It’s More Fun (Being Sustainable) in The Philippines
Last September 13, 2022, Ms. Emilie Hagedorn had a workshop at Enderun Colleges. Ms. Emilie is an ICRT (International Center for Responsible Tourism) alumna and has been studying Responsible Tourism since 2007. She has practiced her work in many places, but a highlight would be her work for the Fair Trade Tourism in South Africa. With her business in Utrecht, Netherlands called “Green Heart Tourism” which practices sustainable tourism consultancy, she has helped many nations. Her business has plenty of activities or services, from sustainable marketing to virtual training, Ms. Emilie is the ideal mentor if you are interested in taking tourism as a course in the future.
But what exactly is sustainable tourism and where do we even begin on practicing this? To start, tourism may be sustainable if the business will host communities while taking into account the environment, economic, and social state of a country. Another term we must take note of is sustainable development. This term means to keep the present safe and future protected. Do keep in mind that tourism has a lot of impact behind it. As a tourist gets a hotel, eats in a restaurant, we are also helping farmers who gave the sources of food in the first place. As the tourist pays for the services, the business will use that money to buy even more products. This cycle benefits our economy and is also a reminder of how tourism is bigger than we thought. Which is why we need to keep the industry sustainable if we want more tourists to come. To get more tourists, our responsibility to keep the tourist spots safe becomes more and more evident.
Moving on to the plenty of benefits and practices we learn from sustainable tourism, we start with the sensitivity to culture and environment safety benefits. With sustainable tourism, we can cater tourism to anyone and everyone. But even with a wide range of tourists, we do not worsen the environment’s situation in the process of hosting these communities. Keep in mind that 25-60% of our GDP is from tourism. Which is why all the more we must practice sustainability if we want our GDP to raise without having to suffer environmentally or cause tourism leakage.
Tourism leakage happens when the communities you visit do not gain much money from what you spent to get there. So as you start a sustainable tourism based business, always remember the local communities and places you have in your list. Make sure they are paid well and let your tourists practice CLAYGO (Clean As You Go) as they visit them. We want our tourists to see the beauties of our country but we must also practice keeping it beautiful for many more tourist generations to come. To support our locals, we are contributing to the cycle of tourism more directly. With the local businesses’ help, we are producing more GDP growth.
We all know about climate change, but Ms. Emilie thoroughly explained how throughout the years our climate and environment has been affected due to tourism via planes and jets used by pop stars or idols. Due to private jets used by these celebrities, their air crafts have been polluting the air over 14 times more than our average plane. The greenhouse gas emissions being released have been affecting our environment. Knowing this, we must keep in mind how much pollution we are creating while traveling.
Now that we know all this, it is time to brainstorm about how to make your business more sustainable. Let us all help each other and practice sustainability for a better world and closer communities.
One Planet Network. (n.d.) Why Tourism Matters. Retrieved from https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/value-chains/transforming-tourism/why-tourism