Vacations on islands. The mind immediately conjures images of white sandy beaches, palm trees swaying in the wind, and a turquoise sea. Now that fall has arrived in Central Europe, many travelers are drawn to the South. What better place to escape the gray, rainy weather than an island with a sandy beach and palm trees?
Darmstadt. October 19, 2022
Island Tourism, but make it sustainable
When you travel to an island, you shouldn’t ignore the impact of your travels. Tourism has many effects on the country and the people who live there, and not all of them are positive. On islands, the effects are often bigger.
It takes more time to travel to an island than it does to vacation on the mainland. In most cases, it is impossible to simply hop on a train and then get off at the destination. The Maslina Resort and the Eco Aparthotel The Dreamers Club are both located on the Croatian islands of Hvar and Korcula, which are accessible by ferry. Thus, it is still possible to make the journey by train and ferry sustainable.
If you were looking to travel to the Seychelles, for example, and wanted to go to Cerf Island Resort, the only option would be to fly. However, even such a trip can be sustainable if you stay long enough.
As a tourist, you support the local economy much more and thus ensure a positive effect of your trip. At the same time, you get to know the country and the people in an entirely different way. Special experience: The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge in Cambodia can only be reached by boat. But the lodge itself is the island. The luxury tents are on rafts anchored on the river. An island trip of a special kind.
Naturally, an island is surrounded by water. That means that all products and foodstuffs that are not produced on the island itself have to be delivered by boat. This requires fuel and emits CO2.
To minimize such transport routes, many Green Pearls partners rely on growing their own food. Keemala on the Thai island of Phuket, for example, obtains most of its food from its garden. The Zeavola on Koh Phi Phi and the Tongsai Bay on Koh Samui in Thailand also grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs. This also enables the hotels to guarantee their guests that they have only the best, organic produce on their plates.
Garbage and Waste
Maldives tourism, in particular, is repeatedly criticized for generating masses of garbage. But not only do these islands have to deal with the waste of tourists. Indonesian islands such as Bali face a similar problem.
Sustainable resorts such as the Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, the Puri Dajuma on Bali or the Eco Beach Tent by Billiton on the
Indonesian island of Billiton are committed to reducing waste. They set a good example by avoiding plastic products as far as possible and promoting waste separation and recycling. Gili Lankanfushi has also purchased a Rocket Composter to recycle organic waste. The humus produced as a result has since been used to create a garden that supplies the hotel with fresh food.
However, island tourism does have a positive impact on some aspects of local culture. Tourism is one of the most important sources of income for many islands. Tourism can help economies grow and become more diverse. Tourist facilities such as hotels or tour operators bring work to regions that otherwise offer few prospects. Most of the employees at Puri Dajuma are from the region. The OCEANO Health Spa Resort in Tenerife is one of the largest employers in the area, and most of the team is from the region.
Car-free island of Juist
One approach to sustainable island tourism is to consciously choose a sustainable island. Juist in the German North Sea is such an example. The island aims at being carbon-neutral by 2030. With a species-rich flora and fauna, it could almost be called a biodiversity hotspot. The wealth of species can be experienced during a mudflat hike, a bike ride across the island or a walk through the island villages. By the way, you don’t have to worry about cars on Juist: The isle is completely car-free. Only doctors, the Red Cross and the fire department are allowed to use motorized vehicles. Even garbage collection is done with horse-drawn carts.
Traveling sustainably on an island
Tourists can take an active role in making their island travels fair and environmentally sound. Open eyes and a willingness to put more time into research are all that’s re- quired. Is there an alternative to the flight? Which travel provider supports the island in its sustainable efforts?
If you organize the trip yourself, you can already choose sustainable accommodation from home. At Green Pearls, for instance, you can rest assured that all partners are committed to their suppliers, and are committed to pre-serve the fragile ecosystem and support the local population. So, get ready to escape the autumn chill and start your island journey.