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Travel Impact of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism

TransportationActivism > Environment

Summary. A topic sometimes avoided by people in the ecotourism industry is the environmental impact of the travel required to reach the environmentally friendly destination. Of course, the reason for this is that those in the tourism, vacation, and hospitality industry know that the best advice to give their environmentally conscientious customers is to not travel at all.

Travel Apps. The Green Travel Choice App for Apple iPhone lets travelers make transportation choices based on computed carbon footprint of their available modes of travel to reach a destination. While such applications offer an initial novelty, and are certainly useful for occasional calculations, in the long run, travelers soon learn their best transportation modes and choose those. Of course, just as with recycling, the best thing to do is simply reduce your travel.

Public Transit. The City of Iowa City makes public transportation simpler and more effective by tracking public transit buses using on-board GPS systems and then providing real-time bus route and schedule reporting to mobile devices for commuters and travelers. The system used is called Bongo.

Ecotourism Conference. In the year 2012, from Monday September 17 to Wednesday September 19, hundreds of people will be traveling to Monterey, California for the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference sponsored by the International Ecotourism Society. In a bazaar twist of irony, thousands of people will be flying to the event from more than 30 countries around the world. One can’t help but wonder if having an online conference would have been a more sustainable way for these sustainability people to meet. Given the heavy attendance by those in the vacation, tourism, and hospitality industry, one wonders how much is being done to dissuade travelers from choosing local attractions rather than more remote destinations for their vacation plans. Many remote vacation spots depend on tourism to sustain their economy. So, it’s unlikely those in the industry will help reduce the negative impact of vacation travel.

Achieving 2025 Miles Per Gallon. The Picycle is a new vehicle that can achieve a equivalent energy efficiency of 2025 miles per gallon. The chart below [source] provides an excellent resource for comparing various modes of travel and their equivalent miles per gallon per person. The chart illustrates that the Picycle can achieve 2025 miles per gallon energy efficiency due to space-age technologies and regeneration systems. Click the chart to enlarge.

Impact of Cruise Ship Travel. In 2006, the Gardian published a collection of quotes from industry experts about the impact of cruise line travel. In 2009, Discover.com published a more thorough look at the impact of travel by planes, trains, and automobiles.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com