Recently there has been increasing talk about tourism in a green economy, about green tourism, about adapting to and mitigating climate change in relation to tourism, about the green market, green programmes and so on.
Originally the term “GREEN” related in business operations to environmental matters, but now it embraces ALL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
The principles of the sustainable development of tourism relate to the environmental, socio-cultural and economic aspects of tourism development and require a balance between them. Recently another aspect has been added to these three pillars, that of climate change (UNWTO, TSG).
ECOTOURISM, ECOLOGICAL TOURISM:
Ecotourism means travelling into natural areas or forms of tourism that responsibly protect nature and promote the prosperity of the local inhabitants (TIES, 1991). In essence this is a form of responsible tourism in natural areas.
NATURE BASED TOURISM:
Nature based tourism is any kind of tourism based on experiences that are directly linked to natural attractions, including ecotourism, adrenaline tourism, hiking, birdwatching, fishing, fly fishing, riding, visiting nature parks and so forth. Data indicate that ecotourism is growing at a higher rate than tourism itself (around 20% annually).
Responsible tourism respects the natural and cultural environment and in an ethical way contributes to the development of the local economy. It encourages tourists to be aware of their impact on the local destination (EVEIL).
A combination of efficient improvements (leading to less CO2 emissions) and buying carbon offsets, which entirely cover the carbon footprint. Being carbon neutral or having a zero carbon footprint means achieving zero CO2 emissions by offsetting the measurable amount of carbon with an equivalent amount. There is also the concept of climate neutral, which means that it is not just CO2 that is producing emissions, but also the other greenhouse gases.
Carbon offset is a financial instrument aimed at reducing emissions. It is measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Individuals, companies and governments can buy carbon offsets in the voluntary market to mitigate their emissions caused by transport, electricity use and so forth. For instance an individual can buy a carbon offset to cover the emissions he has caused by an airline flight. The money collected in this way is invested in some form of renewable energy (financing CO2 projects), in planting trees and so forth.
Ecological footprint is the fertile piece of land (both land and aquatic) that the individual needs to meet his requirement for food and lifestyle and to dispose of the waste he generates. It is measured in hectares.
Carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of greenhouse gases generated directly or indirectly by a person, organisation, event or product. Determining the carbon footprint of an individual organisation can be the first step in planning the reduction of emissions it generates (Umanotera). The expression carbon footprint is used to illustrate the quantity of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions for which an individual or organisation are responsible. Carbon footprint can also be calculated for events and products.
Something that generates no emissions that would pollute the environment or climate, such as a motor cycle, car (Zero Emission Vehicles or ZEV), energy production and so forth. (Source: Wikipedia).