According to the Intercultural Outreach Initiative, ecotourism came onto the travel scene in the early 1980s “… as a type of travel for people who wanted to learn about different and exotic environments without causing the environmental harm or damage associated with other forms of tourism.” Fast-forward to today, and a Sustainable Travel Study from Expedia Group Media Solutions shows “nearly 3 in 4 travelers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that supports the local community and culture, even if it was more expensive.
Here, we take a look at airlines and hotels leading the charge in sustainability efforts.
More than 30 airlines affiliated with the International Air Transport Association offer carbon offsetting to passengers “… to ‘neutralize’ their proportion of an aircraft’s carbon emissions on a particular journey by investing in carbon reduction projects.” To that end, LeafScore, a website fighting climate change by helping consumers make greener purchasing decisions, published “The 6 Most Sustainable Airlines for Flying Green in 2022” this year. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines ranked No. 1, followed by Alaska Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Cathay Pacific (aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050), Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines all committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This fall, Southwest celebrated one year of its carbon offset program, becoming the first U.S. airline with a carbon offset offer with loyalty points and contribution match to offset its carbon emissions. Since 2020, Etihad Airways has reduced its total carbon emissions by 56 percent; restructured its fleet strategy to focus on modern, fuel-efficient aircraft; and launched the first aircraft carbon offset program in the Middle East. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic equips its aircraft with the most efficient engines and state-of-the-art technology designed to save fuel and reduce emissions, delivering a 20 percent reduction in fleet carbon emissions to date
When it comes to sustainability in hotels, tremendous strides have been made, starting with Hotel Marcel New Haven, opened in May. The hotel is anticipated to be the first net-zero hotel in the United States, the first Passive House-certified hotel in the country and one of fewer than a dozen LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the country.
Earlier this year, the Hawai’i Green Business Program recognized five of Outrigger Hospitality Group’s properties for exceptional environmental stewardship in light of its energy efficiency and sustainable business practices to advance the Aloha State’s clean energy and sustainability goals. Outrigger applied for Green Seal certification for all seven of its owned or managed properties in Hawai’i, making it the first in Hawai’i to commit to earning the prestigious certification.
Opened in January, Rosewood São Paulo sourced all building materials within Brazil and committed to using 100 percent renewable energy within its first year of operation. Additionally, HomeExchange Collection, the luxury offering launched this summer, will take part in its parent company’s dedication to calculate its carbon footprint every year; the company intends to contribute to global carbon neutrality with PUR Project by investing in social and environmental projects.
In Michigan, Daxton Hotel committed to The PLEDGE on Food Waste, an initiative aiming to limit the amount of food thrown away. Gravity Haus, a “social club for the modern adventurer” and a model of globally conscious hospitality, will open two new Colorado properties soon in Steamboat Springs and Aspen.
Last year, Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, British Columbia, became the first hotel in North America to sign on to The Climate Pledge and committed to meet The Paris Agreement by 2040, a decade ahead of the agreement’s deadline.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to start thinking about romantic getaways to spend some quality time with your special someone. Chile has been recognized as one of most romantic destinations in South America, making it an ideal Valentine’s destination. Of course, you don’t need to wait until Valentine’s Day to make a romantic trip to Chile.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
Here’s a destination some nature lovers and adventure travelers may still not have on their radars: the northernmost Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Visitors can explore endless dunes via horseback or camel, then settle into an Al Wadi Desert camp such as Sonara, where experiences include entertainment and dining beneath star-filled skies.
On game day, Super Bowl host cities stand to gain almost as much as the teams competing on the field, if not more. The game can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in the days leading up to, during and immediately after the game, but it can also have an economic impact that lasts for years.
Discover why Global Traveler readers named Cunard® the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for seven consecutive years. For a limited time, book your voyage during Cunard’s Explore with More promotion and take advantage of lower fares*, up to $1,200 Onboard Credit†, Free Specialty Dining for Two^, 50% Reduced Deposit††, and more. Choose from an array of exciting journeys, including Transatlantic Crossings and voyages to Alaska, the Caribbean and Canada & New England.
This year, travel trends suggest travelers look for off-the-grid destinations to help them disconnect, explore new opportunities and expand their learning. SAVIA, a 17-acre private reserve located in the cloud forest mountains of Monteverde, Costa Rica, offers just that. Guests embark on a curated forest immersion adventure, perfect for embracing, connecting with and learning about the surrounding nature in a sustainable way.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes to life at night. Translating to “good airs” or “fair winds,” Buenos Aires is an autonomous district filled to the brim with eclectic European architecture and a rich cultural life. The multicultural city, a melting pot of language, history, incredible food and music, comes to life at night. When you travel to Buenos Aires, be prepared to eat late, choose from hundreds of restaurants and thousands of bars and clubs, and dance beyond dawn. The city’s nightlife, as varied as it is intense, allows you to dance to whatever rhythm takes your fancy. A city that oozes sex appeal, it proves dynamic and passionate, and the beauty and rhythm will get under your skin for an amazing trip.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.