbon footprint you can try purchasing offsets with companies such as Cool Effect and by staying at certified green hotels and hostels. Check out sites like Book Different , a booking app that makes accommodations for eco-friendly travelers.

What you can do right now:

Instead of driving to the grocery store tomorrow, try bringing out your old bike. Not only is biking better for the environment than driving a car is, it’s also fun and healthy for you.

Learn more:

Thrive Global: 16 Benefits of Biking to Work

New York Times: Be a More Sustainable Traveler

Diversity will be recognized

Our global journeys will become more inclusive (and they should). The Black Lives Matter Movement has brought realities such as reputation issues to light in many industries, however, more work needs to be done in industries including travel. We hope that the industry is moving towards a meaningful change in tourism, which would promote diversity in travel.

Black Travel Alliance’s Martinique Lewis feels that the tourism industry is moving in the right direction. She remains hopeful because companies are addressing their need for diverse customers. Lewis believes that for the first time companies are considering what a trans female goes through. Not only when choosing what bathroom to go to in a restaurant, but also when she checks into a hotel and her passport shows a different person. She added that plus-size travelers wanting to surf or scuba dive but can’t because of the lack of wetsuits in their size are now being acknowledged.

What you can do right now:

Become an ally, a person who takes actions to advocate for the equality of marginalized groups that they are not a part of.

How to be an ally:

Acknowledge your privilege.

Seek out and demand representation.

Find POC & locally owned businesses.

If you see something, say something.

Have those difficult conversations (it’s important to educate).

You can take action to assist in creating a more inclusive travel industry. While planning your travels, try supporting minority-owned companies instead of corporations who choose to ignore the demands of the ever-evolving travel industry and who don’t put measures in place to support marginalized people.

Learn more:

Syracuse University: 8 Ways To Be A (Better) Ally

Adventure.com: How Can the Travel Industry Make the World More Inclusive and Acceptable?

Small companies will receive a bigger role

Travelers can make a difference in small destinations that have been struggling economically since before the pandemic. We hope that travelers decide to travel slower to lesser-known areas, rather than racing through touristy destinations.

We need to not only diversify our staff but also our destinations to avoid mass tourism. Kate Newman of Travel for Difference suggests that travelers should focus on the global south and developing countries that depend on tourism. She added that many less traveled communities have suffered during the pandemic which has brought this issue to light.

What you can do right now:

You can help by supporting these less-traveled destinations by patronizing local businesses and donating to nonprofits. Turn to the sustainable tourism educational and advocacy nonprofit Impact Travel Alliance to learn more about how to empower locals.

Learn more:

Smarter Travel: 5 Companies That Will Help You Be a Better Traveler

We’ll seek quality over quantity

The coronavirus pandemic has allowed us to rethink how and why we travel. While high-mileage travelers are putting more thought into their bucket lists. Let’s use this time of freedom to explore travel for passion instead of a paycheck. Rather than focusing on paid gigs, such as blogs or travel content, we should be embarking on self-funded experiences to highlight off-the-beaten-track destinations in new countries.

Eulanda Osagiede of Hey Dip Your Toes In is putting the breaks on her international trips. Instead, she is citing travel as a privilege that many take for granted. It should be our goal to recognize our travel related-privileges that call us to think about traveling more intentionally and less often.

What you can do right now:

You can seek travel quality over quantity too! Check out the Transformational Travel Council for resources and recommendations on how you can travel slowly and intentionally.

Learn more:

Forbes: Transformed by Travel

Appreciation for staying closer to home

Experts are discovering the benefits of travel even at home. Online cooking classes, games, and virtual experiences are helping people all over the world to keep the spirit of travel alive. These online experiences help to induce the emotions and feelings that travel elicits. Exchanging postcards with international friends is another great way to ‘experience’ travel again safely.

While many of us must remain home, taking a walk to the park that’s just down the street from your home can feel like travel. Now more than ever we can see the beauty of eating a meal on the patios of our own homes.

What you can do right now:

You can practice traveling at home too! Try signing up for an international cooking class or taking a walk through a National Park near you and have a fun night with friends or family.

Learn more:

Taste Buds Kitchen

Planning trips will become joyful again

While we are all trying to make the best out of being grounded, this difficult period reminds us that travel is important for boosting mental health and personal growth. Experts found that travel improves empathy, attention, focus, and energy. Planning a trip can be just as effective! A 2014 Cornell study showed that looking forward to traveling increases happiness, more than material goods can.

You can seek the benefits of travel right now! Plan a trip for after the pandemic is over. Study maps and determine a route that makes you feel like you’re working towards a real goal. You can expand your comfort zone without too much stress, especially if you accept that things might get canceled. At the end of the day, travel is an essential human activity!

Many of us are wondering the question of when will climate change will no longer be something that needs to be a topic of discussion. Well, the answer to that is not just the responsibility of the tourism industry, but the involvement of individual travelers. We all need to take accountability for the growing climate issues and start thinking about what we need to do as individuals to stop it. Check out the BBC’s “Smart Guide to Climate Change.” It uses scientific research and data to break down the most effective strategies that each of us can implement to shrink our carbon footprint.













Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200317-climate-change-cut-carbon-emissions-from-your-commute

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/heres-how-covid-is-changing-travel-according-to-the-experts

https://www.doughroller.net/uncategorized/why-dont-more-americans-give-a-damn-about-the-environment/










We miss travel, and we’re sure you do too, but have you ever thought about the ways that travel could get even better after the pandemic is over?

We know that one day we will travel again, but what do we as travelers need to do to help it improve?

