background image

Sustainable travel: a new era in the world of tourism

author image

By John Dabbs

· 5 min read

The rise of sustainable travel

Traveling is essential to human life, as it helps us broaden our horizons, learn about new cultures, and explore the world’s beauty. However, the rise in the number of travelers worldwide has increased the negative impact on the environment. As a result, sustainable travel has emerged as a trend that promotes eco-friendly travel options.

Axel Hernborg, the CEO of Tripplo, a website dedicated to making travel more accessible, reliable, safe, and fun, says sustainable travel has become a buzzword in the travel industry. Travelers worldwide are becoming more conscious of the impact of their travel on the environment. They are choosing eco-friendly travel options that promote sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.

The booming rail sector

Transportation plays a significant role in sustainable travel. By choosing eco-friendly transport options, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to promoting sustainability. Electric or hybrid vehicles are an excellent option for sustainable travel can be expensive. As a result, railways are emerging as the best option for sustainable travel. Railways are affordable, and they do not harm the environment. According to a study by the International Energy Agency, rail transport is the most energy-efficient and produces the CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer, followed by buses and coaches. In contrast, air travel produces the highest CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer.

Governments worldwide are promoting railways as a sustainable option for travel. The European Union has set a target of tripling the length of the railway network for passengers by 2050. The UK government has invested £48 billion in modernizing the rail network to make it more efficient and sustainable. Indian Railways has set a target to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030. The Japanese government has set a goal to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector by 80% by 2050, and railway travel is a significant part of this plan.

Railway travel is also becoming more luxurious and comfortable. Many railways now offer modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and comfortable seating, making them an attractive option for travelers who want to travel in style while being eco-friendly. For instance, the Belmond Andean Explorer in Peru offers luxury train travel through the Andes, with gourmet meals and spa services onboard.

Furthermore, railway travel allows you to explore new destinations uniquely and leisurely. The Trans-Siberian Railway offers a 9,289-kilometer journey across Russia, Mongolia, and China. The journey takes seven days and offers breathtaking views of the Siberian wilderness, the Gobi Desert, and the Great Wall of China. It is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience new destinations while being environmentally conscious.

Other options for sustainable travel

Apart from railways, many other eco-friendly travel options are available for sustainable travel. For example, cycling or walking tours are an excellent way to explore new destinations while reducing your carbon footprint. Bike-sharing programs have also emerged in many cities worldwide, making it easier for travelers to explore the city on two wheels.

Another option for sustainable travel is eco-tourism, which promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people. Eco-tourism offers an opportunity to explore nature while contributing to its preservation. Many eco-tourism destinations have emerged worldwide, such as Costa Rica, known for its biodiversity and eco-friendly travel options.

The benefits of sustainable travel

Sustainable travel has become a popular trend embraced by travelers worldwide. Choosing eco-friendly travel options, such as railways, cycling, or eco-tourism, is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint while exploring new destinations uniquely and leisurely. Governments worldwide are investing in modernizing transportation networks to make them more efficient and sustainable, offering travelers an array of eco-friendly travel options. The rise in eco-friendly accommodations, such as hotels powered by renewable energy sources, shows that tourism is taking sustainable travel seriously.

Sustainable travel not only benefits the environment but also provides an opportunity for travelers to have unique and unforgettable travel experiences. For instance, eco-tourism offers a chance to learn about the local culture, interact with the local people, and contribute to preserving the natural environment.

Sustainable travel also benefits local economies by promoting local businesses and creating jobs. Eco-tourism destinations provide opportunities for locals to showcase their culture, traditions, and lifestyle, which can generate income and help preserve their way of life.

However, sustainable travel is not just about choosing eco-friendly travel options. It also involves responsible travel behavior, such as reducing waste, conserving water, and respecting local customs and traditions. Travelers should also support local communities by buying locally-made products and supporting small businesses.


In conclusion, sustainable travel has emerged as a new trend in tourism. Travelers worldwide are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment and are choosing eco-friendly travel options that promote sustainability. Governments worldwide are investing in modernizing transportation networks to make them more efficient and sustainable. Sustainable travel not only benefits the environment but also provides an opportunity for travelers to have unique and unforgettable travel experiences while supporting local communities. Travelers should also practice responsible travel behavior to minimize environmental impact and support local communities. By embracing sustainable travel, we can preserve the environment, support local communities, and create unforgettable travel experiences for future generations.

This article is also published on the author's blog. illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

John Dabbs is a photojournalist, consultant, and sustainability author.

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)