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Sustainable or Responsible Tourism: What it is and Examples

Sustainable tourism is one of the best alternatives that many tourists have increasingly implemented, since the impact it generates is minimal compared to mass tourism. It is a modality that was born due to negative practices that harm the environment, its main objective being the development of a more sustainable option. If you want to know more about it. Keep reading!

What is sustainable tourism?

It is one that considers the current and future consequences, in addition to the social, environmental and economic ones, to meet the expectations of tourists, the environment, the industry, and host communities.

In conclusion, this modality is a way to maintain sustainability , since it works to reduce the impact on the environment and local culture , in order to preserve them for future generations and conserve local ecosystems.

It is even considered an ideal movement to promote awareness and create positive practices, that is, that each person is aware that they can and should lead a sustainable lifestyle if they want to help the environment.

It was born during the 90s , at the moment in which tourism began to have socioeconomic consequences in society. In fact, some organizations and institutions such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations Organization disseminate recommendations that promote environmentally friendly tourism.

Now, this movement has great weight, due to the negative impact caused by massive and unstructured tourism. On the other hand, the devastation of the environment, as well as labor seasonality are some of the consequences that sustainable tourism can moderate.

In addition, it is important to mention that thanks to the awareness that has been generated about environmental policies, consumers have been able to value the effort that social responsibility companies and institutions have developed so that sustainable tourism is implemented.

Examples of sustainable tourism

Sierra Nevada National Park, in Granada, (Spain)

It stands out for all its natural wonders and for its Mediterranean flora with around 2,100 species of plants. Just 31 km from Granada, it can be said that Sierra Nevada is a protected area with tourist services that do not harm the architecture that is linked to the agricultural tradition of the entire region. Besides that each of the attractions are respectful with the environment. A true Spanish marvel!

Chão do Rio, Travancinha (Portugal)

Being able to enjoy Chão do Río is the best thing that could happen to you. Here you will find 6 stone houses with thatched roofs and an organic pool made as a tribute to certain lagoons in the area. You can explore by bike or on foot, have fun and connect with nature. There is no better plan in Portugal than this!

Villas Finolhu, in the Maldives

This natural wonder, located in the Maldives, runs entirely on renewable energy, with the help of 6,000 square meters of solar panels incorporated into the architecture of the villas. This incredible place is an area with strict waste recycling, little use of plastic materials, and water management.

Your accommodation is luxurious and the activities you can do are look at the universe at night, activity guided by local divers and diving.

Opting for sustainable tourism is a way of contributing to an ecological lifestyle . It is not too late to commit to the environment and choose more respectful and sustainable habits or practices.

Tourism impact

Tourism arises thanks to the improvement of infrastructures, the development of means of transport, sustainable houses and, above all, the multiplication of sustainable hotels . Although all this has caused its impact to be reflected in the sociocultural, environmental and economic fields.


The construction of infrastructures and pollution have a direct impact on the environment. Therefore, it is essential that tourism be used as a tool for the restitution of natural resources, biodiversity conservation and protection.


New jobs are one of the benefits that tourism offers to society. Improvements in infrastructure and the increase in productive activities in the region are other effects of prosperity. Although this also generates an impact in the economic section, because tourism jobs are sometimes unstable. In fact, the construction of new structures begins to cover tourist needs and not because it favors the native population.


The needs of tourists often take precedence over the regional culture. Therefore, sustainable tourism is responsible for respecting the societies of the territory and promoting the existence of tourism based on what a community represents.

Benefits of sustainable tourism

In addition to contributing with positive actions, there are great benefits that sustainable tourism offers that you should know about. Pay attention!

Less ecological impact

Most of the time as part of sustainable tourism it is common to eat local food and products, since importing food has a very high cost, both economic and environmental. Enjoy the full experience of traveling by trying local food!

Go ahead and don't miss the opportunity to try new things and avoid processed foods. Generally, these foods are much fresher obtained from land in the sector, even better! Don't you think?

Likewise, when one travels and sees places, one of the most common impulses, like consuming food, is to buy gifts from the place to give to our closest family and friends, so you should find out that the business where you buy is a fair trade store If you do not know very well what a business that cares about the environment should be like, we recommend that you visit the Clotsy Brand website, there you will find sustainable products and articles of interest.

Keeps the environment clean

Make sure to choose an accommodation that has sustainable practices, whose philosophy is ¨Zero Waste¨ . Do your research and avoid staying in places with sewage and garbage issues. Do a little more research on their restaurant, if they use eco-friendly materials in the rooms, and if they treat their employees respectfully.

Wildlife stays wild

There are many destinations that use animals to attract tourists , although they do not necessarily receive a good treatment to meet the needs of people. There are known attractions that are not optimal for animals, such as riding elephants in Nepal and the Tiger Temple in Thailand.

In these cases the tigers must be drugged and the elephants suffer premature deaths and a lot of pain, just so that users can take a picture. Avoid these types of attractions in order to reduce their demand and that this type of fun may one day cease to exist.

You will be more aware of your actions

Before starting your trip, find out exactly what all the money you will pay contributes to. Remember, being eco friendly is not just a "fashion", changing your mentality and starting with conscious habits helps you and the environment!

There are places that should not be visited to keep them sustainable, such as small islands and communities that are not capable of serving a large number of tourists due to their infrastructure. Therefore, in these cases we recommend avoiding the trip completely.

Support local communities

By choosing sustainable accommodation you will automatically be supporting local communities. Choosing a vendor that works hand in hand with the locals boosts the economy and makes a more positive impact. Since in mass tourism the operators attract thousands of tourists and keep most of the profits, this being a negative effect on the local community.

Keys to responsible tourism

 If you want to enjoy your 100% sustainable trip, you should consider the following points:

  • Help the economy by consuming products from local businesses.
  • Save everything you need on your cell phone, do not print any important documents for the trip, better use technology and avoid setbacks.
  • Look for accommodations that are committed to protecting the environment.
  • Respect and investigate the culture, values, and customs of the community you visit.
  • Apply each of the indications to preserve cultural heritage and monuments.
  • Use respectful means of transport, you can rent a bicycle, for example, and explore the whole place. Using a means of transportation that does not emit polluting gases helps green energy to remain clean and renewable.

Implementing sustainable tourism will reduce the impact that mass tourism causes in local communities, choose more responsible experiences and with fewer negative consequences. On the other hand, avoid attractions with animals at all costs, because it is very possible that they are not enjoying it. It's time to raise awareness and protect wildlife!

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Author: Clotsy Brand Team

Clotsy Brand is made up of a team of committed people with the caring for the planet and ethical fashion production. All Clotsy garments are produced in local workshops in Spain and Portugal, using sustainable materials that take care of both the planet and the skin of their customers. We value the opinion of our community, so we are always close to them and willing to listen to their ideas and opinions through different channels, such as Instagram, Telegram, Email and Tiktok.


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