Who Cares? – Sustainable tourism, a solution?

Who Cares? – Sustainable tourism, a solution?


Did you just get back from your holiday? I’m sure you had a lot of fun, but were you environmentally friendly? According to a study by French
newspaper La Croix, it’s what a majority of the country
aspires to be. Not travel as far, change the way they travel and
consume less… There are solutions for sustainable
holidays. So when will we get on it? In 2012, 90% of French people claimed to be attentive and respectful
of the environment while travelling. In fact, across Europe, there are many people who plan their
holidays based on their environmental impact and who see them as alternatives to costly destinations at the other
end of the world. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Talking the talk is not
the same as walking the walk. Sustainable tourism is still a rarity. In France, it makes up only 1%
of the industry and globally only 5 to 10% of the world’s population can go on holiday. In ten years, about two billion people will have taken a plane to travel
the Earth. The environmental consequences
of mass tourism are huge. It accounts for 8% of greenhouse gases according to a study carried out by Nature Climate Change. But mass tourism also affects
locals and their regions. Cities are organising themselves
against mass tourism. In Venice, access to the natural park is
restricted during certain hours for tourists. In Dubrovnik, a maximum of 8,000 tourists are allowed at a specific time. In Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Budapest more and more locals are denouncing
mass tourism with protest signs. In the Philippines, an island banned tourism altogether. Not being persuasive enough, these measures have not managed
to put an end to the negative consequences
of mass tourism. Sleeping in the forest or using ecological dry toilets doesn’t necessarily englobe sustainable tourism. Truly sustainable tourism means travelling less often, or not travelling at all. This summer, we say the word
“staycation” flourish, which means going on holiday
in your own city and taking time for yourself. It’s more or less what the philosopher Jérôme Lèbre suggests in his book “Éloge de l’immobilisme”, in which he considers immobility as a form of
resistance in today’s speedy culture. What holidays bring us is time. So why not take advantage of them
and do nothing?

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