Travel is a passport to new experiences. It acts as a gateway to diverse cultures, connects with new friends, promotes physical and mental well-being, and helps broaden horizons. Thus, to honour the spirit of travel, World Tourism Day (WTD) is celebrated on the 27th of September.
The event aims to raise awareness about the tourism industry and encourage people to travel more. This year, as we celebrate World Tourism Day, we will focus on the theme of Tourism and Green Investment. In a time where sustainability and growth are not an option but a necessity, this is the need of the moment.
The World Tourism Day theme 2023, as decided by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), is Tourism and Green Investments. It sheds light on the need to make better investments for the prosperity of people and the planet. It is time we seek new and innovative solutions that promote the growth and productivity of the world while ensuring the safety of the planet.
The theme this year invites us to explore the fusion of sustainable tourism solutions and environmentally conscious investments. It encourages a shift towards a more responsible and eco-friendly approach to travel, one that prioritises the well-being of both travellers and the environment, ensuring a greener future for all. Here is how you can do your bit to promote green tourism.
Eco-conscious travelling begins with deciding your destination. Opting for eco-friendly places is a responsible way to enjoy the beauty of our world while preserving it for future generations.
Search destinations renowned for their green tourism practices, from pristine national parks to green cities. Such places must prioritise conservation, promote the use of renewable energy, and support low-impact tourism. Visiting these places can reduce your carbon footprint and help you invest in the growth of the world. If you have already checked out all the eco-friendly destinations in India, then here are a few international destinations that can be accessed via DEL:
Make your journey a planet-friendly one right from the start! Stay conscious about reducing your waste output by making correct choices. Try to do your bit to protect the environment by carrying reusable items like water bottles, coffee mugs, bamboo straws, food containers, and bamboo cutlery to avoid the use of single-use plastic.
Another thing you can add to your sustainable travel checklist is a reusable shopping bag. While vacationing, most of us like to shop. Carrying a shopping bag will reduce plastic waste. Besides, travelling with zero-waste toiletries, such as shampoo bars and toothpaste, can also reduce the amount of waste generated.
Another way to travel responsibly and sustainably is by opting for eco-conscious accommodations. Look for lodgings that have adopted eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient lighting, water conservation measures, and waste reduction programs.
Consider staying in certified eco-lodges or eco-conscious Airbnb rentals. These choices not only reduce your impact on the environment but also support businesses committed to responsible tourism. Also, this can help promote eco-awareness in the travel industry.
While travelling, you can support tourism and green investment by spending your money locally. You can buy locally-made products and opt for local experiences to leave a positive impact. This can ensure an authentic experience, so you make the most of your trip.
Joining the local life can also help to support the economy of your destination city. Besides, you can also aid a good cause as local products do not require transportation, need less packaging, and create more jobs.
While exploring the world, respect the environment. Every step you take, whether on a city street or a remote trail, leaves an impression. To travel responsibly, minimise your impact by disposing of waste properly, conserving water and energy, and leaving natural areas as you found them.
Engage in wildlife encounters with care and choose destinations that offer ethical and sustainable animal interactions, like wildlife sanctuaries. Sustainable travel means treading lightly, appreciating the planet's beauty, and ensuring its preservation for generations to come.
Now that we have learned how you can contribute to sustainable travel, let us shift our focus to how Delhi Airport is taking bold strides towards green tourism. Here are a few highlights:
Delhi Airport became India’s first airport to run entirely on hydro and solar power in 2022. While some portion of the requirement is met from 7.84 MW onsite solar power plants, the remaining demand is met through hydropower plants. This step has helped DEL reduce 2,00,000 tons of carbon emissions indirectly.
In 2020, DEL achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first airport in the Asia-Pacific region to attain Level 4+ within ACI's Airport Carbon Accreditation program. This distinction not only signifies its carbon-neutral status but also underscores its commitment to pursuing enduring emission reduction objectives aligned with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Delhi Airport deployed 57 electric vehicles at the airport and its vicinity to support green tourism. It will help reduce the emission of 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually. Additionally, DEL facilitates the use of electric buses for commuting flyers between T3 and the Passenger Transport Centre building.
DEL has two underground water reservoirs to promote rainwater harvesting. Situated near Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, they can store approximately 9 million litres of rainwater. Besides, Delhi Airport boasts more than 300 rainwater harvesting structures to contribute towards water positivity.
Delhi Airport aims to become a net zero carbon emission airport by 2030. For this, DEL has taken many initiatives, including the development of green airport infrastructures, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants, energy-efficient lighting systems, advanced fuel hydrant systems, and an elevated cross taxiway. With each of these steps, DEL is reducing its negative impact on the environment.
Every choice you make as a tourist carries the potential to contribute to greener, more sustainable travel. A cleaner environment, empowered local communities, and preserved cultural heritage for future generations are just a few green tourism benefits. By choosing eco-friendly destinations, offsetting your carbon footprint, supporting local communities, and adopting responsible travel practices, you can invest in your adventure and a brighter, environmentally friendly future.
Happy World Tourism Day!