Is sustainable travel something that appeals to you, but like many other en vogue terms being thrown around, you’re not really quite sure what it means? Are you simply someone who’s passionate about traveling and are trying to pursue it in the most mindful manner possible? Or are you already an expert when it comes to eco tourism? Whatever the case may be, we can all do with doses of solid information from time to time… and where better to turn than the books? After all, knowledge is power, right? Here are Travel Rebel’s top five picks. Happy reading!
Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road
Sure, this acclaimed book by Nicholas Kontis is packed with essential information, but it’s on this list because it’s also a beautiful read. From the get-go, the reader understands two things: this is a man who has traveled extensively, and he really knows how to get his message across. The importance of protecting local society and the wilderness is emphasized throughout the narrative. Aimed at the traveler who is looking for authenticity, the book explains in a convincing way how one can become a part of the sharing economy, why to choose experiential travel, and why ethical travel is the need of the hour.
Taking Responsibility for Tourism
Although a more serious read than Going Local, this book by Harold Goodwin (one of the leading figures in the field of sustainable tourism) is a goldmine of extremely useful information. It caters to not just travelers, but also activists, policy makers, and academics (so pretty much anyone who wants to strengthen their understanding of tourism and its effects). Goodwin explains in great depth precisely why tourism should be developed in such a manner that is becomes a force for good. Many deem this to be the most thorough and impressive overview responsible tourism, and I can definitely see why!
Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism
This well-written book by Elizabeth Becker is informative and interesting at the same time. In a truly eye-opening way, she describes the staggering dimensions of the tourism industry today and its massive effects on all spheres of our lives. The research is spot on and the anecdotes scattered throughout add much needed brevity (she has traveled all over the world to collect these gems). Many readers will be shocked by a lot of the stuff they learn about the major tourist destinations – don’t be surprised if you change your travel patterns forever after this read! If you’re even remotely related to the tourism industry, as a consumer or otherwise, do pick this up.
Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life
Almost everyone I’ve met who has read Fully Alive has loved it, and I’m not surprised. Tyler Gage’s gripping read tells the story of a young and successful entrepreneur’s time in the Amazon and how it changes everything – from his spirituality to his outlook on life. He takes all that he has learned to create a sustainable, socially responsible company. Even if you don’t want to build a business anytime soon, consider going through this book because it will open your eyes and give you the courage to look at the world in a different way. You will learn how to respect everything around you and respect yourself – and once you do that, a whole universe of opportunities will open up. This kind of knowledge invariably translates into more authentic, sustainable travel experiences, so I’d say give it a go!
Pascal Languillon’s Eco Chic just had to be added to this list because, let’s face it, sometimes even the toughest of us just want a nice, relaxing vacation. Here’s the best part: just because you don’t want to rough it out doesn’t mean you have you give up on your sustainability ideals. This book turns the limelight onto many hotels, spas, shops, lodges, and even restaurants that are dedicated to protecting our environment. In fact, the efforts of a lot of these institutions are actually not just protecting, but also actively improving, the condition of Mother Earth! Thanks to Languillon (a known name when it comes to sustainable tourism) you no longer have to sacrifice leisure for sustainability while booking your next adventure. Win-win situation!