by Seth BUTERA June 26, 2021
As the coronavirus swept through the world, shutting down schools, venues, and conventions and travel as a whole, many people wondered if the in-person, live entertainment we had grown accustomed to what would be doomed, if not forever, for a good long time.
There were no more hugs. Hand-shaking was (and maybe still is) taboo, and the thought of crowding thousands of people into a convention hall or meeting space almost provoked a gag reflex for some.
Many leaders in the travel industry grew concerned that the revival of business travel would take years and with lackluster performance, air routes would suffer, hotels would sit empty, and major business travel hubs would look like ghost towns.
One year later, things look a lot different.
The miracle of science and vaccines and the beauty of time have brought us full circle back. While things aren’t back to the good old days, they are certainly at a new normal.
Tourists are back, live events are taking place around the world, and workers are returning to face-to-face meetings, in-person events and even large conventions.
If industry leaders are right, and a return to business travel really is the bellwether of a comeback, travel is back, and the industry can truly begin a meaningful recovery.
Tour Operators and Travel advisors are often the first sources of information and discovery for travelers, which is why travel suppliers have an important role in promoting responsible tourism.
First, it’s important to understand what it means to travel responsibly. Responsible travel means that a traveler will create a positive, instead of negative, impact on the communities he or she visits, while also protecting the environment.
Travelers could be solely interested in one of these responsible travel methods, or a mix of both. It’s a tour operators’ role, then, to help guide them to accommodations, destinations, tours and more that help satisfy those desires.
Responsible travel is not just sustainable travel: it’s a commitment to the destinations and the people you visit to create positive impacts for them and reduce your negative impact on the world.
The first step is to be conscious of your impact on the world. A conscious traveler can make small changes to traveling habits, like choosing a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable one, or big changes, like choosing an eco-friendly hotel or tour instead of a traditional one.
Responsible travelers also understand and have a desire to positively impact and connect with the local communities they visit and seek out opportunities to do so.