The unexpected arrival of COVID-19 is pushing us to find different ways to continue travelling. That is why a new concept has landed within the travel and tourism industry: Regenerative Travel – a term linked to sustainability. So what’s going on with this new trend, and how can you explore it?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘sustainability’ as our ability to maintain an ecological balance between the environment, people, and economy, whereas ‘regeneration’ is the act of improving a place or a system. So, here is our starting point: now is not enough to travel, and being socially and environmentally responsible about it, we need to produce a positive change that goes beyond!
According to Cassie de Pecol, the first woman on human record to travel every country in the world, and founder of Her International Inc: “To ‘regenerate’ (within the tourism industry) is to not only give back to local communities but create a solution to one problem. To not only plant a couple of trees, but to build an excursion where guests have the opportunity to plant new flora that produces edibles. To ‘regenerate’ is to encourage guests to give back to local communities during their vacation, to learn about the people, to have a conversation.”
What does regenerative travel look like in real destinations? Here are some examples:
- Contribute to cleaning and recovering the environment
If you have planned a beach day and you have chosen to take a walk, always carry a biodegradable bag with you and collect the garbage that you may find on your way. You can also sign up for a local organization that dedicates to cleaning beaches. Perhaps you can reserve a day or two for this sort of activity. It isn’t only a matter of recycling – picking up a bottle that you see on your way and putting it in the trash – regenerating involves rebuilding the environment, thinking beyond to generate a change, and above all follow-up, and spread the word so that more people can join the movement.
- Become involved with social projects that seek help
Before you leave on your trip, research a few local organizations seeking volunteers while traveling, try to get involved and speak with members of the organization to learn of ways you can contribute. A great example is ‘Los Amigos de la Esquina’ in Tulum, a foundation that provides positive tools to children in Mexico through recreational activities to accomplish an integral development on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. They will always appreciate your help, as most foundations around the world.
- Join volunteer activities with animals
Get involved with a local association that helps animal shelters, sterilization campaigns, sanctuaries, or wildlife protection centers. In this case, it is necessary to support associations recognized by local governments. And who knows – maybe you will find the furry love of your life!
- Help the local communities
If you visit our luxury homes in Tulum, you will find eco-friendly products made by Ixchel Eco-C0osmética Artesanal. This brand from the Mayan Riviera only uses artisanal and traditional techniques to produce shampoos, conditioners, body soaps, hand soaps, after sun creams, and insect repellents.
When you visit our luxury condo in Kelowna, you will find eco-friendly and locally sourced products from The Zero Waste Store that you can visit during your stay. Walk or ride a bike to leave a small footprint.
The World Tourism Organization recently informed that as of early September 2020, 53% of global destinations eased their travel restrictions. We now meet with the opportunity to return to traveling, exploring, and enjoying magnificent paradises while leaving them in a better state than we found them. And don't forget to support local businesses!