Ecotourism: The confluence of responsibility and tourism

With the constant boom in global travel and tourism industry, the stakeholders of the industry including travellers have become more alert to environmental and sustainable elements of a destination.

Speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Aditi Balbir, Founder & CEO, V Resorts said, “Responsible tourism is no longer a matter of choice for operators today. If we don’t push through on specific and quantifiable ‘Environmental’, ‘Social’ and ‘Governance’ objectives, the topic shall only remain a hypothetical one which is not taken seriously.”

Balbir also stated that travellers should take smaller steps to ensure the sustainability of a destination. She mentioned steps like zero-plastic usage and usage of disposal bins instead of the rampant littering should be encouraged from the grassroots level.

Speaking about India’s position on the global Ecotourism map, Balbir averred, “We are a country that has possibly the greatest ecotourism, there are positive initiatives driven across specific states – in Andhra Pradesh for example, the government is promoting Farm-to-Fork tourism in a big way.”

“The way locals live define the well-being of a destination. If locals can come together and streamline their own set of practices of in terms of responsible economic growth, this not only improves the tourism potential of the region but also helps improve the micro-economies which with time become circular in nature,” Balbir remarked while stressing on how locals can contribute to the well-being of a destination.

Balbir also stated the difference between an Indian traveller and a foreigner. She said,

“Foreign travellers tend to explore the land in a far more responsible way compared to the typical Indian tourist. The biggest reason for that is the consciousness of the environment that has been ingrained over generations in the west as compared to India.”

However, she confirmed that with increased social awareness about the environmental plight, the millennials of today are the trendsetters of this new wave of an evolved, more responsible Indian traveller.