There is absolutely no denying we young Aussie’s love to travel. We seem to infiltrate each corner of the earth. Every time I have left the country to travel abroad, I have come across at least 5 young Aussies. We all leave our isolated shores to explore nations far and wide, seeking culture, experience, fun and freedom. I mean last year alone, 18.7 million Aussie’s departed the country, heading on both short and long terms overseas stays. The importance of travel has grown exponentially on a global scale. Unfortunately, the more we travel, the greater our environmental impact. So it makes sense that the UN named 2017 The International Year of Sustainable Tourism. So in order to compensate for the large carbon footprint we leave when we jet off, here are 5 must see destinations that get the ethical tick of approval.
#1 Isla Grande De Chiloe, Chile
Cast your minds to a landscape so green and lush, with wild and remote national parks and colourful houses built upon riverbeds. The island is the fifth largest of the South American continent, home to an active, local community. On the island they aim for sustainable tourism development, promoting and supporting craftsmen, so there is a guarantee to pick up some intricate and unique souvenirs during your visit. They are renown for protecting nature and cultural heritage. So don’t be shocked when you find yourself knee deep into a spiritual culture of mythology and witchcraft.
#2 Lake Sebu, South Cotabatu, The Philippines
Surrounded by lakes and forest, Lake Sebu is an eco-cultural destination, with eco tourism models, which aim to protect both the pristine nature and the colourful culture of the local people. If you plan to head to this region be ready to be immersed in a rich culture of the Tboli people, who dress in traditional attire, perform song and dance and still produce weaves and various arts and crafts. They even have a School for Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions to help educate, advocate and promote cultural tourism.
#3 Vermont, USA
It has been called one of America’s most appealing states, a nature and culture based destination, filled with picturesque villages and mountainous landscapes. Vermont is dedicated to improving their carbon footprint, investing in clean energy sources in order to reduce fossil fuels. There is also a large conservation movement in order to preserve and protect the nature and land of the state. And for you foodies out their, well it’s bloody heaven. Vermont is filled with a multitude of small, sustainable farms, as well as some quality craft breweries. It’s an ethical travel haven.
#4 Gijon, Spain
Forget Barcelona and San Sebastian, Gijon is an award winning town. This costal city offers an array of cultural and gastronomic activities. It is one of the most responsible major cities both nationally and internationally, in terms of sustainability. They have a tourism model, which helps to protect the city against the negative impact that tourists may bring. Just because it’s a coastal town, there is no reason to neglect the offers of the countryside. Each corner is dedicated to conservation and you’re going to want to explore and take advantage of the panoramic views too.
#5 Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Coral Park is a private nature reserve on Chumbe Island completely dedicated to conservation. If you’re planning a visit, the program includes a Coral Reef Sanctuary and a Forest Reserve that harbours rare wildlife. Coral Park is also award winning, receiving recognition for their sustainability programs. What is great about travelling here, is it’s not only a feast for the eyes but educational, with programs for tourists as well as the local population.
Image Sources: Chile Travel, Vigattin Tourism, Vermont Vacation, Biosphere Tourism, Green Pearls, Trek Earth.