Travelling respectfully. Tourism for sustainable development?

„A Good Life for All!” is the central goal of the Agenda 2030. 2015, the 17 goals for an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable development for our planet were created and adopted by the United Nations. Since the tourism industry is the biggest and fastest growing economic sector, it needs to contribute towards a sustainable development. That this can be an achievable goal, we would like to show you in the next weeks during our campaign “Travelling respectfully. Tourism for sustainable development?”, showing you specific examples about #travellingfair.


This is the principle of Community Based Tourism – the local population is involved in the development of tourism (bottom-up), projects are developed according to social, economic and natural conditions & everyone profits from the revenues. Find examples how #travellingfair like this can work in other articles on the TourismLOG.


Beautiful landscapes, rich fauna and flora, and natural heritage sites are among the main reasons why tourists visit a destination. Tourists are searching for recreation and peace in natural areas, but also for fun activities. Tourism and biodiversity can thus be in a symbiotic relationship. To make #travellingfair possible, tourism needs to respect ecosystems and find the balance between environmental protection and touristic use. Find more information in the article on “Transforming Tourism“.


Only tourism that offers opportunities also for young people and women can contribute to sustainable development. It enables them to find a new perspective & can aid in combating the causes for migration and flight. In The Gambia, Gambia “The Youth Empowerment Project” offers trainings for young people as “Community Based Tourism Trainers. Isatou Foon is the first young woman to successfully complete this training! Read more in her interview.


Tourism without friendly service? Unthinkable – but more than often without proper working conditions and fair wages. This needs to change! In Spain, the association LAS KELLYS (Gaelic for „warriors“) fights for the rights of maids in the hospitality sector & they were awarded the „TO DO Award Human Rights in tourism” 2019.


Tourism needs to focus on creating a strong local economy: Local business owners instead of big corporations & suppliers from the region where possible so #travellingfair is possible for guests. This can open up great opportunities that benefit the whole community in the long run. One fantastic example is “Mama Africa”.


Going abroad means immersing yourself into a new culture. Can be scary – but if you take the time needed it is an amazing experience! Sustainable tourism needs to focus on authentic cultural events that are part of the the normal social life and are not staged for tourists. Locals also have the right to say no and to restrict access where needed – which needs to be respected. Read here how tourism can bring back old traditions and events?


Flying contributes to climate change – and the impacts can already be felt especially in the Global South. Natural disasters, droughts and crop failures are on the rise. Travellers should find alternatives way to travel, but we know that sometimes there simply might not be another option. In those cases, it is worth thinking about compensation: With the money collected, projects can be financed that decrease CO2 emissions and improve the well-being of the community.


Travellingfair can seem like a nuisance. But it does not have to be: Taking the train for example might be slower sometimes, but often makes for a more relaxed journey. Instead of being crammed into your seat, eating airplane meals – roam around the train, pack a yummy picnic and read a book while watching the landscape change outside. Especially with kids, travelling by train can be a lot easier – adventure included.