This is the conscious traveler
As tourism continues to grow, so too will the pressures on the environment, wildlife and local populations. Not everyone is oblivious to this though - there´s a growing crowd seeking information beyond polished websites. These travelers are not easily fooled. They understand the terrible consequences of the big travel and hotel groups establishing their business outside the bounds of the national tax laws, or importing water bottles and food from far away, sourcing talent and products from abroad instead of involving and investing in the local community.
We are, after researching much of the traveling forecasts available, convinced that the next 5-10 years will see a big shift in how people travel. Consumers are changing faster than ever before in both attitude and behaviors.
The tourism industry, traditionally more focused on the hotel itself – the physical product – is waking up to a guest who is demanding more. A guest, who is demanding hotels that have a conscious and integrated approach to more than “just” being green.
This growing group of travelers does not want merely to take photos and sit on the sidelines. They want to experience the culture of a place they visit; they want to know about the content, or “goodness” of a product before they buy it; they want to be active participants.
In terms of their attitude to food, they are not simply interested in drinking orange juice. They want to know whether the juice is freshly squeezed; is it genetically engineered; is it organically grown; what is the carbon footprint associated with getting the orange juice to them; and are the farmers who produce it fairly paid?
The same thinking also extends to their travel decisions. They are not just interested in finding a beautiful destination for their next trip, just as important is the intrinsic values and content of that place – what the hotel stands for.
These travelers enjoy unique experiences and they want to engage in activities where they both challenge themselves and expand their minds at the same time.
By now – the year of 2016 - we are likely to have reached a tipping point in some parts of the world. Hotels that have not kept pace with time and new expectations from their guests will struggle to catch up. Hotels will need to develop business models that incorporate a 360-degree view on sustainability, embedding environmental responsibility and a human approach at the core.
So, who is the conscious traveler?
For being curious enough to find this site and read this whole text through. For wanting to have an active role in your own life and how you affect the world. For caring about your footprint - environmentally and socially. You might not do everything right all the time, but when you get the choice, you choose the better for the worse.
Conscious as you are, I think you get it. The only thing left for us to say for now is: Welcome home.