30 Jun 2022 ‘Regenerative Travel’ Is the New Buzz Phrase, but What Does It Mean?
Different from sustainable travel which focuses on minimizing a tourist’s impact on the environment, regenerative travel instead aims to reinvent the entire tourism industry. In the past, tourism management and marketing centered almost exclusively on consumer demand. Regenerative travel, however, focuses on the supply side of tourism and not just on its demand.
The practice of regenerative travel involves leaving places and people better than we met them, and has been popularized by travelers and the hospitality industry. The concept is slowly gaining recognition by governments and much more widely in the tourism industry among hotels, lodges and resorts, travel and tour agencies, and consumer watch groups.
The attention and desire to participate in regenerative tourism can be attributed to the current interest in regeneration at the hands of the consumer. With consumers searching for and participating in pro-regeneration organizations and experience, paying attention to the regenerative aspects of tourism is no longer an option but an obligation for the industry.
Research suggests that environment-friendly business practices could also:
- Cut down on costs
- Attract new customers
- Serve as qualifying criteria for some government subsidies
As Chris Baker, the CEO of OneSeedExpeditions, puts it, “When you decide to put your time and resources into a trip, you’re affirming that’s the type of business you want out there.”
While some argue that regenerative tourism won’t stick, as it focuses on environmental practices and public well-being at least as much as profits, others say the shift is here to stay. With consumers driving the path, the industry can make travel better for residents and travelers, as well as the destination itself.