SINGAPORE: The climate crisis is a reality, but for those with disposable income, travel is also a reality, and after the period of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, rebound travel is still a thing these days.

Whether for business, pleasure, education, or going to the Paris Olympics or Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, people will go further and further afield, and the cost of this will be borne not only by our wallets but also by the already-threatened environment.

The question is this: Do travelers have to choose between seeing and saving the world?

Ms Carmen Carfora, the Head of Sustainability at Andermatt Swiss Alps, says “No.”

In an email interview with The Independent Singapore, she acknowledged that more people, especially those from Gen Z, are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of travel.

Read also: The kids are all right: Gen Z travels more—but does so more sustainably

Younger people are now “more active in supporting conservation efforts, choosing destinations that are not overwhelmed with over-tourism, and engaging with local businesses,” Ms Carfora told us, adding, “I believe that travelers do not have to choose between seeing or saving the world because they can help to preserve it by traveling thoughtfully. With the expanding availability of sustainable travel options, it’s entirely feasible to explore new places responsibly.”

See also  Green economy, blah, blah, blah: Greta Thunberg says 'so-called' leaders' climate promises show no action

She also said that travelers may opt for accommodations and tours that are more eco-friendly and respect local ecosystems, as well as choose low-carbon travel methods.

However, it’s not only travelers who can, and should, do their part, but also those who work in the industry. Ms Carfora said she believes “the hospitality industry holds a lot of power in promoting sustainability” and that many have begun to embrace this responsibility as a core part of their business model.

One example she gave is of Andermatt’s restaurants, where leftovers have been evaluated to adjust meal plans to minimize waste. They also have public refrigerators for guests to leave unneeded food for other guests, and their endeavors have caused waste to be reduced from 258 tonnes in 2021 to 244 tonnes in 2022.

Ethical travel is indeed a reality and focuses on mindful tourism that minimises negative impacts on the planet while maximising positive contributions to the destinations visited. For travelers eager to be conscious of their carbon footprint, it is vital that they make informed and responsible choices in their destinations,” she added.

See also  British PM thanks BLACKPINK For getting fans fired up about climate change

Ms Maureen Yeo, the Asia Regional Director at Andermatt Swiss Alps, said that in Southeast Asia, Singapore is “well-positioned to be an eco-friendly travel destination” due to its “urban landscape and commitment to innovation.” /TISG

Read also: Singaporean youths embrace independent travel before turning 18