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Regenerative Travel – The Pandemic Boon For The Travel Sector

regenerative travel

This article is contributed Nakul Gyani

After a rough one and a half years, the tourism industry has finally started to show signs of promising recovery. With either resorting to travel with strict restrictions or sitting at home, human beings have understood the importance of travelling. There has been a drastic psychological change in how travelers approach their vacations. People have developed a sentiment of sustainability and longevity during the pandemic and the events amidst. Human beings are now focused on making a positive contribution towards the world & nature and regenerative traveling is one of the best and the easiest ways to do it.

Although, regenerative travel has been around for quite some time, it saw a surge when the pandemic imposed restrictions began to ease around the globe. Regenerative travel encourages travelers to take sustainability to the next step: to make the place better than it was before. So rather than just reducing your carbon footprint, you aim at achieving a negative footprint i.e. to reduce and reverse the carbon footprint which has accumulated over the years due to over tourism and the actions of other tourists. This doesn’t in any way aim to substitute or replace sustainable traveling, it in turn is an extension of sustainable traveling which takes it a step further.

For the concept to be successful, both stakeholders viz; the hotel & stays and the travelers have to actively contribute and work towards it.

How can the accommodations contribute?

One way hotels and accommodations can contribute is by being responsible locally, socially and ecologically. Mr Nikhil Kapur, Founder & Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre says that his property was conceptualized and executed keeping in mind the core tenets of being ecologically and locally/socially responsible. By incorporating LEED guidelines early on, a team was trained to achieve their goal of minimum destruction to the natural flora and fauna.

Involving locals and local communities also plays a vital role in providing positive support to the efforts of the accommodations Mr. Nikhil adds. Employing locals as instructors and guides to share the history and valuable insights about the surrounding with the guests helps create a feeling of empathy and responsibility in the minds of the guests.

Talking about India specifically, travelers in India are less sensitive to carbon footprint they leave behind as they travel. Since reducing the footprint while traveling is an uphill battle, hotels have to therefore take it upon themselves to implement greener ways of fueling their power requirements. For Atmantan Wellness Center 2 concepts have proved to be ground breaking in this aspect:

  1. Solar water heating with a capacity of heating 40000 L/day – one of the largest in India for a resort. This acts as a primary source for heating for 8-9 months a year.
  2. Patented Sewage Treatment using Soil Bio-engineering which brings cleaner water than conventional technologies like MBBR and in addition to this, reduces the operational cost by 50%.

Lastly, a few smaller changes like reducing the use of halogen LEDs or growing local flora for landscaping and decoration can go a long way in the quest of regeneration.

How can the travelers contribute?

The easiest and hassle free way through which travelers can contribute is by developing awareness and spreading it to people around you. This doesn’t take a huge amount of research or studying to begin with and is often the first step towards becoming a regenerative traveler.

Furthermore, understanding the destination and its culture plays a vital role. Visitors need to do their research and learn about the local communities, its people & their values and then find a way participate and embrace the experience.

Adding on to it, choosing destination and accommodations that follow and encourage sustainability and regeneration must also be considered. Countries like New Zealand and Philippines are great examples of places that have regenerative policies in place making them ideal for tourist that wish to make an impact. Also, try and book tours with tour operators that are leaned towards the regenerative movement.

These few things are a good starting points in your journey as a regenerative traveler whereas for the experienced folk there is always room to innovate and try newer things.

Towards a bright sustainable future

Regenerative Travel is a big step towards building a socially responsible and sustainable society. Although many are still unawareness of this concept, the number of people traveling sustainably is rising with each passing day. Making a positive impact while traveling is by far the easiest way to practice sustainability in a fun and adventurous manner. The future of regenerative travel looks bright and it is set to take on the world one traveler at a time.

Image credits: Nakul Gyani

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