sustainable tourism best practices

Sustainable Tourism: 11 Best Practices For Travelers

who this class is for


Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

About this micro-class

Sustainable tourism is about making conscious choices that benefit both the environment and local communities and ensure we travel with a minimal environmental footprint.

Sustainable Tourism Best Practices

1. Prevent Over-tourism

Over-tourism can severely impact ecosystems and communities. Locations suffer from over-tourism any time they receive visitors beyond their capacity.

When possible, travel off-season and avoid the peak-season months or peak days such as the weekends.

Consider visiting alternative destinations instead of the most popular ones.

2. Research and Choose Sustainable Accommodations

Opt for eco-friendly hotels, hostels, or lodges that implement green practices like energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation.

Look for certifications such as EarthCheck, Green Key, or LEED to ensure your accommodation is committed to sustainability.

3. Transportation Matters

Choose eco-friendly transportation options like trains, buses, or electric vehicles over flights whenever possible. Cycling tours or walking trips are even better options.

If flying is necessary, consider non-stop flights, as take-offs and landings contribute significantly to carbon emissions.

When possible, choose local and regional travel destinations to shorten your traveling time.

4. Minimize Single-Use Items

Bring a reusable water bottle, utensils, and a shopping bag to reduce reliance on single-use plastics.

Say no to hotel disposable toiletries. Instead, bring your refillable containers.

5. Respect Local Culture and Environment

Learn about the local customs and traditions, and respect them. This includes clothing choices, photography etiquette, and language.

Stay on designated paths in natural areas, avoiding damage to delicate ecosystems.

6. Support Local Businesses

Choose local restaurants, markets, and artisans to support the community economically and culturally.

Eat foods that are sourced locally.

Avoid buying souvenirs made from endangered species or unsustainable materials. Instead, consider buying traditional items or products to support the local artisans or producers.

Visit museums and cultural centers that promote and support the local culture. 

7. Conserve Energy and Water

Be mindful of energy and water consumption in your accommodations. Turn off lights, air conditioning, and heating when not needed.

Take shorter showers and reuse towels to reduce water usage.

8. Leave No Trace

Pack out what you pack in. Properly dispose of your waste and recycle where possible.

Avoid touching or disturbing wildlife; observe from a respectful distance.

9. Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Consider investing in carbon offset programs to counterbalance the emissions generated during your travels.

Support projects that focus on renewable energy, reforestation, or sustainable development.

10. Respectfully Educate Others

Share your knowledge and experiences with friends and fellow travelers to create a ripple effect of awareness.

Encourage others to adopt sustainable travel practices.

Keep a positive attitude and avoid a patronizing tone. 

11. Stay Informed and Evolve

Stay updated on new sustainable tourism practices and adjust your habits accordingly.

Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement in minimizing your environmental impact.

Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

related micro-classes