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Home>UPDATE: 5 ways to make the world a better place while you travel

UPDATE: 5 ways to make the world a better place while you travel

UPDATE: 5 ways to make the world a better place while you travel

09/27/2017

By Kari Paul, MarketWatch

To celebrate World Tourism Day, UN Secretary-General Taleb Rifai called for tourism to be a force for good

It's World Tourism Day, and United Nations Secretary-General Taleb Rifai is calling for a new approach to tourism that's sustainable, creates jobs and preserves culture.

"How can we enable this powerful global transformative force...to contribute to make the world a better place?" Rifai asked in a video message. "This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture, respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world."

Sustainable tourism is increasingly a focus of travel, with the United Nations declaring 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/travel/where-sustainable-travel-is-headed-in-2017.html). The number of tourists climbed to a record 1.2 billion international travelers (http://www2.unwto.org/tourism4development2017) in 2015, up from 674 million in 2000. As more people are aware of the impact that travel and tourism has on our planet, the need to minimize harm increases.

Here are five ways to travel the globe while also making it a better place.

1. Choose a 'green' destination

Ecotourism -- responsible travel to natural destinations with minimal effects on the environment and people there -- is the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry, according to the World Tourism Organization. Since the 1990s, natural travel has increased at an annual rate of 10% to 20% while standard tourism increased at an annual rate of 4%, the World Resources Institute found.

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