Switzerland is a global leader in sustainable tourism
The Swiss have always been sensitive towards their environment and hence the news that Switzerland is a global leader in sustainability should come as no surprise. Their understanding of the need to conserve and protect these natural resources reflects in their practices across sectors including Tourism. Sustainable travel has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent times and is touted to be the future of Travel. The COVID-19 pandemic has only acted as a catalyst for this change to come sooner. Studies over time, like the Environmental Performance Index, have only strengthened Switzerland’s rank as a sustainable nation. They cite both air quality and water quality as being the best in the world, and Switzerland ranks exceptionally high on biodiversity and ecosystem vitality.
Conscious travellers will find that many places in Switzerland have been designed to protect the environment and that use the resources of the country, judiciously. The alpine country has a number of Green accommodations that include farm stays, hotels, and campsites equipped with plenty of ecologically sound facilities like proper recycling of waste, usage of a heating system devoid of oil or wood, and optimized resource planning further boost their ratings of eco-consciousness.
The country is an active advocate of public transport for citizens as well as tourists not only because it is fast and reliable but also to minimize negative impact in Alpine areas.
The Swiss Travel System in Switzerland is the world’s most effective public transportation system—a fully-integrated air, train, and bus system—powered majorly by clean hydroelectric power sources. This results in a reduced carbon footprint by travellers and citizens alike.
A train journey in Switzerland generates 20 times less CO2 than a car journey on a comparable route. And with SBB’s* eco-friendly transport solutions and its drive to move major traffic onto the railways, Switzerland saves five million tonnes of CO2-emissions per year, equivalent to 10% of the country’s overall emissions.
As compared to other countries, Switzerland has more than its fair share of water! And with no second thoughts, water in Switzerland can be drunk anywhere- including in the middle of town! Compared to other European countries, Switzerland has over-averagely large water reserves to fall back on with its many lakes, glaciers and natural groundwater. Solely 2% of annual rainfall makes its way into drinking water reserves.
A third of Switzerland is made up of woodlands and annually an area the size of Lake Thun additionally added in accordance with the federal forestry law, forests must occupy at least thirty per cent of the nation’s land. Particularly in the Alps and south side of the Alps woodlands are again gaining territory. As a result, Switzerland has numerous places filled with clear, fresh air coming from the forests that abound in a variety of flora and fauna.
Legislation in Switzerland ensures areas of woodland remain unchanged – especially in heavily populated and growing regions. Forest clearances are only permissible with special permission, and felled trees must generally be replaced.
Switzerland understands well that a healthy, green way of living can be achieved by protecting nature. and therefore actively promotes businesses, academic initiatives, as well as other enterprises, determined to make bio-friendly use of resources for the entire world’s benefit.
For these reasons and more, environmentally conscious travellers can look towards Switzerland as an eco-friendly travel destination.
August 3, 2020