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Is sustainable travel *really* going mainstream?

in Ask Outbounding Environmentalism Responsible Travel 2484 views

This Nat Geo Traveller article "Is sustainable travel going mainstream?" landed on my radar this morning via TIES.

At first it seems like good news - whatever you think of TripAdvisor's "green leaders scheme" at the very least it must be helping to get more regular consumers thinking about sustainability in travel.

But then it struck me that extrapolating from that to suggest that we're "getting to a tipping point where ‘travel’ and ‘sustainable’ are becoming concepts that naturally go hand in hand" seems like an enormous stretch.

The most obvious point is that none of the "green" examples given in the article include the major ecological costs of travel in their equations: transport/flights, water and other resources.

So, a question for those more knowledgable than I am:

Am I being too pessimistic? Are incremental improvements to mainstreaming "sustainable travel" really happening? Or is it the case that all the biodegradable toiletries and energy efficient lightbulbs are but a drop in the ocean compared to the resource depletion and climate emissions of the travel industry?

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