With historic heat waves, an aggressive hurricane season and now five million acres of the West Coast on fire, this summer has set some disturbing records beyond the pandemic. Climate change is no longer a futuristic, far-off threat but something we are dealing with on a daily basis. It has nearly every industry re-examining what sustainability means, tourism included.
While travel is one of the best ways for us to gain an appreciation for our world, it can be one of the most destructive to the environment.
To change this, 22 travel groups, tour operators, tourist boards and travel associations have recently signed on to the Future of Tourism coalition, whose mission is to “build a better tomorrow” and that seeks to normalize regenerative travel, which defines regenerative tourism as leaving a place better than you found it.The Future of Tourism, which includes nonprofit organizations like the Center for Responsible Travel and Sustainable Travel International, are guided by principles such as “quality over quantity”, “mitigate climate impacts” and “protecting sense of place” when vetting destinations, resorts and lodging, and tours. Like-minded travelers can use their resources to plan a regenerative trip abroad.
Better the world by booking your next adventure to one of our top five eco-friendly European destinations today.
SPAIN: The Canary Islands
Each of the 13 islands offers its own distinctive pleasures, from the red mountains of Lanzarote and the UNESCO-endorsed biosphere reserve of Fuerteventura, but Tenerife holidays have become the most popular in recent years due to the island’s year-round warm climate and remarkable biodiversity.
The Greek island of Lesbos is remarkably green, with 11 million olive and fruit trees covering 40% of its area, lush forests of mediterranean pines and chestnuts covering 20%, and the world’s second largest petrified forest of Sequoia trees, not to mention dozens of hot springs from the surrounding volcanoes.
There are more than 1000 islands off the coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea, but the 14 islands that make up the Brijuni archipelago are all part of a protected national park.
With incredible archaeological remains such as the village of Khirokitia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the Neolithic era), the Painted Churches of Troodos, and the Odeon Amphitheatre in Paphos, where, in Greek mythology, Aphrodite rose from the sea, Cyprus is a haven for eco-tourists and history buffs alike.
Located in the Arctic Ocean 400 miles north of the mainland, this Norwegian archipelago boasts higher temperatures than other Arctic areas located at similar latitudes, yet also offers some of the best views of the Northern Lights along with acres and acres of nature preserves to peep polar bears, reindeers and more Arctic wildlife.