As health came into focus, so did the awareness about the crucial role of nature and responsible mobility. Conscious travelers now want to lessen the environmental impact of tourism and take an active part in the meaningful changes that will help to preserve our planet.
Every responsible traveller is a force for good
The human need to explore and widen the horizons has not changed, but the traveler’s mindset did. Today, exploration meets ethics in every corner. Long gone are the days when the simple practice of saving towels was enough to claim a green practice. Modern-day travelers are informed and active. Their choice of destination, means of travel, and accommodation is guided by an environmentally friendly outlook. They want to know their hotel is committed to real sustainable travel practices such as energy and water use, managing waste, support of community resilience, and preserving the heritage for generations to come. Responsible travelers want to leave their destination better than when arrived and therefore opt for holidays where they can contribute to local communities in various ways.
Sustainable travel modes are on the rise
Eco-conscious travelers are looking into transport that allows them low or even zero carbon emissions. Besides the obvious rental of electric vehicles or traveling by train, there are other things to consider. For example, when unable to avoid flying, responsible travelers will choose direct flights to their destination, preferably with a company that follows socially responsible business practices. They will book economy class, and travel with less luggage to minimize their carbon footprint.
Sustainable travel is both meaningful and experiential
The already growing experiential travel trend will peak in 2023, with a strong sustainable core. The thrill of adventure travel with its outdoor activities is now about more than the joy of physical exertion or even surviving with bare necessities in a natural setting. Sustainable adventure travel offers a twofold connection with nature, as tourists can now become the custodians of nature. The same goes for cultural immersion. The new breed of travelers wants to empower the host community in every possible way, including volunteering or participating in traditional activities.
Responsible travel easily accommodates those looking for a back-to-basics of off-grid vacation as well as those who reduce their carbon footprint by merging work and vacation into the highly sought workcation. All in all, meaningful and experiential trips will be big in 2023.
Off-season is the new peak
The rise of the off-season travel interest means that destinations will not be as quiet as they usually are outside the season. Luckily, this is exactly in line with the goals of sustainable travel. Off-season travel is an excellent way to reduce over-tourism and its many negative effects. With traveling interest spanning the entire year, host communities benefit from the even spread of pressure on their natural ecosystems. Off-season travel favors the workforce as well, as tourism industry jobs cease to be seasonal, producing a beneficial ripple effect in local economies.
Community resilience is at the forefront of sustainable travel
Sustainable travel can be shortly described as travel that makes better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. It improves the economy and well-being of host communities while providing tourists with meaningful vacations. As responsible travelers know, contributing to community resilience is both a fulfilling and unique experience. These days, cultural immersion is multidimensional and sustainable. It can mean eating locally sourced food in locally owned restaurants, buying from local artisans, partaking in a philanthropic event, or volunteering in the garden growing, waste collection, and heritage protection. Often, all one has to do is follow the locals’ lead. One good example is Dubrovnik, where a few citizens founded a Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques back in 1952. At the time, the famous City Walls and other great attractions of Dubrovnik were mostly ruined, suffering from centuries of neglect. Concerned citizens began organizing sightseeing and investing money from the tickets to restore the glory of the city’s architectural treasures. Decades of their dedication and hard work made a walkable, car-free Old Dubrovnik one of the paragons of locally-led sustainable tourism.
Resorts and hotels as pioneers of sustainable luxury
With their business experience and system logistics, hotels and resorts are in a unique position to become the leaders in sustainable travel and - to take it a step further - sustainable luxury.
A staunch proponent of responsible tourism, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik became a holder of the Green Key Certificate back in 2013.
As the holder of this golden eco standard in the tourist industry, we actively work towards a sustainable future in terms of onsite recycling, waste reduction, energy and water conservation, natural composting, usage of eco-friendly cleaning supplies, and similar eco-friendly practices.
Our long-standing community engagement is at the core of our responsible business. Besides providing jobs for residents and working with local suppliers, we support schools and children’s associations.
The entire resort was built in compliance with the highest eco standards. During the 2009 restoration, centuries-old olive trees were removed from their habitats and returned immediately after the works’ completion. 57000 m2 of our Mediterranean gardens are planted with aromatic native plants that require little or no water and are fed by fertilizer from our own composting site.
Believing that responsibility and relaxation go hand in hand, we offer a range of attractive carbon-free activities. From outdoor sports to volunteering in cleaning the local beach to partaking in magical olive-picking, we take care our guests fully experience the unique satisfaction that sustainable travel brings about.