How Much Sustainability can be Achieved in the Tourism Industry?

How Much Sustainability can be Achieved in the Tourism Industry?
How Much Sustainability can be Achieved in the Tourism Industry?
April 29, 2016

Luxury tourism industry is by far the most wasteful sector and one that draws concerns from eco activists. It is not wholly the fault of luxury tourism operators or that of the luxury hotels because they are playing to the tune of the luxury travelers. Luxury travelers always seek a VIP treatment and their appetite often requires that more animals are slaughtered on a daily basis, sometimes more than they could ever finish. Thinking that luxury travel would ever be made sustainable may seem like a far cry but the truth is that it is not impossible to achieve.

Wasteful behavior of luxury traveler

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It is normal for luxury travelers to rent cars and have a cruise of a life time. Others try out exquisite cuisines for the first time and because they are not used to them, never get to finish it. That is not all, they are always desirous of high speed internet connection to share videos and picture and luxury tourism operators have to make sure their incessant demands are met. There are hotels that change bed sheets, towels and so on everyday according to the request of the guest.

Economic impact of luxury travel

Truth be told, luxury travelers generate a huge income for the host nations. The industry is estimated to gross over $20 billion globally. However, this money does not trickle down to the local populace. According to Kaitlin Solimine, there is a luxury hotel on an island which has received recommendation from top class luxury magazines because of their breathtaking vistas and cuisines and drinks but the irony is that their furniture are imported from Indonesia and China, likewise most of their cuisines and drinks. What this means is that the locales will not feel the effect of these luxury facilities even though they are situated in their backyards.

Ways luxury travel can be made more sustainable

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A more sustainable luxury travel is possible without taking the hype off the experience. The current waste cannot be sustained for long. Making guests to reuse their bed linens is a welcome development but it is not enough. Airlines and hotels have to lead the way in making because these holiday makers are closely knit to them. Some of the ways sustainability can be brought to the luxury travel sector includes;

1. Re-orientation of luxury travelers

Like earlier mentioned, most luxury travelers will not want to do anything that undermines their fun. It will be the duty of luxury tourist operators to educate these travelers that striking the balance between excess and want doesn’t mean having less. They could also make it part of their terms and conditions for the traveler to drop a particular habit that is wasteful like refilling a used water bottles rather than getting a new one each time.

2. How Hoteliers can bridge the disconnect

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Luxury travelers often feel disconnected and oblivious of what happens behind their back. Sustainability should go beyond installation of photovoltaic cells to reusing used objects to the point where it makes an impact to the local community. With above 70% of luxury hotel staff being foreigners, hotels could insist on more local staff and fill their menu with cuisines whose ingredients are sourced locally.

Article Highlights:

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  • The possibility of having a sustainable luxury travel
  • Luxury traveler behavior that constitute waste
  • The meaning of luxury tourism sustainability
  • Ways luxury tourism can be made sustainable
  • Reorientation of luxury travelers to cut down waste
  • Different policy changes by hotels that will impact on luxury travel sustainability
  • How hotels can reconnect travelers with nature
  • Reason for low response in sustainability calls.
  • Current efforts to ensure sustainability of travel tourism
  • Highlight of the principle role players for sustainable luxury tourism

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