Recently Webjet revealed increased demand for eco-friendly destinations and shares tips for travelling greener
New Zealanders are renowned for their love of nature and sense of community, and Webjet.co.nz has revealed a growing demand for green travel among Kiwis, with striking uplift in travel to famed eco-tourism destinations, such as Borneo, over the last five years.
CEO David Galt explains, “We know New Zealanders are increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, not just when they are at home, but when they head away too. Over the last five years, we’ve seen significant increase in Kiwis taking off to locations that offer eco-friendly opportunities. From domestic travel to Christchurch (+24%) where Kiwis can swim with endangered dolphins; to Cairns (+131%) as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef; Borneo (+112%), the jungle paradise home to orangutan sanctuaries; and Nepal (135%*), renowned for its protected reserves and Himalayan hikes. *
Searches for trips to Costa Rica are up by two thirds year-on-year (+61%) **, and travel to the idyllic islands of the Philippines is up a staggering 657%*. The lure of some of the Philippines’ most incredible natural sites, such as the magnificent Apo Island Marine Reserve, has never been more tempting for New Zealand eco-warriors.”
Galt says that green travel, however, isn’t limited to visiting locations known for conservation efforts or sustainability projects. It is also about making simple choices that help lessen your impact on your chosen holiday destination.
From small habits tourists can take along any road they travel, to how to make as little impact on the natural habitat as possible, Webjet shares 10 ways you can be kinder to the environment while on your next holiday.
- CHOOSE A DESTINATION THAT DELIVERS MORE: Look to destinations that offer opportunities to support local ecosystems. From swimming with protected Hector’s dolphins near Christchurch, to visiting the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland with sustainable tour operators, your trips to these destinations are an amazing way to support ongoing conservation work.
- GO DIGITAL: Opt for electronic tickets, itineraries and boarding passes if you can, saving these to your mobile for use. If you do have any printed tour guides, make sure you recycle properly when you depart, or repurpose them by leaving them for future travellers to enjoy.
- SWITCH OFF: Before you even leave home for the airport, you can help reduce your environmental footprint just by turning off power points and unplugging electronic devices. Not only does this save energy consumption, but it will also reflect on your electricity bills!
- REFILL: You make an effort to reduce use of single-use plastic and waste at home, and these practices should be taken with you while travelling, too. Taking a refillable water bottle and reusable tote or carry bag with you on holiday is a simple way of not contributing to single-use plastic waste.
- SLEEP GREEN: When it comes to places to stay while away, do some research to see what environmentally-friendly practices a preferred hotel or resort has in place. Some of the things to look for include solar panels, rainwater tanks, composting and even rooms designed to retain or keep out the heat.
- GO INDEPENDENT: Support the regional economy and help funnel funds back into the community by using local tour guides where possible. A bit of research beforehand is all that is needed to track down the best local guides.
- SENSIBLE SIGHTSEEING: Keen hikers should stay on marked trails, maintain a safe distance from animals and deposit of all rubbish correctly if it can’t be taken with you. Those looking to snorkel or dive should choose a reef-safe sunscreen and be vigilant about not touching coral as this can damage the fragile marine ecosystem.
- LIVE ON LOCAL: Need to stock up on snacks while away? Visit a farmers’ market or coop to pick up locally-grown produce that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. Farmers’ markets are great way to get to know the community and even tap into the local knowledge of the area.
- HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME: Rather than having your hotel towels and linen changed every day, act like you would at home and reuse them. It is an easy way to cut your water wastage while away.
- TRANSPORT TIPS: You need to get around when visiting a new place, and using two feet or two wheels is one of the greenest forms of transport. Those that can’t walk or cycle can make use of local public transport. Try to only used motorised transport in the case of reaching further afield locations.
Galt finishes, “With an abundance of eco-friendly locations and accommodation options now available – alongside great deals and improved connections from major cities through South East Asia and beyond – it’s a great time to explore some of the inspiring sites nature has to offer, without leaving too much of an impact as you go.”