The Importance of Sustainable Tourism

Even though 2020 was not a good year for travellers we are looking forward to getting back to normal and we are already full of plans for those times when travelling will be an easy thing to do again. Since we are aware of the fact that mass tourism has an incredibly negative effect on the environment, on the life of locals and on small businesses we would like to highlight the importance of sustainable tourism which is an essential part of our job.

Spain is one of the most visited (breaking its own records from year to year) countries in the whole world and tourism has a major role in the blooming of the Spanish economy. Sadly tourism is not only known for its upsides but it has its downs as well. Overtourism is a problem ever since the 1970s as a result of the affordability of global travelling and the growth of the travel-thirsty middle class. Nowadays, with the spreading of the different social media platforms, tourism became one of the most fashionable things to do and to share.

As a matter of fact overtourism can ruin the everyday life of locals, in Barcelona or in Madrid the once historic buildings have been turned into chain restaurants and cheap souvenir shops and the homes of the locals turned into tourist accommodations. Since in the overtouristic cities the prices are often very high not only in the shops and restaurants but to rent homes as well, locals are often unable to afford living in such areas. Another negative effect of unsustainable tourism is that overtouristic places are often very loud and often covered in litter.

One way to solve the existing problem is to organize tourism and direct tourists from overpopulated urban areas to rural areas where the capacity is bigger and where tourism needs development. Another way to solve the problem is to support local businesses which are usually family-owned, this way we can make sure that the money spent in these places will become part of the local economy and not international franchises. Sustainable tourism is also a way to preserve historic buildings and cultural sites so the next generation will also be able to enjoy the authentic sights.

You can support the good cause by:

shopping at local markets,
choosing local restaurants to have an original Spanish dish,
renting a bicycle instead of travelling by taxi or overcrowded public transport between the sights to see,
travelling in low season, will help to maintain the local economy all year around,
not taking anything from nature as a souvenir, respect the traditions of the locals and leave everything as it was when u arrive,
experiencing the local customs and traditions,
using local providers in accomodations, travel agencys, guides,
and visiting the city’s less touristic areas as well.
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Obviously, the problem is not going to be solved from one year to another, but as a part of the sustainable tourism movement, we at SpainYourway try to do our best to support the transformation of tourism and we try to encourage others to do so.