Gaining in both popularity and credibility, sustainable tourism is no longer a buzzword. It’s becoming a way of life for many travellers. Leisure travel makes us feel good and now there are more and more options for turning good thoughts into good deeds.
Booking.com recently released new research with insights gathered from more than 30,000 travellers. Their research found that 76% of travellers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them.
In fact, 41% said that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. This is great news not only for the planet, but for communities that rely on tourism as their main economic drivers.
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Sustainable travel stays
We all know about fuel-efficient vehicles and that many airlines offer the option to offset your carbon footprint. But when it comes to finding sustainable accommodation, it’s been frustratingly difficult to find easy to understand information.
The majority of Canadian travellers (66%) admit they don’t actively look for the sustainability efforts of a property before they book into it. But… if it’s easily accessible, they’ll review it. This showcases how important it is to make environmental and sustainability information transparent and understandable.
Some certifications to look for include Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Fair Trade Tourism and LEED.
Travel Sustainable Badge
Easier though is spotting the Travel Sustainable Badge on Booking.com. More than 100,000 properties are now being recognized for their sustainability efforts with this badge. It’s a transparent and easy-to-understand way to identify a wider range of more sustainable stays. I personally love how they’ve done all the research for me.
Whether you’re looking to book an apartment, holiday home, hotel or treehouse – any kind of property on Booking.com’s platform can be eligible for the Travel Sustainable Badge so long as they’ve implemented a combination of stringent sustainable practices.
Another notable movement in the sustainable travel sphere is the notion of going fuel-free. The Premise is that once you arrive at your destination you settle in and don’t drive. Removing stressors like gridlock and gas, brings freedom to explore in other ways like peddling, paddling or plodding along on your own two feet.
One great destinations that offers a relaxing fuel-free vacation is Penticton in BC’s South Okanagan. Penticton has all of the amenities and cosmopolitan attractions of a large city, yet its compact size allows for the ease of movement you get in a small town.
From your accommodation you can walk, cycle or paddle to scores of restaurants, wineries, breweries, shops, green spaces, recreational facilities, trails and of course those beaches on either Skaha or Okanagan Lake.
With a fuel-free vacation, you benefit not only from the wellness you’ve received, but that which you’ve given the planet through your thoughtful choices
What else can you do?
Everything counts. From travelling closer to home to travelling outside of peak season to avoid overcrowding, it all adds up.
Few folks realize that all major attractions in Banff National Park can be reached by transit. That’s right, Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka and Johnston Canyon can all be accessed conveniently and cheaply by parking your vehicle and taking transit. This summer is predicted to be an incredibly busy one in the park, so you’ll need to plan ahead so you spend less time in your vehicle and more time outdoors.
Shuttle buses in Banff
Parks Canada’s shuttle booking reservations open for Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on May 4 for travel taking place from May through to October. They’ll operate from the Park and Ride, previously located at the overflow lot outside of Lake Louise on the TransCanada highway. This year, it will relocate to the end of Whitehorn Road at Lake Louise Ski Resort to enhance the visitor experience.
Within the town of Banff, parking is free at the Train Station Public Parking Lot (327 Railway Avenue) for up to 9 hours. From there you can catch a ride on one of Roam’s environmentally-friendly hybrid buses for a fun, convenient and inexpensive way to get around the park.
Staring May long weekend, On-it Regional Bus runs from Friday to Saturdays + holiday Mondays between NW Calgary and Banff for only $10 one-way.
More info on how to get around in Banff National Park can be found here.
If there’s one thing I need when I travel, it’s hard working, stylish but comfortable walking shoes. Skechers has just launched Our Planet Matters, a collection of footwear for men, women and children that’s eco-friendly and made with sustainable materials to help reduce our global footprint.
This collection is made with materials such as recycled cotton, polyester, rubbers as well as durable designs and washable technologies to extend their life. Our Planet Matters comes in a variety of styles, but I’m partial to BOBS B Cute – Clean Life.
These cute slip-on sneakers are made with 65% recycled cotton and 26% recycled polyester and lining and laces made with 100% recycled polyester.
Do you have any tips to share on how to make more sustainable travel choices?