What is wrong with travel right now is that it is not sustainable, and emits some of the highest amounts of greenhouse gasses than many other industries. Diversity is also a very big issue in travel right now. The travel industry today is not addressing its need for diverse customers.

Transportation, the single thing that allows us to travel, as a whole is an issue because transportation is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gasses. In countries like the U.S. and the UK, the transportation sector is responsible for emitting more greenhouse gasses than any other, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The graph below will show you the amount of greenhouse gas that is emitted by the forms of transportation that you use to travel.


Traveling by car or taxi emits far more carbon than making a journey by bus or train. (Credit: BEIS Conversion factors 2019/Javier Hirschfeld)

The #NewTravel movement that has been circling on Twitter allows users to share their opinions on how travel can get even better. If you are interested in participating in the #NewTravel movement or if you just want to learn more, visit The New Travel.


What we can do right now is focus on sustainable tricks at home and research new eco-friendly hacks abroad so that one day we can travel more sustainably. You can learn more about how your travel affects the environment at the BBC’s How Our Daily Travel Harms The Planet. Cultural sustainability is just as important. If you didn’t already know, cultural sustainability is conserving a destination’s cultural beliefs, practices, and heritage.

We hope that eco-sustainability will be a driving force in the travel industry in the future because, without a healthy planet, travel wouldn’t exist. We also hope that cultural sustainability will be conserved because what is the point of traveling if you don’t get the opportunity to experience another way of life?

We need to focus on our own environmental and cultural footprint of travel instead of putting all of the responsibility on the travel industry.

Elizabeth Becker, the author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism , predicts that travelers will take on the role of concerned citizens who demand responsible travel policies.

However, before the pandemic, many didn’t worry about travel’s negative effects on the environment. If you ask any person if they care about the environment then the answer will be simple: yes. However, if you asked them to conserve energy for a month, then you will get a blank stare.

Did you know that 50% to 60% of a hotel’s waste is recyclable? But, the WasteCare Corporation found that each day a five-star hotel will produce 3.2 pounds of waste per room and 2 pounds of waste per meal served. As travel lovers, we must consider the amount of waste that the hotels and hostels we stay in are affecting the environment. Something that you can implement abroad is you can try purchasing offsets with companies such as Cool Effect and by staying at certified green hotels and hostels. You can be just as aware of your waste at home. To reduce the amount of waste that you produce you can start using a compost bin for all of your biodegradable waste, here’s a guide on how to get started.

If you want to learn more about how to be a better traveler, check out the New York Times’ Be a More Sustainable Traveler.

Another sustainable flaw in travel that we need to take accountability for is our participation in bucket-list travel and over-tourism.

We hope that in the future, travelers will find the benefits of traveling slower, more intentionally, and supporting locals along the way.

We need to not only diversify our staff but also our destinations to avoid mass tourism. Kate Newman of Travel for Difference suggests that travelers should focus on the global south and developing countries that depend on tourism. She added that many less traveled communities have suffered during the pandemic which has brought this issue to light.

What you can do right now:

You can help by supporting these less-traveled destinations by patronizing local businesses and donating to nonprofits. Turn to the sustainable tourism educational and advocacy nonprofit Impact Travel Alliance to learn more about how to empower locals.

We need to change the narrative of bucket-list and mass tourism travel so that we can seek the beauties in learning more about diverse destinations without damaging the locations that we go to.

A way that we travelers can be more mindful of our environmental impact is to travel closer to home.

We hope that in the future, we can all have an appreciation for staying closer and traveling from home.

We need to recognize the beauty of being a tourist in our own cities to find an appreciation for staying closer to home.

Experts are discovering the benefits of travel even at home. Online cooking classes, games, and virtual experiences are helping people all over the world to keep the spirit of travel alive. These online experiences help to induce the emotions and feelings that travel elicits. Exchanging postcards with international friends is another great way to ‘experience’ travel again safely.

Sustainability also means accountability. We need to take responsibility as travelers and as consumers; not only in the type of travel we choose to participate in but also in the world we want to see. Besides, who wants to travel to another place just to meet people just like us? Inclusivity is key in making sure that the travel industry is just as beautifully diverse as the world we live in.

Black Travel Alliance’s Martinique Lewis feels that the tourism industry is moving in the right direction. She remains hopeful because companies are addressing their need for diverse customers. Lewis believes that for the first time companies are considering what a trans female goes through. Not only when choosing what bathroom to go to in a restaurant, but also when she checks into a hotel and her passport shows a different person. She added that plus-size travelers wanting to surf or scuba dive but can’t because of the lack of wetsuits in their size are now being acknowledged.

To create an inclusive travel environment we must recognize The first step to allyship is recognizing our travel-related privileges. Let’s face it, travel is a privilege. Whether it’s money, obligation, or circumstance, travel is not a luxury that most of the world’s population can have. Our travel-related privileges are simply our ability to experience travel and all that it has to offer.

Passport privilege is another barrier that many people face. If you did already know, passport privilege is another way of saying how much access your personal passport has to international borders. And so, if your passport does not allow you to enter the borders of a destination, then you can’t travel there.

This work that we do in our downtime, while we can’t travel just yet, is so important in the future world we want to explore. Could you imagine a travel industry where diversity is no longer an issue, climate change is being addressed in calculable ways, and travelers will always choose quality over quantity?

We not only need to recognize the responsibility of the travel industry, but also our involvement as travelers. We all need to take accountability for the growing climate issues and start thinking about what we need to do as individuals to stop it. Check out the BBC’s “Smart Guide to Climate Change.” It uses scientific research and data to break down the most effective strategies that each of us can implement to shrink our carbon footprint.





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