The environment and you (and your park)

Katherine Ervasti from Niagra College emailed me the other day with some interesting questions about environmental awareness and the tourism industry.  They were:

Why do you believe changes in the environment will influence the international travel industry?

How do you think the industry should adapt?

Two great questions that certainly made me think.  I will be sharing my thoughts in an upcoming post, but in the meantime, Katherine graciously agreed to let me share her thoughts with all of you.

Katherine and I would love to hear how you would answer those questions as well.  Fire away!

Katherine writes:

“I believe that the changes in the environment will greatly influence the international travel industry. The public sector looks at tourism development from the sustainability side also implies considering tourism as a long term
investment: resources have to be kept because they are the only ones available; once used the lifespan of the destination is over. (Xavier Font &Tor E. Ahjem) Many destinations and attractions are realizing that they and their customers leave a carbon footprint and as this footprint deepens we may eventually lose ourselves in it. Companies are starting to adapt to be more sustainable so that not only the destination will last longer but also there is a better ROI in the end. [T]his means that only those destinations that adapt their products to what tourists want will survive. Destinations are always catering to the needs of their visitors. Today’s travelers want to offset their carbon output, they want to stop global warming, and they want their grand children to be able to see glaciers and the Arctic. In the last lines of  “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore says, “Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, “What were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they wake up when they had a chance?” We have to hear that question from them, now. Consumers are more aware of the environmental concerns and are starting to see the climb in global warming, it is becoming tangible and it may be getting too late. The way we travel on an international scale will have to change to meet the needs of not only the consumers, but the Earth as well. There needs to be a way that we can travel internationally with less pollution, less waste waters, and with less harm to the environment. Traveling is about seeing the beauty of the world and we, as an industry, must try to preserve its nature for everyone to see.”

Thanks, Katherine, for sharing your thoughts!

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